The following morning, I traveled back to Lawra, this time in the company of Honorable Abu Samson, Lawra’s District Chief Executive (head of local government). I first met Abu when two friends and I dragged a few suitcases of medical supplies from our guesthouse, down a dirt road, and to the Lawra District Hospital in 2007.
Since that time, Abu has moved from his role as Hospital Administrator to District Chief Executive, and is now planning his candidacy for the 2012 Parliament elections. As MedPLUS Connect grows, it is been a huge asset to have Abu’s continued support, advice, and growing expertise on rural health and development.
In addition to our primary focus on sending medical supplies and equipment, MedPLUS is always looking to partner with other organizations to improve healthcare delivery. Currently, we are being considered for a grant to fund the construction of a nutrition rehabilitation center in Lawra and will get a final decision in a few weeks. The center will provide in-patient feeding and treatment to malnourished children as well as nutrition counseling and educational services to mothers.
This project has been under discussion with the Lawra community for the past several years, and it feels great to be making some real headway in getting started. With the contractor who does the majority of construction for local development initiatives, Abu and I traveled to nearby sites to check out the local construction styles/structures. I am awaiting an updated estimate and floor plan and have my fingers crossed that funding comes through!!
After finishing up “business” for the day, we headed back to “Water Village”—a local bar consisting of plastic tables and chairs scattered under the shade of trees—before catching a ride with some of Abu’s friends back to Wa.