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Family returns from Ugandan aid mission
Two doctors from Ilkley recently returned from volunteering at The Revival Centre in Matugga, Uganda.
Dr Anita Porter, a GP at Ilkley Moor Medical Prac-tice, her husband Stephen, a consultant gynaecologist at Airedale Hospital, and their teenage children – Daniel and Anna – spent two weeks in the small rural town, 12 miles north of Ugandan capital Kampala.
Run by Pastor Ivan Lugolobi, the centre prov-ides education and training to about 800 children, many of whom are orphans or from very poor families.
There is also a medical centre providing basic health care to children and staff at the centre, as well as to the wider community.
Dr Porter worked at the medical centre, attending to conditions such as malaria and typhoid.
The clinic only charges people what they can afford so the poorest do not miss out, but the cost of drugs is very high. Morbidity from vomiting and diarrhoea, malaria, HIV and road accidents is high and, unfortunately, very much a reality to most families.
Care at the clinic is nurse-led, with a visiting medical officer twice a week. It lacks running water, however, which makes basic hygiene difficult.
Dr Porter said: “I found my time here very challeng-ing in terms of the lack of resources available, but tremendously rewarding. The patients and the people were dignified and had a very mature approach to illness and hardship, which I found very humbling.”
Mr Porter spent some time teaching biology to the senior school pupils, as well as a day in a specially arranged ‘well-woman’ clinic. He helped with projects including sourcing and fitting a solar panel to provide lighting.
He said: “Power cuts are an everyday occurrence in Matugga.
“They cause huge disruption to the school day, often requiring the children to retire to bed early instead of completing their studies. It was amazing to see what a difference solar energy made to the centre.”
Daniel and Anna spent their time interviewing the 150 ‘champions’ at the school – orphans and children from very difficult and often tragic backgrounds – and painting some of the buildings in the church and medical centre. The children have sponsors, many of whom are from Ilkley.
The family also spent time with Pastor Ivan and his family. He will visit Ilkley between June 16 and July 6, and will be at Ben Rhydding Community Fete on June 30.
He will also be speaking at morning services at St John’s Church, Ben Rhydding, on Sunday. Visit revivalcentrematugga.org.uk, contact Phil Chappell on 01943 430744 or via firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in supporting the charity or to find out more.