For the last four months, one-year-old Francis Kiggundu has been in the Intensive Care Unit at Case Medical Centre on Buganda Road in Kampala, fighting for his life.
During that period, the cost of treatment rose to Shs180 million and is still increasing yet his parents from Masaka District are unable to meet his medical bills.
The hospital management yesterday said they had already spent more than Shs50m on the child while his father, Mr Geoffrey Kibombo, has to clear the rest.
It costs Shs1.5 million to keep Kiggundu on life support a day. He can’t breathe without a ventilator.
“When you factor in the accommodation, specialised care, feeding, oxygen, therapy and other patient needs, it gets to about Shs1.5m per day,” Dr Edward Khandazhapov, his doctor, says.
The child’s current state is delicate. He has weak lungs and is plugged onto life support.
All Kiggundu can do is move his head as the rest of his body is paralysed. He struggles to breath and occasionally winces in pain. Kiggundu also feeds through the tube that is hooked into his nose.
This week, the health facility appealed to the public for support to help meet Kiggundu’s bills and sustenance.
“We appeal to the public to contribute whatever little they can to save the life of Francis. So far some individuals have already contributed,” Mr William Bobil, the hospital spokesperson, says.
Some parents have thronged the hospital to make their contribution. “I saw the boy’s story on television the other day and I was touched. So when I got to office and realised my colleagues were collecting contributions, I was pleased to make mine,” Mr Richard Mugalula from Uganda Revenue Authority said.
how to help
Case Hospital says they are receiving help from the public directly.
Further treatment. The hospital management believes Kiggundu’s situation can be saved if he underwent further expert medical attention abroad. The hospital could not estimate how much it will cost to treat him from abroad. “We have collaborations with hospitals in India, UK and South Africa. However, we cannot contact them without having the finances to start off the treatment immediately,” Mr William Bobil, the hospital spokesperson, says.