As we approached the facility, it didn't feel like I was approaching a "hospital" at all. In fact, it reminded me of several schools I had visited in Ethiopia.
It wasn't until we approached the "pediatric" building that I got a healthy dose of reality. This little guy was outside the building with his mama and he wasn't happy or healthy. The family that I went to the facility with knew this young mama and there was a lot of discussion happening in Luganda. We didn't know what was happening but I saw the Pastor just shaking his head. This little guy had malaria. I have limited knowledge of malaria but have been told that when it gets to the level of needing IV medication....it's pretty bad. Some say that malaria is the number one killer of children in Africa.
This little guy was in the middle of being treated and the facility "just decided" they wanted more money from the mother. Yes. They can do that. If you don't have cash in hand....you don't get treatment. If you run out of cash....you could be taken off treatment. This little guy was taken off treatment because Mama didn't have 2000 shillings. About 75 cents. Needless to say, Mama was given the money she needed to complete the treatment her boy so desperately needed.
Then we went inside. Even now, as I type, I feel my heart aching. I saw 2 mamas, with 2 children fighting for their lives. One was receiving IV treatment for malaria and the other was receiving treatment and a blood transfusion. These children were completely lifeless and their mamas faces showed complete despair. I broke. I cried. I prayed. And I just loved on the mamas. That was all I could do.
Then I saw something I REALLY wasn't prepared for. One of the strongest women I've ever met, a Ugandan mama & grandma broke down in tears. It was too much.....even for her. As broken as my heart was, everything I saw that day was exactly what I needed to fuel me for the next season God has called me to....to help raise funds to build a HIV/childrens clinic in Mukono, Uganda.
I will be sharing more information soon about how you can be a part of changing the lives of children in Uganda.
To God be the glory....always!