An Indian delegation of doctors, led Dr Suresh Rao, a renowned cardiologist and Director, Children’s Heart Centre and Consultant, Paediatric & Congenital Heart Surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute- Mumbai are set to hold a health camp focusing on Paediatric Cardiology, Cancer and Orthopaedics.
The two-day free health camp has been organised by MagnusMedi, a global medical value travel facilitator, headquartered in Mumbai, India and in Uganda, in association with Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani Hospital, one of India’s top 10 hospitals and le Mémorial Hospital in Uganda.
The camp will take place from November 15 to 16 2018 between 8:30am- 5:30pm at the Le Memorial Hospital, off the Munyonyo-Kajjansi portion of the Entebbe Expressway.
The camp, according to Judith Sheenah Komuhangi, the MagnusMedia Uganda, Country Manager, “brings together medical specialists from India and Uganda, who will carry out Free Consultations on all types of cancer, heart problems for children as well as bone, muscles and spine related conditions and complaints.”
Dr. Rao, who will be in Kampala for one day only, is a former President, Indian Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons (2015-16) as well as a former President, Paediatric Cardiac Society of India (2009-11). He is a life member of the Indian Associations of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons as well as a Life Member, Paediatric Cardiac Society of India and a Member, European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgeons.
‘Level of need’ for services
Other doctors are Dr. Imran Nisar Shaikh, a Consultant in Medical Oncology and Dr Abhijit Pawar, an Orthopaedics & Advanced Spine Surgeon. “Our choice of doctors was informed by the level of need in the country, because according to the World Health Organization - Non communicable Diseases (NCD) Country Profiles, 2018; 33% of all deaths in Uganda are caused by Non Communicable Diseases while 13% is due to accident related injuries. Of the NCD related deaths 10% is due to cardio-vascular diseases and 9% is due to cancers,” said Komuhangi.
According to Mihir Vora, Founder & CEO of MagnusMedi, the medical camp is targeted at “serving patients who have been diagnosed and are undergoing treatment for any of the above cases and require a second expert opinion and or require information about affordable advanced treatment options in India. “Our doctors will also examine and offer free consultation to those that have been treatment before but are in need of expert reviews. All participants are requested to carry their previous personal medical files for reference,” he said.
The first camp, organised last year provided free consultation to over 225 patients- with different types of cancers and gynaecological conditions such as fibroids, sexual dysfunctions, STDs, infertility and fistula. Early testing/diagnosis increases chances of healing.
Why it is hard to get proper diagnosis
Komuhangi said while Uganda had developed significant skills in the management of other communicable diseases, there were still significant bottlenecks such as cost, access to technology and limited numbers of experts that are hindering early and accurate detection, treatment and or management of some the above major NCDS.
“Like in all other diseases, the chances of treatment and recovery rely on early and accurate diagnosis. The MagnusMedi health camps offer Ugandans, especially those who can’t either afford or can’t access quality diagnostics because of limited facilities,” she said.
Komuhangi, a Stage 3 cancer survivor, said that most of the killer NCDs do not present any visible symptoms, until it is too late, making regular testing, perhaps, the most effective chance of survival. “For example, as a result of limited awareness and low levels of early screening, 80% of the women who present with cervical cancer at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), have advanced stages of the disease, according to Dr. Jackson Orem, the Executive Director of Uganda Cancer Institute in a recent media interview. Early testing and treatment presents higher chances of recovery for all cancers especially. We believe therefore, that this medical camp, will add on the efforts of other stakeholders in raising awareness about the importance of early testing and access to affordable treatment here in Uganda and in India,” she added. All consultations will be made only by appointment and on a first come first serve basis.