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Uganda Figures for COVID-19 update: Diagnosed 15,789

Deaths: 144

Still, the number of cases rises and now we, here in England, are back in lockdown and so we shall end 2020 with no clear plan to return to Kumi until 2021. I miss the people, the hospital with the staff and our friends, of course, but Harriet and Ruth continue with their daily work and I do believe that this has been the month of the parallel bars!

Ruth identified four children unable to stand or walk but with potential so she and Antony constructed the bars from local materials starting by chopping suitable long poles with a panga (machete). The transformation for a child from lying to standing and then learning to walk unaided is so rewarding and I know Ruth gets as much satisfaction from her input as the child’s family. Can you imagine the smile on the face of the father of Emma aged 9 years as he sees him stand for the first time? Let us hope that he learns to stand and walk so that the family do not have him to carry as he gets older and heavier.

Emma Emodu has returned to school as they have reopened but only to the candidate pupils. Ruth bought him everything he needed; school shoes, uniform, stationery, soap etc thanks to the generosity of his sponsor who met Emma about ten years ago when he lacked so much confidence due to his extensive burns following his mosquito net and thatched roof burning down. He now is a confident young man and we will have achieved our goal when he has finished his education and is able to be independent.

A girl given two prostheses when she was 11 years old came to Ruth as she had outgrown her limbs as can be seen in her photo with her crutches reaching the waist rather than the arm pits. She will come to Kumi Hospital Orthopaedic Workshop for two replacements and suddenly she will grow a good six inches taller!

Nouela, a young girl with cerebral palsy and unable to walk but bright, could attend school if her mother could take her and so we provided her with a bicycle which she brought to show Ruth. The bicycle will also enable the mother to collect water from the borehole.

The family of Milka, a 25 year old CP lady, has asked if she could have a wheelchair as her parents are aging and she is tall and lanky and heavy to carry in and out of her mud hut.

A mother brought her baby for follow up and change of plaster for bilateral club feet. Zubeina, a lady well known to me, asked for a new prosthesis as hers was broken. Finally, Ruth visited John, a young spina bifida lad who we had previously supplied with a wheelchair and an IGP (Income Generating Project) ie a goat which had multiplied. and now John owned a cow. He was struggling with his broken chair and asked if he could be given a tricycle. This was a reasonable request to make so we need to work out our finances and see what we can manage this month.

However throughout November, Ruth has continued with her work in the community with more and more mothers becoming aware of the services she has to offer. She is joined by Antony, the hospital physio, who assesses and treats the children and advises the mothers who come as well as going on home visits to follow up the families. Their combined input is invaluable and my dream is to extend this input even more so that the family as well as Kumi Hospital benefit from our support.

At home, we continue to promote our Christmas cards as, without an income, we are helpless. Our best made plans for 2020 have been thwarted but we have had good support from our friends and whom we thank from the bottom of our hearts.

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