When Doctors multi-task in rural hospitals. From the surgical ward to mopping the floor?

Truth be told, a lot of Uganda doctors used to do that at Hospitals in rural areas but it has its downs – the surgeon often gets very tired especially if you have 3-6 procedures for a day and what about the aseptic conditions that you’d like the patient to enjoy yet u are busy contaminating yourself. The surgeon’s linen ought to be clean and fairly sterile.

In the 19th Century, Joseph Lister discovered antiseptics but there was no knowledge of bacteria. Theater related deaths shot to 80% of all operations because most patients became infected. In fact, the saying that ‘the operation was successful but the patient died’ started at that time. Unfortunately, these conditions are what we have in our operating rooms in Africa in the 21st Century. The operating room should be a ‘place of sanctity’ not a kraal!

While surgeons can go about cleaning the Theatres, Theaters ought to be cleaned in a through way that leads to an aseptic environment. Have you ever conducted a study on how many patients are lost in these village operating rooms due to sepsis? When will Africans stop thinking about traditional medicine all the time and get to invest properly in systems?

'The oxygen tent unit, is presented to the staff of St. Anthony's Hospital. Lions gift to Tororo Hospital.' Uganda Argus, January 1 1966

‘The oxygen tent unit, is presented to the staff of St. Anthony’s Hospital.
Lions gift to Tororo Hospital.’
Uganda Argus, January 1 1966

In the main operating room, everyone should have a mask on their nose – including the Theatre cleaners whether during the operation or not.There are billions of deadly bacteria that come from one’s nose. When surgeons and cleaners go about such cleaning duties without masks, they release all these nosocomial microbes into the air of the operating room. It is only in Africa where we always practice bush medicine that we pay no meticulous attention to asepsis. And the blame is not on doctors – it is to Government for under staffing and under-supplying the health sector.

When we talk about extra-judicial killings, we don’t only mean political assassinations – we should include deaths to citizens due to infections from dirty theatres. One doctor was doing operations in Kayunga recently – they drew water from a rusty metallic drum, in plastic cups to scrub their hands when prepping for surgery; the theatre had an anthill in one corner and a nest of angry wasps in another; plus a broken window covered with polythene. The operating table was stuck in half-length and could neither move up or down due to death of its hydraulic system; despite his height. He had to use that damn table; it was also permanently tilted to the right side because most people are right-handed and operate on the right side of the table – because he’s left handed, he had ‘okukangabala’ throughout the surgery!!!! I don’t know whats wrong with Africans, our rotten systems and our ‘victim’ mentality.

But Statehouse would not shy away to pay a presidential secretary shs.96m per month as salary when hospitals in most of the country are in this state. How many lives would be saved with that kind of money invested in health care? Do your math , please!




One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Asking questions are truly nice thing if you are not understanding something totally,
    but this paragraph gives pleasant understanding even.

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