We have been here since August 2012 and have had our fair share of sickness. Even while I write this, I am dealing with sickness. When you come into a new environment, you seem to get a lot of things. I had to go through 3 weeks of treatment back in October for an infection. When we are sick, it stops us from the work God has brought us to do. Sometimes it is very discouraging.
I will tell you a little about the process here in Africa. I go to a local hospital that is considered one of the best in the city. It happens to be not to far from my house. When you arrive, you check into a desk. They give you a slip of paper and you go and pay the bill. Some do have accounts, but they have to have their index finger scanned for verification. When I see the doctors at the clinic, I pay about $8-9. If I see a specialist, then I pay about $20-$25.
I then go back with my paid receipt and then I am put on the list for the nurse to take my vitals. Once I have my vitals taken, I then wait for the doctor. Each part of the process, you sit and wait on wooden benches outside. It is a covered waiting area, but it is outside. When you see the doctor, they bring you in to sit in office chairs, next to the doctor’s desk. I never laid down on a bed or was offered the bed, unless it was necessary. It is not being mean - I think being a efficient. The doctor checked my ears for infection, but that does not need a bed. It is funny, how we seem to think we always need a bed when we go to the doctors.
I was asked to go get blood drawn and urine checked. We then have to go and pay the cashier first. Which I will say is usually another long line, since a lot of people pay cash. It is ok - it is just a part of the process. The positive is that I have gotten to know the cashier Ronnie by showing patience and kindness. That is the key to everything you do in Uganda. Smile, greet, and be patience. The workers remember you and will treat you nicely when you do. So after I get the test done I wait somewhere else and then I am called to see the doctor when they get the results.
The difference in the states, you usually stay in one room, lay on a bed and they take blood, and you wait in that same room. Here you just transfer to different places, so they can see the next patient. I kind of like it. They also have a pharmacy right on sight. No traveling is needed. This is very nice to have one right there.
They have a cafeteria, but the difference is that it is outside. You can sit down and be served or can get things to go. There is hard working people that want to help in every area of the hospital. Not much different than the states. The bonus is I don't have to pay a huge amount of money. I am trying to still be a light to the people, even when I am sick.