Posted by Heather Dyer on Sep 19, 2013

Rock County Rotary Clubs Support Ugandans with Medical Services and "Miracle Food"

Occasionally we all complain about the state of health care in our country. Whether it’s “long waits in the emergency rooms”, “too few staff members to respond quickly” or simply “not enough hospital choices”, Americans are quick to voice their opinions. Contrast our medical options with those of the citizens of Jinja, Uganda, Africa, where 400,000 people are served by the Mother Kevin Hospital. This 200 bed facility is home to 50 leprosy patients and 150 of the area’s sickest residents, many of them children.

Between August 1st – 20th, 38 Rock County residents including two surgeons, one radiologist, one radiology technician, one anesthesiologist, one nurse anesthetist, two medical students, several nurses and scores of regular people, just wanting to help traveled to this poor African country to offer the residents some hope. During their time in the field, with the help of 3 local doctors, they performed 82 surgeries in 3 ½ days. These procedures included everything from hernia repairs, to skin grafts, to amputations.

According to Rotarian, Laurie McCutchan, Executive Director of the Hope Institute of Uganda, she heard no complaining about the quality of the hospital food. In fact, most of the patients’ food, if they got any, was prepared by relatives in an open-air room over fires. Unfortunately, none of the patients received food with sufficient amounts of protein and other essential nutrients needed for a fast recovery. In Uganda, it’s just not available to most of the population.

This problem is slowly starting to change thanks to 7,128 highly nutritious Kids Against Hunger – Rock County Rotary, Inc. meals that were shipped along with a container of badly needed medical supplies for the struggling hospital and its staff. With these meals, first prepared in small batches by the Rock County volunteers, the sick children are now starting to regain both physical and mental strength. Mothers who weeks before felt only dread are now slowly beginning to experience hope. The food is being treated more like medicine than simply something to fill an empty stomach!

When asked by Sister Sarah, the head of the hospital nursing staff, if more of the “miracle food" could be sent, Laurie McCutchan, cautiously said “yes”. How much food obviously depends on the generosity of her Rock County and Rotary friends.

Kids Against Hunger –Rock County Rotary, Inc. is a cooperative effort of the Beloit, Edgerton, Janesville Morning and Janesville Noon Rotary Clubs. With a separate board of directors, bank account and 501(c)(3) status, the organization aims to bring people together, educate them about local and international hunger and to then have them actually package nutritious life saving meals for those in need! Thanks to an all volunteer labor force and donated facilities, over 95% of all contributions go directly to pay for food and related transportation costs. For additional information, please contact Rotarian John Wong at or Rotarian David Warren .

For more on Kids Against Hunger, click here to view their newsletter.