Doctors under the Association of the Laparoscopic
Surgeons of Uganda-ALSU, want government to purchase laparoscopy equipment for
all regional referral hospitals in the country, as a means of reducing risks
involved in handling abdominal area surgical procedures.
Laparoscopic surgery is a surgical technique in which narrow tubes are inserted into the abdomen through small incisions where surgeons apply long
and narrow instruments to cut and sew tissue without making cuts through the abdomen.
Speaking at the commissioning of a laparoscopy theatre at the Jinja city’s based Kyabirwa surgical center on Friday, the ALSU president,
Spire Kiggundu says that laparoscopic surgeries are majorly available in
privately owned health facilities, which limits such procedures to the rich,
yet if installed in public health facilities, they would universally be available for
Kiggundu stresses that laparoscopic procedures offer
patients decency, low loss of blood and less pain, which enables them to
regain their routine life prospects shortly after surgery.
Kiggundu argues that, highly impoverished communities are
the largest contributors to ailments like hernia, appendicitis and other
abdominal related disorders and when laparoscopic procedures were spread out in
the different parts of the country, they would receive treatment on time and
decongest the hospitals.
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Kiggundu adds that laparoscopic theatres are costly in
terms of maintenance, but if government invests in capacity building of already
existing laparoscopy surgeons and purchases standard equipment with timely
access to electric power supply and internet, such procedures will be easily
spread out to all parts of the country.
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Joel Okullo, the chairman of Uganda Medical and dental
practitioners’ council says that, patients overstay in health facilities which
exposes them to new infections and in turn thus retard their recovery progress after
surgery. However with laparascopic surgery, most patients are discharged within one day after after operation, which eases fatigue that afflicts health workers in the
Kyabirwa’s director, Michael Marin says that their facility
has handled 1,500 cases of hernia and appendicitis related surgical procedures, coming in from the rural communities in the past two years but, several other
cases are not yet attended too due to time constraints.
Marin however, argues that, with the newly installed
equipment, laparoscopic procedures will be offered at a free cost, which shall
increase patients’ access to surgical services.