KAMPALA: Organisers of medical camps offering among others surgical and dental services shall have to plan for management of early and late complications including a plan for patients’ referral where necessary in case of any incident, effective this month.
A medical camp is a temporarily organized activity within a specified locality for purposes of providing free, subsidized or sponsored medical, surgical or dental diagnosis and/or treatment
The Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC) introduced the new guideline among others as a pre-requisite, following complaints from previous camps where several preventable deaths were registered due to the unqualified medical practitioners used.
“There should be a plan that if there are any issues, there should be an early plan for referral for post-camp follow up of patients especially those who will have undergone surgical operations and those put on medication,” Dr Katumbe Ssentongo, the UMDPC registrar said.
Dr Katumba was speaking to this reporter on the side-lines of the Islamic Medical Association of Uganda (IMAU) Continuous Professional Development seminar in Kampala, under the theme: “Faith based approach to continuous quality improvement in patient care:
At the end of last year, there were several reports that at least 13 of 28 patients including former Kyadondo South MP Issa Kikungwe, lost their lives under unclear circumstances during a one-week October neurosurgical camp that was organized by Church of Uganda owned Mengo Hospital.
However, Dr Katumba said the plan to regulate the camps and streamline their operations has been on since 2016 so as to put great attention on vetting the applications to ensure that the camps will be beneficial, effective and safe.
Unlike in the past where individual medical doctors would register with the council, the new guidelines now require the health camp host unit to obtain authorization from the UMDPC and other statutory bodies three months in advance.
“…ensure that all health care professionals who will participate in the camp are duly registered and licensed to practice in this country by the relevant regulatory authorities. Students can only conduct a camp under the supervision of a qualified and registered medical/dental practitioner,” the guidelines read in part.
Applicants shall also declare the purpose of the camp whether there is a research component to the camp and if so, the necessary ethical approvals provided by Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST) guidelines must be sought prior to starting the camp.
Additionally, a detailed report of the camp must be submitted to the UMDPC within two weeks of completion of the camp detailing the achievements of the camp, number of persons served, any challenges encountered and a follow-up plan.
Also, there must be evidence for skills transfer to local staff working with the team and aggrieved parties can channel their grievances to the Appeals’ Committee, the guidelines state further
Meanwhile, the IMAU seminar saw five distinguished Muslim Health professionals awarded to the prestigious Meritorious Service Awards for the excellent services given to IMAU and the Community in Uganda while in positions of leadership in the health sector.
These include; the Dr Yusuf Walakira, Mr Yasiin Mukiibi, Hajjat Safina Kisu Musene (PhD), Ms Aligawesa Agiri Lubega and Dr Balyejjusa Sadiq.
Professor Magid Kagimu the IMAU president said: “we encourage all our members to strive to be the best and we set up this ceremony to award the best so they become the best role models for others to emulate in terms of serving the community.”