Two weeks ago, Grace seemed like any other nine year old girl in northeastern Uganda’s Amuria District. She was attending school and helping her mother around the house. Suddenly she was unable to hold down food. The medicine her mother bought at the local clinic was of no help. Now Grace hasn’t eaten in over two weeks and weighs just 13 kilos (28 pounds). Sores on her lips and mouth make any ingestion of food far too painful to bear. Grace’s mother, Sarah Kembi (27), found out that her daughter was HIV positive only two years ago. Since that time Grace has been taking Septrin, a stabilizer drug that, while not an ARV, still reduces the chances of opportunistic infections. Sarah’s husband, Grace’s father, succumbed to AIDS around the same time Mrs. Kembi figured she had better get her daughter tested. Though Grace was likely healthy enough to forgo ARV[…]Read More
Post Tagged with: "photographer"
Amuria Health Centre has been packed beyond capacity in recent weeks, with more people occupying the floors than hospital beds. As the rains continue to fall, more and more people here contract malaria. During the rainy season, when streams rise and lowland areas become flooded, mosquitoes breed in greater numbers. This health centre’s resources (Amuria has no official hospital) are stretched thin even outside the rainy season. The entire district of over 300,000 shares just one doctor for all its public health centres. He travels around from village to village and is rarely in one place for more than a day. When medicine and supplies are available, the cost is picked up by the government. When they run out, which is all too often, the only option for patients is to pay cash for drips, drugs, and needles from the local pharmacy and bring them to the hospital. “Most of[…]Read More
I’ve made remote Amuria District my base this year. However, I may not be able to go back for some time as all the roadways into the main town have been rendered impassable by floods. A month ago we were wondering if the rain was ever going to start. Now it has come full-force, isolating villages, bringing down huts, and flooding farmers’ fields. For the moment, more work from PSI has kept me in Kampala. Below, a motion picture of the dreary view from my concrete house in Amuria town. Nature is never kind in this part of Uganda. Far from the dependable, fertile, rolling hills and mountains of the west, the eastern land of the Teso tribe almost counts on nature’s capriciousness, alternating between flood and famine. “Every year it changes,” says Samuel Opio, a resident of Kapelebyong, a sub-county of Amuria District. “Some years there’s too much sunshine,[…]Read More
I’m currently photographing on a four country assignment with BRAC, an NGO based out of Bangladesh. While I wish I could go there too, I’ve just finished up a leg in Liberia and am heading to Tanzania tonight. I first became familiar with BRAC after spotting their program signs at almost every junction in Tanzania directing highway travelers to nearby projects. They gained more attention last year after an agricultural grant from the Gates Foundation, another organization for whom I regularly photograph. Above, a mangrove swamp on the Sierra Leone River in Port Loko. BRAC works in the areas of microfinance (small loans to individuals), sustainable agriculture, and community health. They primarily work with women and girls in these areas, as women of all ages are more vulnerable in the developing world, more likely to support their families and, as you can see from a past blog entry, doing most[…]Read More