On a Sunday morning, a medical team from Wings of Healing travelled to the beautiful city Arba Minch Ethiopia for the second time to provide charitable surgical treatment from 8-15th March. The procedures took place in Arba Minch Generalized Hospital, which has been serving the local community for over 50 years. A joint mission was carried out with the regional and zonal health bureaux in mobilising patients and providing education to the community at the grass root level.
The team screened mothers who were living with the debilitating impact of prolapse for many years, 36 years was the longest we encountered by far. Urinary incontinence, which often co-exists with prolapse, causes severe distress, embarrassment, and discomfort for their quality of life. Nevertheless, as they’re living in a resource constrained society, they have poor health seeking practice and obvious financial barriers to seeking treatment. Taking into account the facts stated earlier, all the costs including the stay in hospital, meals, investigations, transportation allowance and the surgical service were covered by Wings of Healing.
A total of 32 procedures were successfully performed during the week. Two young and bright third year gynaecology residents were also trained in a safe surgical technical skill as part of the knowledge transfer program aimed at building the skill set of professionals, which will serve the community for many years to come. The care provided took into consideration patients’ preferences, stage and severity of symptoms and family size in order to inform all clinical decisions.
Though we are immensely grateful and satisfied to see the life changing impact that we make on the mothers, there is still so much need that remains to be addressed. Their joy will be a reminder for us to return in the near future as the 32 procedures haven’t make a dent on the amount of need that exists there.