We have recently returned from Kagando, Uganda, having completed another successful surgical camp. This camp was fraught with uncertainty from the start. There was some violent political unrest in the area not long before we were to go – so there was a period of uncertainty as to whether the camp would go ahead – however after reassurance from the local doctors we decided to go, as patients were already arriving at the hospital for treatment.
Stretched to the Limit
The “mobilisation” had been incredibly effective – nurses visiting mountain villages, radio announcements, church announcements and flyers in public places. We screened 151 patients and of these 123 required (or were suitable for) surgery. This included 52 fistulas, 67 prolapses and 4 minor procedures. The nurses and hospital facilities were stretched to the limit as we filled the fistula ward, the makeshift tent (erected over a concrete slab that will one day become another fixed ward) and the “overflow” paediatric ward with patients on every available bed (in some instances 2 to a bed) and then on mattresses on every spare centimetre of floor space. Morning ward rounds became increasingly long and tedious – as we spent considerable time crawling around the floor to examine patients! By the end of the camp, there were many, many happy faces and many women whose lives have been changed forever.
Someone has to pay…
We spent approximately AUD$43,000 on the surgeries – US$300 per fistula and US$250 per prolapse. This has been possible because of your generosity – mainly with the huge success of our fundraiser event last year. We and the women of the Kasese region of Uganda thank you all for your contribution to our project.
I have included below a photo of women lining up to be screened on the day we arrived in Kagando, and another of a group of women who are dressed up ready to go home – dry for the first time in years after successful surgery to close their Vesico-vaginal fistulas. You can see the absolute delight on their faces!
Kagando Calls Again
We plan to return to Kagando later this year, so will need to once again call on your generosity to fund what promises to be another bumper camp! Our 2017 fund raiser is planned for June 10th.
Thank you for your generosity in helping us to cure these women. If you would like to donate further, please use the EziDebit button below.
Barbara Hall – for the “team” of Hannah Krause, Judith Goh and John Taylor
PS On the plane on the way home we watched a movie “The Queen of Katwe”. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in seeing what life is like in rural Uganda. It is set mostly in Katwe, a town not too far from the Kagando region, and gives a true depiction of the life of the poorest people in Ugandan villages. It is a truly inspiring movie.