The hospital of Lwala was founded roughly 80 years ago. Back then it was all about reducing the high rates of maternal mortality in Uganda. Today, malaria is the main cause of death in this region – a disease that can be cured with medications in most cases. However, patients so far searched for help in this hospital for vain because it was lacking qualified personnel as well as pharmaceuticals and technical equipment. Cap Anamur has started with the renovation of 100 beds of the large facility that is in some cases heavily decrepit at the beginning of this year. We acquired the required medical equipment and filled the pharmacy’s stock.
Simultaneously, our physicians started to train local colleagues: Doctors of various disciplines will come to Lwala to pass on their knowledge over the next few years. “It is impressive that the Ugandan employees have not lost their motivation and provided care to their patients as effectively as possible – although even basic medical equipment such as thermometers was missing and their wages could not be paid for several months”, reports our doctor Katrin Haas. Success of the training in everyday hospital life started to show within a few weeks.
For example, a consultation-hour on the objective of diabetes takes place twice a week: A disease that has been diagnosed properly before but not treated adequately. Both doctors and patients lacked knowledge about diabetes. Multiple comatose patients were admitted to the hospital, quickly stabilized with insulin and then released without a sufficient amount of insulin. Patrick, for instance, was admitted to the hospital for three times. The 28-year-old patient suffered greatly from the disease, felt stigmatized and was socially excluded. He was very concerned to infect his girlfriend and his family for many years.
Today, diabetes patients remain in the hospital for several days in order to determine the required amount of insulin and create a sugar profile. Postings in the hospital inform about the open consultation-hour, in which patients and their relatives can learn all about injections, diet and exercising. Moreover, this is where the dose of insulin is adjusted, once again. “Patrick visits the consultation-hour once a month and picks up his new insulin dose. He is a light-hearted man since he knows that he cannot infect his family”, says Cap-Anamur-doctor Dennis Gutman. “The same is true for most patients.”
Our greatest task over the next years is to lead the hospital into financial independence. The path to acquire this has already been paved: Smaller as well as greater progress has already positively affected the work of the hospital teams and the patients’ confidence, so that the number of patients steadily increases. However, the path to comprehensive medical care will still take a lot of time. But the hospital in Lwala will again be able to stand on its own feet financially over the long term.