More than 130 hernia patients received free surgery at Gombe Hospital in Butambala District during a one-week medical camp that ended on Monday.
“Hernias are becoming an ignored public health problem and the patients report to hospital late after failing to get cured by local medicine,” said Dr Ssekitooleko Badru, a medical doctor at Gombe Hospital.
He was speaking at the medical camp organised by Hebib Medical School of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) with support from Doctors Worldwide, a Turkey-based non government organisation, and Gombe Hospital.
Dr Ssekitooleko revealed that hernia is becoming an ignored health problem in the country. He said the hospital receives two to four hernia patients daily but normally intervenes on emergency cases which are life-threatening, for example, those that are strangulated and those likely to result in an obstruction.
In a press briefing at the weekend, Dr Muhammad Mpezamihingo, the vice rector in charge of academic affairs at IUIU, said the free surgical camp, has helped people with complicated cases of hernia to be operated on and also build capacity for Gombe Hospital in terms of equipment and skills.
“In February this year, we organised the first medical camp with our friends from Turkey and managed to carry out 126 surgeries,” said Dr Mpezamihingo.
“The reason they are coming back is because they were overwhelmed last time and Gombe Hospital made a special request. They have also given free medical equipment and medicines,” Dr Mpezamihingo added.
He added that Doctors Worldwide are to offer training to medical workers and also rehabilitate the theatre at the hospital.
Prof Alimoglu Orhan, who is leading the team from Turkey, said: “We have conducted surgeries on abnormal hernias including indirect huge inguinal scrotal hernia, umbilical hernia, hydrocel, epigastric hernia and undescended testis.”
Prof Orhan, a professor of general surgery, described hernia as the protrusion of an organ through the walls of the abdominal cavity that normally contains it. It normally occurs on weakened abdominal walls.
Prof Orhan added that they have invested more than $70,000 (about Shs209 million) in the medical camp with support from the Turkish government to conduct surgeries, provide equipment and medication to patients at Gombe Hospital.