Posted by Esther Mwambu on Dec 06, 2018
Disease results in misery, pain, and poverty for millions of people worldwide. That’s why treating and preventing disease is so important to Rotary International. The Rotary club of Kampala South has held periodic Rotary Family Health Days (RFHD) in various communities in a bid to provide health services in underserved communities. Our Kikandwa village project has provided infrastructure and medical access to the community through these health camps.  
 
Life Saving Surgery!
 
The commissioning of the Maternity Ward at Kikandwa Health Centre on 9th June 2018 coincided with the Rotary Club of Kampala South Rotary Family Health Day Camp. It was on that day that an 11-year-old boy was brought to Kikandwa Health Centre II for medical help by his sister. He was obviously sick, wasted and his overly distended abdomen stood out. He was dressed in a dirty ‘kanzu’ (tunic) that had since become his signature attire and it easily revealed his grossly swollen abdomen. He became the center of attention as everyone kept staring at him until one of the clinicians ushered him into the outpatient emergency room.
 
Mohammed Musisi, as we later learnt was his name, lived about 7.5 km away from Kikandwa with his father, who was reportedly unable to support him to receive definitive medical assistance for his problem. He had complaints of discomfort, constipation and spent most of his time lying on his chest for relief especially when he passed flatus, and had suffered this condition for the past 10 years! His family used to perform routine ‘soap enemas’, as taught in earlier hospital visits (before he turned 5 years) to relieve his on and off constipation and chronic intestinal obstruction.
 
The medical team initially thought he had either kidney, liver or even heart complications because their first impression was that he was having ascites (fluid in the abdomen)! On examination of the abdomen, it was evident Musisi had huge amounts of air (gas) in the abdomen further confirming the intestinal obstruction! They could not, therefore, perform a peritoneal tap (injection into the abdomen to get rid of fluid and reduce the discomfort), as earlier anticipated, as it was now clear there was no fluid in the abdomen like they had thought!
 
A decision was made to seek further medical help from a nearby health facility, Naggalama Hospital. Luckily, his sister stayed a few meters from the hospital and this was a great opportunity to have him easily treated and followed up!
 
An abdominal fluoroscopy was consequently performed, at the hospital, which revealed massively dilated or enlarged bowel loops of the large intestine, and he was diagnosed with Hirchsprungs disease! A disease that is usually diagnosed and fully managed or corrected by age of 2 years! Musisi was booked for
an exploratory laparotomy operation that lasted 4 hours and was finally relieved of his chronic intestinal obstruction. He continued to improve and was responding well to medication and in his new state of a much-reduced abdomen.
 
Members of the Rotary Club of Kampala South have continued to meet the costs of Musisi’s medical and feeding expenses totaling up to UGX 3.1 million till The hospital has been equally very supportive in reducing costs of surgery to only UGX 320,000, and the total medical bill to only UGX 1.3 million. Additional contributions from club members cater for colostomy bags (5 re-usable bags per week, at UGX 7,000), feeding and upkeep at UGX 50,000 per week. Special thanks to our Service Projects Director Rtn Rita Tinka and Rtn Dr. Kalungi who periodically check on Musisi’s progress.
 
By Rtn Esther Mwambu
Past President Rotary Club of Kampala South, Uganda.