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Rotarians arrive in Uganda to help Kellermanns

Don Fultz
Special to The Union

Getting medical supplies to Uganda can be challenging.

This is the lesson being learned by our Nevada County team of Rotarians that are now in Uganda to help Dr. Kellerman and his wife, Carol, who are on a mission to help the Batwa Pygmies.

The 20- foot -ong shipping container left Nevada City on  May 5, arrived in Africa in 30 days, only to be  swallowed in Red Tape.

Governor Mutebile is a powerful advocate for the project. His position is the same as our chairman of the Federal Reserve and his signature is on all the Ugandan money. We gave up seeing the container on our trip when we learned of his heart attack, which was front page news in Uganda. 

 He met us at his home, where he was under constant observation by a team of doctors. He signed off on our shipment and urged Ugandan authorities to move the container to clinic while our group is still here.

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 The fact that he  took this extraordinary step is because of the deep respect all government officials have for the work being performed by Dr. Kellermann.

 I would remind Nevada County residents that the Kellerman Foundation will be holding a dinner for Dr. Kellermann and Carol at the Miner’s Foundry on September 17.

 Full information is on the Kellermann Foundation web site or by contacting Foundation President Dick Panzica of Penn Valley.

 

” Back to Uganda”

More than 50 leading Ugandan government officials and Rotarians greeted the arrival of Jerry Hall, vice president of Rotary International and other members of the local Humanitarian team that left for Uganda last week.

The twelve-member team then traveled to the Bwindi Health Center, which was founded by Dr. Scott Kellermann of Nevada City. They are assisting in several medical, dental and construction projects at the clinic, building on the work done by two Rotary teams last year.

At the reception at the ambassador’s home, Browning praised the work of Dr. Kellermann and Carol in reaching the Pygmies of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as well as the surrounding tribes.

“My wife, Susan, and I  recently visited the clinic and saw first hand how Dr. Kellermann has changed the lives of the people in Southwest Uganda.” Browning said. ” It makes me proud to be an  American  to see the results of the efforts by Rotary volunteers and others in saving lives here in Uganda.”

“As recent residents  of Nevada County, it also makes me proud to see how much support Dr. Kellermann’s clinic has in our community.” he  concluded.

Kellermann credited the local support with saving several lives each month.

 “Thanks to Rotary we have the only x-ray machine serving a population of nearly 200,000, ” he said. “This helps us in the early diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, one of the leading causes of death in Uganda. A solar powered refrigerator stores blood for transfusions.  He estimates that these saved a child’s life almost every other day.”

” I credit the grants provided by The Rotary Foundation  and the five Rotary Clubs of Western Nevada County with success of the clinic,” Kellermann said.  

             

Hall said that The Rotary Foundation grants $350,000,000 each year for International Projects such as the clinic. “It is the goal of Rotary’s members to help bring peace and understanding between nations as a result of these activities.”

Hall noted that  Rotary’s “Polio Plus” programs has almost freed the world of the polio virus.  Our remaining goal is to help eliminate hunger and sickness from the planet as well as helping build peace. Each year  Rotary funds  grants to 70 graduate level students as “Peace Scholars” to special programs at eight leading university around the world.

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Don Fultz is a member and past president of the Nevada City Rotary Club.


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