PIC: Surgeons operating on a patient. (Credit: Agnes Kyotalengerire)
HEALTH CAMP | AGAGO
She is attaching her three- month old baby to breastfeed when I walk into the surgical ward.
Robinnah Angom, a resident of Abai sub-county in Aleptong district, cannot conceal the excitement about the quick recovery of her daughter, Pamella Adong.
“She can now breastfeed properly without the milk spilling through her nose. Before the operation, I would have to hold her in an upright; sitting position during and after breastfeeding to prevent the milk from flowing out through the hole she had at the upper part of her mouth (cleft palate),” Angom, 30, says.
A cleft palate is a congenital defect where a baby is born with an opening in the roof of the mouth.
“I was cleaning her mouth one morning when I saw a big hole at the top of her mouth. Immediately, I consulted the doctors in Lira referral hospital, who assured me that it can be corrected through surgery. Fortunately, it did not take long before I heard radio announcements about this plastic surgical camp,” she narrates.
PIC: Angom with her baby above. Below, doctors operating on the child
Angom’s baby is one among the 35 people who got free plastic surgery during the five-day plastic surgical camp at St. Ambrosoli Memorial hospital in Kalongo, Agago district.
The health camp started on Monday last week and closed on Friday. It was conducted by a team of surgeons, medical doctors, theatre assistants and nurses at St. Ambrosoli Memorial hospital Kalongo in Agago district with assistance from Dr. Edris Kalanzi, a specialist plastic surgeon from Mulago and John Bosco Okuda, senior anaesthetic officer from Lira regional referral hospital.
According to Kalanzi, they treated more than 30 people with deformities such as the cleft lip and palate, post burn deformities of hand and legs, keloids, nose deep lip deformities, dermoid cysts (born with cysts), skin cancers, extra digits( extra fingers) and chronic leg ulcers.
He said all the surgeries were successful and patients are recovering well.
PIC: A surgeon examines a burn victim above. Below, after the operation
Dr. Carmen Orlotti, a senior surgeon at the hospital, said the surgical camp was organised by ministry of health in partnership with Amref Health Africa in Uganda, through the medical services outreach programme (MSOP).
MSOP works with five hospitals in northern Uganda to take specialised medical services to remote and hard-to-each communities.
The hospitals include Kitgum, Nebbi, Anaka, St. Ambrosoli Memorial Kalongo and Adjumani hospital.
Three-year-old Kenneth Oweka, whose palm was reconstructed after sustaining deformity due to a fire burn, is showing signs of recovery.
PIC: A child with a keloid is examined before the operation
Oweka’s father, John Bosco Opio, a resident of Orwa village in Lapono Omok parish, said his son got burnt at the age of seven months, but he did not have money to pay for his plastic surgery.
“I am happy Oweka’s hand has been repaired and hope he will be able to write properly when he starts school,” he said.
On Wednesday morning, the plastic surgery specialists conducted a training workshop for medical doctors, theatre nurses and intern doctors in handling complex conditions.
PIC: The specialists conducting a training workshop for medical doctors