Arlington Heights deacon returns from medical mission to Uganda

 
 
Posted7/11/2018 3:02 PM
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  • Deacon Don Grossnickle gives an ultrasound machine to a nurse at a clinic in Nakifuma, Uganda. Grossnickle is back from an eight-day medical mission to the African nation, where he saw signs of improvement, but also much work left to be done.

    Deacon Don Grossnickle gives an ultrasound machine to a nurse at a clinic in Nakifuma, Uganda. Grossnickle is back from an eight-day medical mission to the African nation, where he saw signs of improvement, but also much work left to be done. Courtesy of Don Grossnickle

  • Deacon Don Grossnickle visited with a Ugandan family who received a donated cow to pay for malaria medicine.

    Deacon Don Grossnickle visited with a Ugandan family who received a donated cow to pay for malaria medicine. Courtesy of Don Grossnickle

Deacon Don Grossnickle of Arlington Heights calls his recent eight-day medical mission trip to Africa a success, but says there's more work to do to help combat malaria there.

Grossnickle, of Our Lady of the Wayside Parish, visited a number of villages in Uganda in April to support his Cows Against Malaria Project. The effort works with a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization to loan pregnant dairy cows to poor residents of rural villages. Milk is then sold to help purchase malaria medicine.

Among the highlights of the trip, Grossnickle brought a donated ultrasound machine to a small village clinic as a way to prevent birth complications. He also visited several of the 18 farms where cows have been donated since 2016.

And he met with local leaders in five more regions of Uganda to step up efforts against malaria through the cow project.

"The trip reinforced that the people can really benefit from assistance empowering them to be in a better position to lift themselves above a situation from which they cannot themselves alone find a way to conquer," Grossnickle wrote in a description of his trip.

But, he added, "More help is much needed."

Now that he's returned to the suburbs, Grossnickle is turning to local organizations to help assist with fundraising. The goal is to raise $5,000 to start a "piggery" at a clinic in Nakifuma that treats patients with malaria.

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