Updf health team

UPDF medical team holds free medical camp at 4th Division

(Last Updated On: 17 December 2023)

Gulu I The team of UPDF medical experts from Bombo General Hospital pitched a one-week surgical camp to offer free medical services to the people.

Those operated included soldiers and civilian patients. The visiting team also trained 4th Division medical staff who are currently battling with managing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across the northern region.

The exercises kicked off on Tuesday, December 12 and ended on Saturday, December 16. This digital publication understands that a similar exercise will take place in central Uganda.

By Tuesday, over 30 patients, both soldiers and civilians had been registered to undergo different operations. Some were operated on for goitre and hernia, among others. Thousands of patients were also expected to register for screening exercises.

Dr. Ruva Joaw Bosco, a 4th Division medical officer confirmed that many soldiers in the barracks are battling with “NCDs”, adding that the camp was a driver to rescue them. However, he did not disclose the number of soldiers who are battling NCDs.

“It is costly for individuals to pay in the private hospital, and for one to be treated and be operated on, the cost will range from shs1m to shs3m according to the level of operation being conducted to such patients,” he revealed.

Dr. Bosco said that according to the screening exercises and reports for operations, hernia disease commonly affects our soldiers and the people within the local community.

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“Many soldiers and the local people in Gulu City are not eating a proper balanced diet, their body immunity becomes weak to fight any attacks by diseases,” he added.

For the last three days when the exercise started, he said they were recording low turn up for the exercise, blaming it on a lack of enough information and awareness by the local people.

Brig. Gen. Dr James Kiyengo is the director of medical services at UPDF. In an interview with tndNews Lil Romeo, said camping at the army’s facility brings services closer to soldiers of the 4th Division and civilians to benefit.

The Brig. Gen. added that their expectation for the one-week medical camp was to operate 50 with at least 10 operations per day. However, two days in, 15 patients got operated on.

“Eating animal fats, food with spices and consuming chemicals from vegetables are the most common causes of diabetes and cancer in our bodies,” he disclosed.

The Dr. further noted that the completed medical camp was not the first of its kind. “We are moving to all the UPDF hospitals and have the same camps for the surgical, screening and treatment of patients.”

Margret Ayaa, 71, a resident of Pupowonya village Atiak sub-county in Amuru district underwent an appendix operation and treatment at the facility.

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She explained that she started experiencing a mild fever which later was discovered to be an appendix disease. She could not raise money for the operation at a private facility. “It is costly, thanks UPDF for the heart of free treatment,” she said.

“I have been going to private clinics but I couldn’t find treatment even in the government health facilities around. Each time they would ask me for what I couldn’t afford,” she disclosed in an interview with tndNews.

Erot Akol Joseph, 62, is a resident of Kinyara village in Masindi district. He said he has been battling with an appendix for a long time with no money to operate it. “This free surgical camp is an opportunity for me to get treated.”

The 62-year-old was later admitted for an operation. “I will be very happy when the exercises are done,” he said.

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