Last Updated on: 12th September 2023, 02:17 pm
Kampala I Dr Anthony Buhangamaiso – one of Uganda’s youngest surgeons aged 37 has been diabetic for the last 20 years. Buhangamaiso is battling ‘End Stage Renal Disease’ and needs an urgent kidney transplant by September 15, 2023.
Although his wife – Martha Namugabo – one of a kind to him has offered to donate her kidney – Dr Anthony still requires UGX150m for surgery and treatment in India.
As of September 6, TND News had learned that half of the needed money was already raised by his friends from Uganda and afar, families, co-workers; Uganda Medical Association (UMA) and sympathizers.
Speaking recently, Dr Herbert Luswata said, “UMA has tried their best to look for money to treat their colleague – Dr Anthony.”
“It feels very bad when a person who is providing care finds themselves in such a situation whereby they cannot afford the same care they provide to other people,” Luswata added.
Uganda is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where the prevalence of kidney disease is worrying. A 2022 report by Kidney360 says the prevalence of chronic kidney disease in Uganda ranges from 2 per cent to 7 per cent, and up to 15 per cent among patients with HIV or hypertension.
According to Dr Frank Asiimwe, a consultant urologist and transplant surgeon at Mulago National Specialized Hospital, Kampala, acute kidney injury means the kidney cannot form urine.
“Once urine is being formed it means that the blood which has gone through the kidney has been filtered off the waste and the waste in the urine comes out,” he explained recently.
To save the young surgeon and give him hope, Stephen Renny Galogitho – former Makerere University Guild President called on Dr Anthony Buhangamaiso recently.
As one of those leading the fundraising campaign, Galogitho had a conversation with the sick, saying to him not enough money was raised.
“When I saw you I got so energized….your work has been so amazing. You guys have restored my hope; very soon I will be going for treatment. I’m so excited – you guys around the world,” said Anthony who kept speaking with a beaming face.
“My special message to the guys in the diaspora, Anthony and the family. I’m so grateful for the work you are doing. Hmmm, please God given that you have come to rescue me at my weakest point. We cannot meet sometimes, sometimes I’m so weak, sometimes I’m so sick but you guys have restored my hope. When I go into Twitter when you guys are mobilizing I get so excited, I get energy, so please … .you have been so (I do not know how to express myself),” the ailing surgeon expresses thanks.
“Sir, you are remaining with five days remaining, according to your nephrologist to check the transplant centre. As we are involved in this fundraiser, we have not yet raised enough money but we would wish that you leave and set off for the transplant centre as soon as now, are you ready?” Galo asks.
“I’m actually late to my understanding because every day as the day goes by I’m becoming weaker and from what I read from the Doctor also wants me to the transplant centre as soon as possible. So, we have finished all the legal work and all the paperwork. Interpol has cleared us and today we have travelled to Hoima to pick up our belongings so that we make sure on Friday the 15th we are at the transplant centre,” Dr Anthony responds.
“I’m strong. I’m going to fight for my life. I’m stronger than ever. You guys have restored my hope,” he adds.
James William Mugeni – Ugandan born living and working in Iowa, United States has created a gofundme for Dr Anthony. In an interview with TND News, Mugeni said “People are generous” – revealing by the time of this interview that he had received $2,946 out of the $10,000 he set as a target.
“Donations are managed. Fundraising requires people to speak to it. The little time we get, the little time I put in when I get and share with people like I’m appealing to you, spread it in the newspaper… It’s a real story. It’s not a lie, people are generous and the figures are there.
“I guess we will get the shs150 million. So far we have shs100m in cash,” said Mugeni, medical clinical officer.
Asked what the Uganda government should do to improve health infrastructures and avoid exporting patients for surgeries and specialized treatments, Mugeni replied, “Health is justice. The status of health care in Uganda tells you we have no justice.”
“As of now, you just cannot put new ideas on those guys in the government. Talk about toothpaste and toothbrushes as personal hygiene for patients in hospital and see how you will be abused.”
To donate to help Dr Anthony, click here.