November 25, 2015
Last week I had the pleasure of spending the day with The Luke Commission, a mobile Hospital serving the rural communities of Swaziland. It’s not unusual for 800 patients to be treated at a single outreach. This does not count reading glasses being given or new shoes being fitted on a couple thousand school children, all free of charge.
Arriving at a school with 3-4 trucks and two bus loads of TLC staff, in under 1.5 hours the school yard and class rooms are transformed into consultation, testing, triage, counselling and operating areas. The precision and efficiency of how this is actioned has to be seen to be believed.
These mobile hospital sites are set up in outermost parts of this small country, whose population is fighting for its very existence. HIV/AIDS has taken the lives of countless Swazis and left one-fifth of the children as orphans. Delaying orphanhood. That has become one of the main aims of The Luke Commission. Below is a small breakdown of the work carried out on site. Patients are tested, counselled and ushered into treatment for HIV/AIDS. Those suspected of having TB are x-rayed and started on medications. Circumcisions are performed in an on-site operating room. The Luke Commission circumcises more men and boys in one day than all the rest of Swaziland combined. Studies show the HIV transmission rate is cut by 60% in circumcised males.
Registered nurses travel back to the rural communities twice to check newly-circumcised men and boys to make sure they are healing properly, to answer questions and to counsel about sexual practices. School children are treated for skin and intestinal problems, as well as given Scripture booklets. The young people are fitted with new shoes.
People with disabilities are analysed by TLC medical personnel and given bush wheelchairs, made by Personal Energy Transportation ministry, or traditional wheelchairs from Free Wheelchair Mission. The PET carts are assembled by TLC staff on-site to fit the persons receiving them. Follow-up treatment for the patients with advanced AIDS and various cancers is offered. Those with poor eyesight receive reading glasses and, if necessary, scheduled for free cataract surgery.Packets of medications for common diseases and illnesses are distributed by the hundreds of thousands, each prescribed by a doctor with instructions on usage in SiSwati.
Please visit www.lukecommission.org to see the amazing impact this organisation is having on communities all over Swaziland.