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Ian Revisits Soroti Baptist Medical Centre

Next up on Ian Flowers whistle-stop tour of Uganda is the eastern city of Soroti.

In 2005, EFOD Cardiff laid the foundations for a 16-room Medical Centre in the grounds of Soroti Baptist Church. Over the following 3 years, they raised funds and designed the single storey building using sustainable ISSBs, with passive ventilation, solar shading and rainwater harvesting. Construction between 2008 & 2009 involved 37 young volunteers making short visits to buy materials and manage a local construction team.

The Centre opened in 2010, and for 12 years has been offering high quality, low cost treatment to the people of Soroti.

Over the last 3 years, COVID restrictions have been very disruptive, reducing patient numbers which threaten the viability of the Centre.

In an attempt to reverse this, a team of 7 supporters of the SaltPeter Trust, including EFOD founder Ian Flower, Treasurer Helen Flower, and Management Team member Steve Parry, have just completed 4 pop-up clinics for the poor of Soroti and nearby villages.

Supported by 30 local medics, the team were able to provide free medical treatment for over 1,500 needy folk in the area thanks to substantial funding from the Wales Government through the ‘Wales and Africa’ grant scheme.

One of the clinics was held in the grounds of the Medical Centre. 533 people waited patiently in the church, and once registered they went through triage, saw a clinical officer or Doctor in tents in the grounds, visited the Laboratory where necessary and received free medication.

Patients with more serious conditions attended Follow-Up Clinics at the Medical Centre. Unfortunately there was one person who was referred straight to the Ugandan Cancer Institute (UCI) in Kampala for urgent tests and others went for urgent surgeries in the local hospital. A treatment plan is being developed for others and negotiations are ongoing to fund cataract surgery in the local hospital Ophthalmic Department.

The work of EFOD volunteers designing and supervising Soroti Baptist Medical Centre 15 years ago made all this possible.

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