A letter from a doctor in Uganda

Read the letter below from Dr. Ssenoga Dickson, whose working in rural Uganda to provide support and health services to people living with HIV/AIDS. This year, we at WaterStep are working with Dr. Ssenoga to bring safe water to the one of the communities where he works, called Kaabowa Village, and we’re asking you to be a part.
Where I live, people die from diseases because they don’t believe there is treatment.
Growing up in rural Uganda, I saw the toll of disease on people’s lives. Many children had parents that died from AIDS, leaving them alone to support themselves. The pain that I felt for these kids and a passion to help them took root in my heart.
So my cousin Willy and I started treating patients, not only AIDS patients, but people with malaria, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. Even though we were treating these diseases, people were still getting sick because they were ignorant about proper health practices – people were still drinking contaminated water.
Like many of the communities where I work, life in the community of Kaabowa Village is characterized by poverty. People have to travel long distances to look for safe water, others get water from open ponds shared with animals – this has resulted in cholera outbreaks and other waterborne illness. Children can’t go to school because they’re collecting water, adults don’t have the energy to work because they’re sick.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. While the problem in Kaabowa Village is big, the solutions are simple. We have plans to bring safe water to Kaabowa Village. When safe water is available year round, students will be able to go to school because they have better health. People will spend less time being sick, and more time tending to their crops. Health will improve, and the economic status of the community will rise.
But Willy and I can’t do it by ourselves.
Alongside WaterStep, we’re asking you to be a part of helping Kaabowa Village. We have plans to dig two wells, install two mini-water treatment plants, and provide health education. You can help by donating money and spreading the word.
Together, we can help Kaabowa Village get the safe water it needs. Thank you.
Dr. Ssenoga

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