CHAP HIV Outreach

Monday …

It’s Monday in Uganda after a great weekend, and we are ready for the week ahead. A great night of rest, a warm shower (for which we are so grateful), a nutritious breakfast and we are set for the day. CHAP HIV outreach is on the agenda today. Our Crossroads team of eight, four CHAP employees, two volunteers, and a two HIA employees made up the personnel.


We traveled to Kalega, a remote fishing village along the shore of Lake Victoria. The scenery was incredible and the terrain, if you were on a quad, was challenging. There is no pavement so the red dirt road disappeared into a great quading trail. We kept waiting for the village to appear, which took 40 minutes as we jostled along over ruts and rocks. This has become our core morning and evening workout.

After arriving, we set up two tents. The first was for giving out Vermox (dewormer) and vitamin A with Retinal to the children. Some parents brought their children to us grateful for this medical attention, while other children wandered up and if they could give us their name and age, they also received these pills. Some children did not find the pills pleasant, so we encouraged them to swallow quickly. We gave out to 82 children.


The second tent was set up for HIV testing. There was a lot more paperwork required so the procedure took longer. The test results actually only took a minute, and 97 people were tested. The results were 8 to 10 testing positive. They were counselled by a CHAP staff member and referred to a medical clinic to receive free medication. We were a little discouraged when we were unable to test all the people who had sat through the hot day patiently, only to be sent home.

A dentist also gave his services and extracted teeth from 20 patients. He had to sterilize his instruments which also slowed down his ability to reach more people.


Skipping ropes were introduced to the children and we had fun watching them smile as they jumped in and out of the ropes. Double Dutch wasn’t such a great hit as we were unable to master the skill. They enjoyed the skipping ropes so much they were not to be found at the end of the day.

We wrapped up the day at 5 pm and travelled back to a delicious supper created by Barbara. Supper over, we received our new dresses created in Lugazi, finding most of them very satisfactory.  We are once again exhausted and ready to retire.

Shirley Talsma

One Comment on “CHAP HIV Outreach

  1. Cool!

    Been there and know what you are going through and have to process. Thanks for being there and all you are doing (especially the dental assistant) – yes, there is a story there.

    Heath clinics are often the highlight of an outreach, but so very meaningful while exhausting. The roads sound as good (or bad) as ever!

    I understand Barbara has cooked you a meal (or many more). Is Irene there? If not, those of you have not met her a missing a real treat.

    Looking very much forward to your next blog.


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