Going back to Africa to help hospital
A BAY doctor is returning to Africa to help with life-saving surgery.
Rob Mason, a urological surgeon at Mount Stuart Hospital, and his wife Shani are returning to Kagando Hospital, Uganda, next month.
They are holding a fundraising coffee morning on Monday, September 24, 9.30am at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club.
Mr Mason said: "We know that there is a further unmet need, and hope to address this by not only planning this next trip and further trips but also training the local surgeons in some of the surgical techniques which would be of benefit to their patients."
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The couple first visited rural South West Uganda in March last year.
Mr Mason undertook urological surgery for prostate diseases, such as urinary retention and prostate cancer.
A coffee morning and fundraising efforts raised £2,500 and Mr Mason is hoping for success again this year.
The couple are returning to Kagando hospital on October 13.
They plan to organise a similar two-week surgical camp to offer the same operations with the help of the local team.
Mr Mason said: "This year we perhaps face a greater challenge — firstly, to match the success of last year but also costs in Uganda have escalated, and we calculate that the per patient fees will be double last year, £100 for each prostate operation.
"Last March was our first time in Africa. Working in an under resourced hospital environment was of course challenging, but also a great privilege.
"Prior to our arrival a radio announcement alerted locals to the availability of surgery for those in need. We spent the first few days seeing these men in clinics. Some had travelled many miles, some over the border from Congo, and they slept in the hospital grounds while they waited for treatment. The surgery was fundamentally challenging, and a far cry from the comfortable modern hospital operating theatres we have at Torbay. At Kagando, we prayed the electricity would hold out for the entire operation. Despite this the camp was a great success we saw 70 patients and operated on 38, all with good outcomes, despite our technological shortcomings."
Accompanying the couple will be former Torbay Hospital urology trainee Faith McMeekin.