Kiwanyi village, found in Nawandala sub-county, Iganga district, is where a transformative event happened. It was a workshop that aimed at training health workers on how to manage hernia cases
From July 31 to August 11, 2023, the Busoga Health Forum Center of Excellence, known as the Hope and Healing Center (HHC), joined hands with the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSESCA), and Operation Hernia UK to conduct this workshop.
This endeavor was a response to a staggering surgical need in Uganda, as revealed by a 2016 Nationwide Household Survey, which identified millions of individuals in dire need of surgical attention. Among them, 1,380,000 people urgently required surgical treatment, while 2,300,000 needed surgical consultations. The prevalence of hernia cases, particularly in Eastern Uganda, served as a call to action for HHC.
HHC, under the support of Something Deeper Ministries (SDM) whose vision is to empower the younger generation to wholeness with skills to transform their community in a way that honors God, has long been at the forefront of healthcare and education improvement in Busoga and beyond. Their latest initiative aimed to provide safe hernia surgery and equip the next generation of surgeons, including residents and medical officers, with the knowledge and skills needed to perform these life-changing procedures within their communities.
The dedicated HHC team went above and beyond, tirelessly mobilizing patients afflicted by hernias, especially those who couldn’t afford surgery. Their commitment ensured that those in dire need could finally access the medical care they deserved.
During the workshop medical professionals from far and wide converged at the Hope and Healing Center in Kiwanyi village. Seasoned surgeons generously shared their wisdom, molding the future healers of tomorrow.
Emerging from the operating theater, patients once burdened by pain and uncertainty found themselves infused with newfound hope. Their stories echoed with the transformative impact of this initiative, as they praised the accessibility and quality of care they had received at the Hope and Healing Center.
Humphrey Kiingi, Director at SDM, highlighted the significance of this endeavor: “The prevalence of hernias in the Busoga region is significant, to the extent that one type is even termed ‘Busoga Hernia’ in medical terms. This camp at HHC not only impacts Busoga but also draws patients from Nakaseke, Luwero, and as far as Kumi and Kapichora District in the east. It’s significant because these surgeries are often prohibitively expensive elsewhere, but here, we provide them for free.”
This initiative went beyond mere medical procedures; it was about fostering community ownership and igniting a brighter future. The collaboration between the Busoga Health Forum and HHC was a beacon of hope that extended far beyond the confines of the operating room.
Dr. Isaac Mubezi, Surgeon and CEO of HHC, emphasized the importance of early intervention, saying, “Patients should seek medical consultation early if they notice abnormal swelling. Hernias are surgically treated, and early intervention is crucial to prevent complications.”
Kalulu Julius, a beneficiary, joyfully expressed his gratitude, saying, “I have received a free Hernia Operation today, and I thank the health workers at Hope and Healing Center for the love and care they have shown. I can now walk without pain.”
This initiative embodied the power of compassion, expertise, and a collective commitment to transforming lives. Hope and Healing Center, alongside its dedicated partners, sowed the seeds of change, creating a brighter and healthier future for all.
The Busoga Health Forum, on a mission to rally Busoga professionals to use evidence to engage community, government and partner action for better health of children, youth, women and men in Busoga, is grateful to support and bring together such Centers of Excellence dedicated to improving the lives of the people in the region.
As we reflect on these moments, it’s clear that genuine change happens when communities unite. The Hernia Training Workshop was about bringing together hope, offering free surgeries to 127 patients, and creating a better tomorrow.
This article is written by Tatumwa Desmond Benjamin