The Children’s Project organises surgical ‘camps’ at Kisiizi Hospital, in which up to 30 children at a time are treated. Project workers mastermind the surgical camps which can be quite a feat of organisation. All the operations are performed by a visiting surgeon in just 5 days. Project Staff are then responsible for the children’s rehabilitation at the Hospital, which can be up to 3 months or even more for some orthopaedic cases.
Children with a range of orthopaedic conditions including malaligned fractures, talipes (club foot) and osteomyelitis are treated at surgical camps.
Children with more complex orthopaedic conditions, cleft palates or burns contractures are now being treated at the new CoRSU Hospital just outside Kampala. A steady flow of children for operations, assessment or reviews are seen at CoRSU, as well as occasional larger groups.
Children with neurological conditions such as hydrocephalus or brain tumours are seen regularly in the ‘Neuro Clinic’ in Mbarara. If any of these children present as an emergency they are taken to CURE hospital in Mbale (10hrs journey).
Children with conditions such as heart disease, spine deformities, and renal problems are taken by the project (with a parent/guardian) to Mulago Hospital in Kampala (7hrs journey).
There is no NHS in Uganda and often families can barely afford to get transport to the Project office, or to support the family during the parent’s absence from their fields, let alone pay for operations.
In many instances the cost of the actual operation is funded by other charities. In this case, one of the most important ways in which the Project are able to help families is by transporting the children by ambulance, and translating between the parent or carer and the doctor (in South West Uganda they speak a different language to those in Central and Eastern parts). Even when the operation costs are covered we still need to pay for consultation fees, x-rays, blood tests, drugs, and rehabilitation.
The Project needs money for:
- surgical camps: food, bedding, basins, firewood, salary of cooks and matron, splints, medicine, dressings, soap, transport
- Rent and wages for the matron at the patient’s hostel in Rukungiri where children stay overnight prior to long journeys.
- Surgery at other hospitals: fuel, ambulance repairs, consultation fees, x-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, blood tests, drugs, operations.