News: Founder makes annual visit to clinic

24th July 2012

As Friends of Buburi founder, Joanna Hanks, returns from her 9th visit to the Buburi Health Clinic, she reflects on her time there:

‘It is always a boost to visit the clinic and I look forward to visiting every year; seeing the team again and all the characters that make up this small community. It is particularly encouraging to see all the improvements made since my last visit.

Joanna assists with a patient consultation

‘There is always so much we have to do during these trips and in so little time, but they’re essential to keeping the clinic running smoothly as well as facilitating its on-going growth and development. This trip, trustee Joy Mowle and I had to formally interview new midwife Joyce, try to establish a more cost-effective and reliable supply of malaria tests, liaise with a local MP to support our application to the Community Development Fund, continue research into a reliable source of water for the clinic, meet with the Community Committee, give annual appraisals to the clinic team; and provide training and support to the team of Community Health Workers.

Trustee Joy Mowle with an elderly patient who she helped choose a pair a spectacles.

‘I also wanted to spend time visiting some of the families we treat at the clinic in their homes. I will always remember meeting 12-year-old Yvonne Juba. Her parents both died from HIV/AIDS 6 years ago and so she has been living with her grandparents, who are elderly and frail. Sadly, Yvonne also has HIV, transmission at birth. She frequently gets ill due to her weakened immune system and has to take anti-retro virals.

‘Just witnessing her life first hand was heart breaking and reminded me how privileged we are in the UK. It also reinforced the importance of the clinic and the need for our help to ensure this vital facility continues. Through our upcoming fundraising efforts we hope to expand the clinic to provide HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, immunisation programmes and maternity services.

‘Above all, I’m delighted to see the clinic going from strength to strength, knowing that we are helping thousands of people receive the accessible, affordable and high quality health care they need.’

To see the full set of photos from Joanna and Joy’s trip, click here.

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