Professional Volunteerism- A Pioneering Way To Contribute To The Africa We Want.

A young girl walks into the hospital limping on a bare, deformed foot. It is evident that she cannot wear normal shoes or slippers on it. The limp is a result of severe contractures that resulted from a kitchen accident a few years back when a pot of boiling soup spilled onto her leg. She’s nine years old and just joining Primary Three in the new school term. Her age mates are two classes ahead. She has fallen back because of the disability which makes it near impossible to make it to school on time. The associated pain hinders her academic work and social development.Thanks to a group of visiting surgeons, nurses and team from CUTE project, the young girl is a beneficiary of a six years old initiative from Italy that does reconstructive surgery across Africa for free.; CUTE means skin in Italian.

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The morbidity and disability resulting from inability of people to access safe and affordable surgery is another neglected global burden. Disease burden not only demands psychological suffering and pain, but as well financial input, and the losses due to reduced productivity. A group of doctors and other related healthcare professionals took time off their busy and well-paying schedules to offer care to those in most need. This is voluntary work done by professionals. It is very important for all professionals to take time and offer no-profit care to their own communities. Our critical mass of experts only interact with the rural communities on Christmas yet we can all actively participate in driving the change we seek from the grassroots. If we see that we can give sometime to other people and at the same time also improve our lives, somehow changing our priorities that means that voluntary work can be done. In this new approach of lifting other people, it is win-win It is a win for our society. And this is easily recognizable in the faces of the people after help comes to them. Personally, validation has been in the form of smiles and genuine gratitude from the patients and pregnant women I have worked with. We ought to recognize and identify with each other’s pain. Empathy is the starting point.

This article has been inspired by the Voluntary award to mSCAN Uganda (www.mscanug.com )  by the Rotaract Club of Kampala South and CUTE Plastic Surgery Camp.

*mSCAN Uganda is a social enterprise that develops low-cost mobile portable ultrasound devices that detect risk factors of maternal mortality among pregnant mothers in resource limited areas.

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When everyone is better because of our effort, we are better for it.

1 thought on “Professional Volunteerism- A Pioneering Way To Contribute To The Africa We Want.”

  1. Perspective with Luny

    If we all went probono, so many people would be reached and we would collectively solve many problems. Good thoughts there!

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