At the start of the Children of Hope project our focus was on getting sponsors for these children, but we quickly came to realise they had medical needs that needed to be dealt with. Access to a doctor is not free here in Uganda and while 5,000 shillings (£1) doesn’t sound like much, it may as well be a thousand times that if you have no income. At a recent visit to a hospital north of Kampala with a sick child you could wait days for free treatment of pay the money and be seen immediately.
In 2009 we took 30 or so of our sponsored children to Entebbe for medical checks and HIV testing. This was an expensive exercise that required hiring transport as well as paying the medical staff.
In 2011 the first medical mission from England went out to Uganda and the second a couple of years later. This has now become a regular annual event.