Since returning, I have heard from many of those who were a part of the Health eVillages training last month about how much the mobile health technology has made a difference to their communities and patients.
I know I will never forget the dedication and compassion of the healthcare practitioners I met along the way. Nurse Mary, Sister Rose, Nurse Anet, Joseph, Okari — countless people who, day-in and day-out, work tirelessly to help others. They work in the harshest of conditions, yet they fight with a passion to do the best they can with what they have for their patients. They give their communities hope and inspire others to join with them to help their neighbors.
Joseph is our sponsor for Angels of Hope, Acuma and a brave father of eight. Joseph fled his village with his children during the invasion of the Lord’s Resistance Army and Warlord Kony. He hid them in a closet in Kampala until it was safe to return home. Joseph also fought in the Lord’s Resistance Army for the safety and freedom of the people of Uganda, a hero among men.
Nurse Anet is the matriarch of the Angels of Hope Mattuga clinic. With responsibilities far beyond her years Anet spends her days overseeing the health and well being of countless Ugandans, from the young orphans of the village to the elderly who take care of them. The lives of so many depend on her daily labor and she is there for them everyday without fail.
Sister Rose is one of the head nurses at the Lwala Community Alliance in Western Kenya. Her undying commitment to the hospital is apparent from the moment you meet Rose. There is no doubt that she would give herself for it, and does. In a world where technology is becoming more the norm. a woman with Roses grounding in tradition could feel behind, left out. During our training however, Rose showed me this need not always be the case. Her love for her patients and strength of will shown through in her determination to learn the Health eVillages devices, she knew they would help. The day I was leaving she walked past me, stopped and said “we will learn, slowly, but we will learn”.
Then there is Nurse Mary, working tirelessly at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. Mary is a leader at the large hospital and her responsibilities are endless. I met her at 8 AM my first morning there. We worked all day with her staff, training on our devices well into the evening. I left around 7 PM tired and ready for dinner and bed. The next morning, I ventured back up to the hospital, where Mary was sitting at a table in the break room studying with one of our devices. She was finishing her shift and she had not slept; they had patients to attend to all night and she had only now found time to sit. These are the folks we long to help.
It is so easy to come home from these trips abroad and fall back in to our daily routines. What is important is to never forget the people, the communities behind the cause. There are countless charities around the world, working tirelessly, day after day, to improve the lot of their people.
Health eVillages is tremendously honored to work with such committed people, and I believe the mobile health technology they now have will help provide better care for those who need it most for years to come.