An Excellent Learning Day

Written by Ahja Steele, Ross University School of Medicine Class of 2020

Today was an excellent learning day. We went to the hospital with the immunization clinic as the agenda and heard an amazing lecture by Sister Florence who knows immunizations like the back of her hand. I am glad she went into detail, as my undergraduate medical education program did not cover many specifics about immunizations She gave us a pamphlet detailing the weeks at which a baby should receive vaccines based on Uganda’s standards. From there, we immunized several babies.

We Are In This Together

Written by Irene Sue, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Class of 2022

She lies there in a corner of a ward reserved for adult female patients, clad in a beautiful red embroidered cloth, the fabric rising and falling, following the uneven rhythm of her labored breathing. Her concerned daughter looms closely nearby, next to the oxygen tank which has not seemed to help, anxiously awaiting Dr. Lenard Okello's instructions as he begins presenting the patient.

No Such Thing As Equal Opportunity

Written by Kaysha Ribao, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Class of 2020

The red dust is everywhere: on skin and clothes, in the car and the air. Despite the rain last night, today was particularly dusty as we partook in another Family Planning Outreach event. Although we started in late afternoon instead of our regular morning start time, I began to understand why.

Did You Know That You Had It In You?

Written by Jamidah Nakato, PhD, Assistant Lecturer at Makerere University

When I was growing up, those around me would often ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question sounded strange in the context of a country characterized by limited resources and a high mortality rate. Many of Uganda’s citizens believe in living in the moment and letting tomorrow take care of itself, as they understand the many risks out there and the reality that one can die at any time. Having a vision feels futile.

Sense of Community: What Uganda Gave Me

Written by Grace Herrick, Founder of Grace's Promise Incorporated

My dad is from California and my mom is Portuguese born in Mozambique. My mom’s stories always piqued my curiosity about the continent of Africa, a curiosity that continued to grow through high school as I frequently attended the WCHN global health evening sessions. In the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to go to Uganda for two weeks during which I shadowed doctors and nurses, visited an orphanage, and went to ACCESS in Nakaseke where I learned about the activities of this amazing organization and community.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights: Part III

Written by Florence DiBiase, UVMLCOM Class of 2019

She argued instead for prevention through education of all women and access to effective contraception for anyone who becomes sexually active. She stressed keeping girls in school as a fundamental way to decrease the high birth rate, unintended pregnancy, and maternal mortality. This is a more realistic and achievable goal, she argued, given that even access to contraception and sexual education are contentious due to religious and cultural beliefs.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights: Part II

Written by Florence DiBiase '19

I have now been at Kawempe General Hospital for three weeks. I initially carefully avoided the subject of reproductive justice altogether, determined to wait to ask questions until I gained a better sense of cultural attitudes. From the Ugandans I have met thus far - primarily the Okullo family and surrounding medical students on their Ob/Gyn rotation - religion is a vital component of life here.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights: Part I

Written by Florence DiBiase, UVMLCOM Class of 2019

As a future Ob/Gyn provider, I maintain a strong commitment to the fundamental rights of women. Beyond her basic right to gender equality and respect, I believe in a woman’s right to accessing safe and legal abortion as well as deciding how many children to have and when. I want to provide these services as a doctor. Every woman has a right to safe, consensual, pleasurable, and fulfilling sexual relationships. She should have access to information and options for both contraception and safe termination should she require them.

Butabika Psychiatric Hospital: 2019 UVMLCOM Global Health Day Reflection Contest Winner

Written by Brian Rosen, UVMLCOM Class of 2019

I excel at intellectualization. It is a fickle defense mechanism, allowing the observer to fully comprehend the situation in front of them without fully engaging in the emotional context. Throughout my medical training, intellectualization has aided me at many patient bedsides and through emotionally-charged family conferences. I am reminded of many moments on neurology wards when a patient’s emotionally charged question was reinterpreted and deflected through a purely intellectual and biologic lens.

In Another World: Part I

Written by Dr. Natalie Wilson, former medical resident at UVMLCOM

From the moment we stepped off the plane into a humid, sunny land filled with red dust and all sorts of smells, we knew we were in another world. After a long, hot line at immigration and feeling very lucky to find our bags at baggage claim, we were greeted by Martine, via sign, and shown to a dusty, beat-up van. We were thankful for the breeze through the windows during the hour-long ride from Entebbe to Kampala. Along the way we caught our first glimpses into Uganda: women balancing baskets on their head; men carrying bundles of sugar cane on bikes; children bathing in tubs; goats, cows, chickens, dogs, and cats wandering along the road; and lots and lots of trash, some of it burning.