Health & Living
American doctors save lives in Nebbi
Posted Thursday, February 14 2013 at 00:00
People in Nebbi district have difficulties with transport, communication and a shortage of doctors and other health professionals. Many rural people are caught up in the web of poverty, ill health and low productivity which causes downward spiral of perfomance particularly in the district.
A group of six American doctors are treating patients who had been financially constrained to access quality treatment in government health facilities.
At Showers Health Centre, several mothers carrying their babies, old men and women supported by walking sticks arrive looking pale from as far as DR Congo.
They come with different ailments but are not able to access health services from the respective health centres. Silvano Odaga, from DR Congo, 67, says he trekked over 50kms to get treated. He says the absence of doctors and nurses in DR Congo centers makes it difficult to get treatment.
“I heard a radio announcement so I had to make sure that I travel to get treated. Good enough, the doctors have given me hope of staying alive for more years with my low blood pressure treatment,” he said.
He further narrates that he had to sell of his two goats in order to get money to help him in feeding and buying the drugs, which were given at cheaper fee. Odaga is not alone. Josephine Acen, says her child had sinusitis and did not know how to seek treatment. “My child was unable to speak well, but at least after getting the drugs, you can hear some words coming out,” she explains. Dr Robert Kim, from Oregon, USA says they hope to offer services to about 1,000 patients for two weeks.
“It is true some patients do not receive the medical care because of poverty. But we hope there will be improvement in accessing health services in rural communities too,” he said. Kim said they had so far examined about 600 patients, but the cases which require intensive care and surgery are referred to either Arua Referral Hospital, Lacor or Mulago.
The proprietor, Fr.Godfrey Ocun, said the facility provides care for the community who formerly had to go to crowded government health facilities.
“We and the Showers family, are working so that we can bring quality and compassionate care to the people of Nebbi,” Ocun said.
The centre now has ultrasound and x-ray machines while a maternity wing will be constructed later this year.