Albany Medical College (AMC) has announced that on March 30, 2007, Dr. Paeglow and eight volunteer medical students from AMC will join Dr. Murley from Portland, OR, to journey to Ddegeya Village where they will open the doors to the newly constructed Engeye Health Clinic and volunteer quarters. The Clinic will offer, for the first time, basic essential medical care to residents in Ddegeya and in neighboring villages.
Engeye Health Clinic is run by a small group of highly dedicated individuals, both Americans and Ugandans, working one step at a time, one day at a time, to improve the living conditions and reduce the unnecessary suffering in rural Africa through education and compassionate healthcare. The entire clinic and two volunteer houses were constructed during the summer of 2006 at a cost estimated to be about $50,000. All of the funds came from the volunteer group’s personal monies and whatever donations it could collect.
The Engeye Health Clinic was established by Stephanie Van Dyke, now in her second year at AMC, and John Kalule. In 2000, Stephanie spent time volunteering in Katooke Village in rural Uganda. There, she witnessed the urgent need for the most basic medical care, inspiring her to pursue a career in medicine with the ultimate goal of building and running self-sustaining clinics in Uganda. During her visit, Stephanie met John, a native Ugandan from Ddegya, who helped her adjust to the challenges posed by life in rural Africa (including, but not limited to, sharing her bed with rats and fire ants). The word Engeye means "white monkey" in Ugandan and is John's family clan name.
The cost of the Spring break mission is expected to be around $20,000, much of which will go to buy permanent fixtures. The volunteers will contribute most of the monies required for airfare and food. The volunteer group will also purchase medicine cabinets, examination beds, curtains, office supplies and medical supplies for the new Engeye Health Clinic. The beds and cabinets will be custom made for very little cost in neighboring Masaka Village. Medication and other supplies will be purchased either in Masaka or in Kampala, the capital city.
Until the volunteer group receives non-profit 501c3 status, it is entirely dependent upon donations from individuals who want to make a personal investment in the future of people less fortunate. Once granted non-profit status, the path is cleared for their grant writer to access significant funding to help them achieve their short and long-term goals to alleviate suffering in Uganda.
The Albany Medical College Engeye project volunteers are Stephanie Van Dyke, Misty Richards, Brooke Richards, Evan Rodriquez, Kimberly Robinson, Jacqueline Schwartz, Dr. Paeglow and Ms. McNamara.