Haufiku’s volunteer doctors bring joy to Katima patients

05 Sep 2015 10:30am
KATIMA MULILO, 05 SEP (NAMPA) - Katima Mulilo Intermediate Hospital patients have expressed gratitude towards the private and State doctors who volunteered to treat them as part of Health Minister, Bernhard Haufiku’s initiative.
Under normal circumstances, these patients would have been referred to Rundu in the Kavango East Region, which is over 500 kilometres (km) west or to Windhoek, which lies over 1 200km south, for them to undergo surgeries for different ailments they suffered from.
“I love my results. I am so happy that I did not have to be transferred to Windhoek to be operated on. My surgery took less than an hour to do. Thank you for making my surgery a positive experience,” said a Keloids patient.
Keloids is the growth of extra scar tissue where the skin has healed after an injury and develops from injuries such as minor scratches, burn wounds, chickenpox, ear piercings and vaccinations sites.
A 27-year-old mother of a one-month-old baby boy, who underwent surgery for Syndactyly, could also not contain her joy, saying they were to be transferred to Windhoek last week, but local doctors told her that her case would be reviewed and operated on by Haufiku and his team.
Syndactyly is a condition of having some or all of the fingers or toes fully or partly united. It is either naturally or as a malformation like a web-footed animal.
“My son’s operation only lasted 30 minutes. I am happy that we have gone through this so my son can lead a normal life. I am happy with the minister’s initiative to bring a team of doctors to operate at our local hospital.
“I am happy that the hospital wards are also clean and very hygienic. I did not have to go so far away from my family support structure,” said the baby’s mother.
Haufiku and his team of doctors arrived in Zambezi Region on Wednesday.
By Thursday afternoon, the team of doctors that includes anaesthetists, oncologists and dentists, had assessed, reviewed and operated on over 18 medical cases.
When Nampa visited one of the operating theatres, a team of five doctors led by locally renowned Gynaecologist & Obstetrician Dr Matti Kimberg, were busy conducting a right tubal ovarian surgery.
The team – Dr Agnello Nawa, Dr Charles Karamata, Dr Trevor Kapapa and Dr Noel Siyame - had also completed hysterectomies – the removal of the uterus and some surrounding structures - for precancerous cases, and myomectomies to remove any fibroids in the uterus to make pregnancy possible and/or prevent cancer.
According to Karamata, these kinds of surgeries, which are conducted for about two hours, can be done at the Katima Mulilo Intermediate Hospital but require numerous doctors in the operating theatre.
“The procedures are not very complicated but they need a team of doctors - privileges that Katima Mulilo hospital do not have at the moment. So we are here to show the local doctors that these procedures can be done right at their hospital, instead of transferring cases every time,” said Karamata.
He said a team of doctors will from time to time travel to the Zambezi Region to perform such operations, as the ministry is trying to do away with sending patients to far-away hospitals where they lack family support structures after surgeries.
“It is in fact cheaper to send a team of doctors to a hospital in need of assistance, than sending many patients so far away, like Windhoek,” said Karamata.
In another operating theatre, Dr Sebastian Chipamba, Dr Yuri Yangazov, and nurse Eirah Hamutenya were busy removing a non-cancerous lump from a patient. This procedure takes about 30 minutes to conduct.
The health minister and his team of Government and private doctors will perform operations until Sunday.