Page 22 - Marist Magazine Fall 2012

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the next two weeks: white rice, pasta, salad,
beans, and fresh fruit.
On the first clinic day, we saw more than
100 patients in four hours. At the second clinic
in Kampala, a local pediatrician joined us as we
saw about 150 patients.
Among people we met were women who
run an HIV-AIDS project. They make unique
beaded necklaces and bracelets out of paper
which is cut into pieces, compressed, strung,
and lacquered. It takes three to four hours to
make each piece, which sells for less than $2.
Our third clinic experience was in a small
village about 20 minutes outside of Kampala.
As we drove down the bumpy dirt road, locals
seeking medical care were already following us.
Our clinic was held in a tent with no sides but
good protection from the sun.
Three of us plus Dr. Mark, acting as the
extraction dentist, sawmore than 200 patients.
The diseases I saw I usually don’t encounter in
the U.S.: TB, malaria, worms, and HIV-AIDS.
Chief complaints were back pain, high blood
pressure, diabetes, ulcers, headaches, the flu,
and cough—everyone coughed there as it is so
dusty from the unpaved red-clay roads.
On our final night in Kampala our generous
hotel owner treated the group to a barbecue:
meatballs, salad, fish sticks (made from real
fish), and local beer. The owner also provided
a specially decorated cake for us.
Next adventure: to the town of Kisoro and
gorillas in the wild. We traversed a narrow,
dusty, rocky dirt road along a cliff overlooking
a beautiful lake. We were greeted by friendly
rangers, our own one-man armed escort, and
a guide. They collected an entry fee of $500 per
person and told us there would be a 50 percent
refund if we didn’t see any gorillas (they said
this hardly ever happens).
We went by car to the starting point, pre-
pared for a short uphill climb. One and a half
hours later, up a trail that varied from 30 to 40
degrees on the mountainside and then through
jungle trails, we waited. Eventually trackers
A Uganda
Herbert M. Weinman, MD, ’93 MBA traveled to Uganda this past summer
on a medical mission. He and his children own FirstCare Walk-In Medical
Center in Highland, NY, across the Hudson fromMarist. He has practiced
in the area since 1968. He shared thoughts about his trip with Alumni News.
Herbert Weinman, MD,
with new friends in Uganda
A clinic near Masaka, Uganda
always pursued what I felt would give me the
most satisfaction—it’s called following your
passion. Being a physician has always allowed me
to give to others. Now, in the twilight of my life,
I felt I needed to give back in a more meaningful
I always envisioned doing more hands-on
medicine in a disadvantaged country with
people who would really appreciate the effort.
Not sure why this trip was on my bucket list but
I was sure I’d have answers to that question by
the end of my adventure.
My six companions, including the physi-
cian assistant frommy urgent care center, and
I began in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. No alarm
clock was needed for wake-ups as the cows
mooed outside my window at 5 a.m.—milking
time. The city was very congested, and there
were no traffic lights, lane markings, or cross-
walks. Dr. Mark Kitende, our native Ugandan
host, driver, navigator, and interpreter, was very
skilled in avoiding everything in his path.
Our first stop was the pharmacy, where we
bought about $250 worth of medications which
would have cost at least $2,000 in the United
States. Lunch awaited us at the church school
at which we would hold two days of clinics in
a large tent. The pastor and his wife were great
hosts, and she prepared a buffet which turned
out to be fare similar to what we would eat for
M a r i s t
M a g a z i n e