L1SBURN Pharmacist Hugh Carville has recently travelled to Uganda to help to provide aid work for the Joint Clinical Research Centre, a project he has long supported and fundraised for.
Hugh, 29, and his girlfriend Becky Dickens flew to the African nation on Sunday March 8, where they have since been working with those displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict in the country.
This is Hugh's fourth visit to the country and the couple had managed to raise over £6,000 before their trip, which has since been increased to £10,200 in the last two weeks.
The ongoing conflict in Uganda has resulted in more than 850,000 people being forced into 1DP camps (Internally Displaced People), however, HIV is also another major issue affecting almost the same number of people in Uganda.
Hugh and Becky made their way to Gulu where they have been working at an HIV/AIDS clinic which treats over 4000 patients.
"The patients are all H1V positive, and they range in age from newborn babies to people in their 60s," said Hugh. "We see around 500 of them everyday, and each day there is an average of three new patients registered with the clinic.
"You could say the outlook is depressing, but it's better to think positively, and see the benefit these clinics are doing to help those already infected," he added.
The 1DP camps are home to over 850,000 people that have been caught up in the conflict. Tiny mud huts line the camps only feet away from each other with families who have had to abandon their homes or were pushed out by the rebels. Hugh stated: "There are no clinics there, so our clinic sends a truck out to the nearby camps. The clinic will not allow travel to the camps further afield. That's why we've raised the money to buy a truck which is going to be used independently of the clinic, for travel to these remote camps in more treacherous regions. We plan to use our vehicle to bring volunteer medical personnel, food, clothes, medication and hope to these camps." Hugh added, "Some people are still helping us with donations, which we are so grateful for, as they are going to help cover the cost of equipping the truck for its first expeditions to these 1DP camps. We are also currently in the process of organising how we can sustain our project and possibly register it as a new charity. We have to see how it goes first of course, but it is all very exciting stuff."
If you would like to help, donations can be made by contacting Hugh's family on 028 92677308 or you can email Hugh in Uganda at firstname.lastname@example.org.