The following was 'adapted' from Ian Flower's Salt Peter 'Blogs'

SaltPeter Trust Visit
to Uganda - 2017.

We travelled well on a 36 hour journey to abundant Mbale last week,
over the Nile flowing through the barren Sahara,
and enjoyed a break with Dave and Anna
before moving on to Soroti over the weekend.

We have been working with staff
of the Soroti Baptist Medical Centre,
built by EFOD from 2005 to 20099, and opened in 2010.

It has had its ups and downs since then,
but aims to provide good quality medical care
at an affordable price to those in Soroti and the surrounding areas.

There is a staff of 14, and major changes at the end of 2016
meant the Centre was not functioning well
when we visited in February of this year.

We returned with Dr Mark and Marian Vaughan from Llanelli.

Together with Dr Joan Drayton and Linda Hampton,
they had suggested some improved procedures for patient care
during our last visit earlier in the year.

We are delighted to have seen many improvements since then,
and to discover we now have a very happy staff
following the departure of some senior staff.

Whilst patient numbers are still low, the Centre is spick and span,
a testament to Roger Hampton's excellent work painting in January,
and the local staff who have worked hard to keep it so clean .

George, our Administrator for the last year has worked hard
to ensure the finances are under control, equipment repaired,
and debts left by the previous management are almost clear.

In January we were concerned the Centre may not survive,
this time we left confident we have a real future.

Earlier in the year we visited 7 Child Development Projects
to thank them for using the Centre to treat their children,
and urge them to allow us to undertake
the annual screening programme of each of their 300 children.

This would provide the Centre with a steady income,
and ensure continuity of care for the children.

We returned to speak to five of them,
and were pleased to discover increased use of the Centre
and a desire to work more closely together.

Attention now turns to Kachumbala Health Centre 3 Maternity Unit,
built over the last two years by engineers and apprentices
from EFOD South West Wales, our other charity.

Final plumbing, electrics and painting touch up is ongoing,
together with cleaning. The furniture is due for delivery on Monday,
and more needs to be made locally, ready for a formal opening
by the Minister of Health from Kampala on Thursday 2nd November.

Thankfully there's a volunteer from EFOD working here so we have help.

Dan, our son, the Architect for the scheme, and two of his colleagues
from the US head office of his practice will join us,
together with the EFOD SWW management team - still lots to do!

and then, later :

After a busy ten days with Mark & Marian Vaughan,
we returned to Mbale via Kachumbala Maternity Unit
to monitor progress.

Joana Capela, an EFOD volunteer, has been helping to finish off
the painting and order furniture made by local carpenters.
The Centre is looking good.

Furniture from a medical supplier has now been delivered
and awaits assembly, together with some of the wooden furniture
made for us at the hospital in Mbale.

The grounds are being tidied, a disabled ramp cast,
and signs painted, all in readiness for Thursday 2nd November
when the Ugandan Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Aceng comes
to cut the tape and make a marked improvement
on the current maternity provision.

A week ago we went up the mountain above Mbale
to visit the coffee gardens, and see the quite laborious process
to bring us top grade Zukuka Bora coffee.

Ripe coffee cherries, picked at dawn,
need to be processed that same day.

Dave's team buy from peasant farmers with coffee gardens at lunchtime.

They then remove the flesh in a pulping machine - now diesel powered -
before soaking in large baths for 36 hours to clean the kernel.

The kernels are then dried for 15 to 20 days in drying racks
in temporary drying sheds built this year.

Once dry there's a hulling process to remove the shell.

This finally yields two coffee beans,
before a roasting process to make it fit for us to drink!

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