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Travel Diary – June 11, 2023

Written by Donna Myers

Traveling to Uganda with a 12 member Pipeline Worldwide team is a life changing adventure. Today was another busy day for the team. While the other 10 members of our team distributed solar lights in 3 remote villages, Julie and I spent time in the NICU at Moyo General Hospital. The village of Moyo is one of the poorest and most remote villages in Northern Uganda. Moyo General Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in the region, providing care to a large area population as well as a large refugee population. The Smallest Miracles Five years ago, the hospital expanded ices care to include a Newborn Intensive Care unit (NICU) to care for sick and premature infants. The Moyo NICU is a very busy unit, admitting over 600 babieseach year. There are currently no physicians on staff in the NICU, a team of 7 dedicated nurses provide care.

Since the NICU opened,there have many challenges, but also many rewards. One of the biggest challenges in much of northern Uganda is reliable power. Moyo General Hospital receives power from 3 sources the national power grid, back up generator, and solar power in some areas. The government power grid frequently cannot supply enough power to the hospital, and power failures were common. Without power, life saving medical care was lost. Babies died of respiratory distress and hypothermia during power outages. Pipeline Worldwide stepped in and developed a solar power solution to supply electricity to the NICU. Pipeline also donated 2 new incubators when the older donated models were broken.

When we planned this trip to Moyo, the NICU staff reached out to us and asked for education to help them provide the best care possible.They were very eager to learn more about the management of fevers, seizures, ischemicencephalopathy, nutrition and developmental positioning. They were also very thankful for the donated items we brought to them. Make A Joyful Noise Next, Julie and I made our second visit to Moyo Babies Home which is an orphanage for children from birth to 5 years of age. Julie brought children's wooden instruments to donate to the orphanage, and they were a hit with toddlers there. We ended the night with dinner. We always have dinner together as a team, and when it is over,we go around the table,and each share our thoughts about ”your favorite part of the day”. When it is my turn, I start with, ”Today was the BEST day in Uganda!” because each day has filled my heart with gratitude and joy. The need here is great, but the rewards are many.





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