Susan Schrack Wood is an environmental science’s instructor at Elizabethtown College and a member of the York East Rotary Club. She and her family joined other Rotarians for a medical mission to Uganda, where the team treated locals and taught good health and medical practices. Wood is documenting the trip and created the video used in today’s meeting.
Eight Rotary Districts from the USA, Brazil and Australia joined together using their professional talents to help Uganda build a sustainable medical system.
D9211 is the home district of Rotary International President-elect Sam F. Owori. PE Sam has since passed and will be remembered for the good he has done through Rotary.
Three grants from Rotary International helped to finance this large-scale medical mission to treat the people of Uganda, considered being one of the poorest nations in Africa.
The global grants, which add up to about $139,000, are financing an eye clinic, a dental clinic and a general medical clinic. Doctors and other health professionals are screening patients, treating their ailments and performing surgeries. In addition to those duties, the doctors also are required to educate the native health workers on diseases and health issues and train them in surgical procedures.
This type of grant is called a Vocational Training Team Grant and is a relatively new way of doing humanitarian work. The team's leader, Connie Spark, said it is vital that medical missions provide more than just a bandage.
"It is an attempt to be more sustainable in not just helping them on a hit-and-run basis, but providing equipment and the means to use it on their own," said Spark, whose business, Designer Family Eye Care, is donating talent and staff to the mission.
York-based Dentsply Sirona donated about $7,000 worth of dental equipment and supplies to the mission. The contributions allowed the Entebbe Hospital to add a second treatment room, something that had Ugandan dentists Martin Opumar beaming with pride.
The team worked in Entebbe, which is near the Ugandan capital city of Kampala. Its work included outreach in several villages and stops at two orphanages. The team also spent time working with the unique vision problems of an Albino population.