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It is time for an update and, although both UK and Uganda are in lock down, nothing stands still. Firstly, though, we must thank you for all your donations for the provision of soap, hand sanitiser and infrared thermometers for Kumi Hospital! £783.00 was raised by the Facebook KCF web pages’ PayPal donate button! News of the Ugandan coronavirus situation is encouraging with only 55 cases being reported, no deaths and about 12 victims returning home presumably from hospital. Our friend, Jan, is stuck in Holland with all international flights cancelled. He did reach Uganda a few weeks ago but was turned back. However, he, too, has not been idle and is setting up a new Kumi Hospital website. I await eagerly for the finished product. Our funds are being used to provide three infrared thermometers, providing boxes of soap bars for the inpatients and hand sanitisers for the staff. Hand washing facilities have been situated outside each ward, department and at the hospital gate. Lock-down was brought in very early in Uganda and this may be the reason why there are few cases reported. In fact, Africa seems to be coming off lightly but they must not be complacent. The President has ordered a further three weeks lock-down but, almost more than this, the people are fearing the return of the locusts. They passed over Kumi during my visit in February but the people ran out clanging pans and drums and shouting loudly to prevent them from landing. Last week, the locusts returned and Ruth reports that they stripped her mother’s land so that, not only have foods risen in price, but her mother will have lost her basic crops. Before lock-down, Ruth managed to return the wheelchair for Paulina, the leprosy lady in Soroti, as she hadn’t been happy with the new one we gave her because it was not self-propelling. Her old one had been repaired in Kumi Hospital Orthopaedic Workshop and she would have welcomed it back with open arms but she was sadly sick and did not have the strength to push the wheels. I pray that she has recovered and can now manoeuvre around her family’s compound. Prior to the isolation, Ruth delivered three tricycles to the post polio people we identified during the Wheels for the World visit when a fourth old lady came crawling on all fours and presumably wanting a tricycle. Two wheelchairs were delivered to the children and a third is now on the waiting list. A baby with a cleft palate and multiple deformities was identified and added to the pending Interplast UK list. Faith’s mother was given the money so that she could buy back her land which she had had to sell when she was in need. Betty and Emma received their provisions for the next term; soap, toothpaste, sugar, exercise books and pens for Emma but not for Betty as she has been blind since birth. We have provided them with their school uniforms and shoes as well as their school fees. Children, mainly with cerebral palsy and spina bifida, were coming to Ruth’s home for rehabilitation and she is building up a reputation in her role as a Community Based Rehabilitation worker for children to be assessed with mothers being supported and advised. This is becoming a half-way house for mothers who find Kumi Hospital too remote and some are referred for special seating or prostheses following amputation, surgery and the malnourished can be admitted to the Nutrition Unit and so the Kumi Community Foundation supplies funding for transport and hospital bills. After lock-down, a mother came as usual in spite of isolation and told Ruth she didn’t want to miss her visit as her child, Vivian, was doing so well. This is praise indeed for Ruth as she is becoming (and always has been) a very valued member of our team. Here, in UK, the Trustees held a virtual meeting to continue with the administrative work of our Charity. We are pleased that we have at last managed to activate our PayPal account and we will improve our promotion of this facility as we gain experience. Fund raising has taken a huge tumble with the cancellation of our Open Day in June and all arranged events but still the expenses continue with school fees and patients’ hospital bills. The provision of mobility aids such as a tricycle for the old lady in the photo will have to be put on hold. We shall continue with distributing soap and hand sanitiser to improve the hospital hygiene and perhaps we could start to make up food parcels for the inpatients who have to provide their own food which has increased in price sometimes trebling or more. It is extremely frustrating to have to restrict the fieldwork so much but none more so than for Ruth and Harriet. Hopefully, the time can be spent wisely by all of us evaluating our way forward as we expand our services. We pray that the people keep safe from COVID-19. Thank you so much for your support. Please would you help if you can so that we can take our part in helping the hospital in this difficult time and for us to continue our projects?

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