“For us, the best medicine is celebrating the joy of life,” said Medhat Allam, MD, the co-founder of Operation International.
Operation International, a foundation headquartered in Southampton, has just returned from a very successful medical mission to Rakai, Uganda. In Rakai, a population of almost 500,000 must rely on a single local hospital that employs just four physicians.
The foundation is a humanitarian organization founded in the 1990s by Allam and Robert Mineo, CRNA, who aimed to offer medical aid to adults and children suffering from the lack of quality healthcare in more than 23 impoverished areas within Africa, Asia, and South and Central America. During each medical mission, they offer on-site education and training to local health care workers.
This time around the team of physicians, nurses, clinicians, and volunteers helped more than 350 impoverished adults and children. They delivered $600,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies and visited three orphanages.
“Our medical mission to Uganda was very fulfilling for our entire team,” said Allam. “As part of our mission to save as many lives as possible in impoverished countries, where people are faced with the lack of quality health services, we performed 72 major complex surgical procedures during 16-hour days on congenital anomalies, severe burn reconstructions, and benign and malignant tumors.”
During the mission, the team brought equipment and set up three modern, fully functioning operating rooms.
“We experienced many miracles such as this: A woman in labor was facing a near-death situation. She could not deliver her child, and its heartbeat had stopped,” Allam said. “Our team performed a C-section to save the mother, and then performed CPR to bring her baby girl back to life. It was a heartwarming moment witnessing the look on the mother’s face as she heard her child cry for the first time after entering the world,” he added.
The foundation also constructed a five-bed modern recovery room and a three-bed ICU, with two ventilators, patient monitors, and two EKG machines.
The team brought six patient transportation stretchers, 10 wheelchairs, hundreds of blankets, linens, and gowns, disposable medical supplies for 500 operations, hundreds of pieces of clothes and shoes, educational materials, and 2500 mosquito nets for orphans and poor families.
Other highlights from the trip included a greeting at the airport by Uganda’s Minister of Public Services, meeting the Queen — who gave flowers to team members in appreciation of their work — and a visit with the King of Kooki, who paid tribute to the team on his birthday.
A Crowdrise page has been set up as the foundation prepare to send two more teams to the area this year. The goal is $100,000 for a functioning ambulance. All funds raised will go directly to this cause.
Visit https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/ambulance-needed-for-hospital-in-uganda. For more info, visit http://www.operationinternational.org.