9 October 2016
A Blog Post by Dr. Edward Foote
Today the pharmacy team visited the All Saints Cathedral in Kampala to conduct a blood pressure screening clinic. The screening was facilitated by our good friend Lydia. All Saints Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of the Diocese of Kampala who is also the Archbishop of the Province of the Church of Uganda. There are three major religious groups in Uganda: indigenous religions, Islam, and Christianity. However, about four-fifths of the population is Christian, primarily divided between Roman Catholics and Protestants (mostly Anglicans). All Saints Cathedral is part of the Christian Church of Uganda.
As in the U.S., religious services are as diverse as the people in the Nation. Sunday services at All Saints Cathedral were very crowded and quite long. There were two HUGE tents on the ground and overflow from the main church would sit there and watch the service on large TV screens. Services this morning were at 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 AM. Services were nearly two hours long so at the time end of one service, another one was just starting so there was lots of coming and going among the faithful and lots of car “jams”. In fact, there was a lot of comings throughout the service and the grounds were always quite active. We feel very safe in Uganda. However, life here is different. For instance, there is a full metal detector that the faithful need to walk through before entering the church area. Bags are checked and sometimes individuals are frisked. This in contrast to the really warm and loving environment of the Cathedral.
The blood pressure screening went well. We screened almost 50 individuals after the services. Luckily there were no series blood pressure problems but we did identify five patients who were above the recommend BP level. Like in the U.S., patients here struggle with diet, salt intake and exercise. The parishioners of the Cathedral are relatively affluent compared to other parts of the city (and certainly the country) so cost of medicines and access to care is less of an issue.
We enjoyed this screening event and had an opportunity to meet and talk with many of the parishioners. It is raining season in Uganda so a few rains storms put a bit of a crimp on our clinic. After the clinic we took a late lunch and then headed back to the House for a nap. In the evening we played some cards in the garden. Another great day in Africa!