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Lango surgical camp: ‘Penny-pinching’ MPs who have yet to donate towards fruitful end

(Last Updated On: 23 September 2023)

Lira I Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero on Sunday, September 10 officially launched the long-awaited Lango Surgical Camp, 2023.

The camp is being conducted by medical professionals under the Association of Surgeons of Uganda (ASOU), a body that brings together over 400 qualified surgeons and those in training to advance surgical healthcare in Uganda.

Over the past 25 years, ASOU has conducted numerous surgical camps to reduce the burden of surgical diseases among the population in selected regions which would otherwise have limited access to surgery consequently changing the lives of the people in the community.

Those operated surgeons say to live a full and productive life and for some have their dignity restored. In 2022, ASOU conducted a surgical camp in Bukedi sub-region, before Covid-19 in the Bunyoro region and Kigezi in 2018.

In September last year, the President of the Association of Surgeons of Uganda (ASOU), Dr. Frank Assimwe accorded Lango sub-region the mantle to host the 2023 surgical camp.

“The mantle was received by Hon. Judith Alyek and Hon. Tonny Ayoo and since then, we have been working together to ensure that this is a successive camp”, said Dr Aceng.

Minister Aceng, also a woman Member of Parliament, Lira City confirmed that a report was presented to them regarding pre-camp visits. This was conducted from the 5th – 9th of June 2023 across the different district health facilities to check on the status of theatres ahead of screening of patients requiring surgical services.

To cement the ongoing exercise, an engagement was held inside Lira City Council Hall, the same month.

According to Minister Aceng, the reports of the pre-camp visits indicated that some surgical theatres did not qualify to host surgical conditions.

Amolatar Health Center IV had challenges on the floor of the theatre, Alebtong Health Center IV had challenges in the theatre roof while Amach Health Center IV in Lira district was literally abandoned and it had broken windows so, they cannot use it,” she added.

Also read: Why Lango was chosen to host week-long surgical camps in September

It’s because of the poor state of such district health facilities that MP (Dr) Aceng challenged the leadership of the respective district local governments to pay more attention to the health facilities to bridge the gap in service delivery, stating that the Ministry of Health allocates resources to each local government for minor repairs so that health services are effectively provided to their people.

The Lira City woman MP also stressed that services under Lango surgical camp are to be provided free of charge, calling upon people needing surgical services to utilize the opportunity that should not be taken for granted.

Making the camp fruitful

However, Dr Aceng has decried a lack of collaboration among some Members of Parliament from Lango sub-region under their umbrella body, Lango Parliamentary Group with a total of 31 members, noting that only 10 MPs mobilised shs20 million out of the expected shs62 million.

“There are some leaders who brag on how their people of Lango but shockingly, they have not even contributed to the smooth running of the surgical camp yet the issue of health is so paramount,” Dr Aceng said at the launch. Her words attracted applause from the gathering.

Lango Parliamentary Group Chairperson also Kole district Member of Parliament  Judith Alyek has now urged all Lango MPs to support the ongoing surgical camp in their respective areas or constituencies.

According to MP Alyek, the total amount needed for the Lango Surgical Camp exercise is shs589 million, adding that it is a big shame that only ten MPs out of the 31 Members of Parliament have contributed to this good cause.

Also read: Who is who as Jinja city, district is already the political hotspots ahead of 2026

“We initially contributed shs10 million for the pre-camp assessment, and as of now, only ten Lango MPs have managed to contribute shs20 million out of the expected shs62 million,” she added.

Meanwhile, the surgical services are being conducted from Lira Regional Referral Hospital, at least 6 hospitals and 10 Health Centre IVs including; Amai Community Hospital in Amolatar District, Dokolo Health Centre IV in Dokolo District, Orum Health Centre IV in Otuke District, Ogur Health Centre IV in Lira District, and Aboke Health Centre IV in Kole District.

Patients ready to be treated. Photo by ASOU.

Others are Anyeke Health Centre IV in Oyam District, Aduku Health Centre IV in Kwania District, Apac General Hospital in Apac District, Lira Regional Referral Hospital in Lira City and Lira University Teaching Hospital-Lira City.

The Lango surgical camp which will run from September 11th – 16th, 2023 throughout the entire sub-region is in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Lango Parliamentary Group, National Medical Stores, UMEME, National Drug Authority, World Health Organization and Uganda Revenue Authority.

MPs who have contributed generously towards a fruitful end as of Monday night are Moses Ogwal Goli, Achon Bua, Dr Samuel Opio Acuti; Dr Eunice Apio Otuko, Judith Alyek, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Abeja Susan, Santa Alum Ogwang; Agnes Atim Apea and Betty Engola.

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