A team of 24 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical staff came together at Kawolo Hospital in Lugazi, Uganda for our June 2023 Uganda Pediatric Hernia Mission — and it was an amazing week of hope and healing!
The surgical team, led by Dr. Charles Odongo, completed 154 life-altering pediatric hernia surgeries in five days for children suffering from painful hernias.
Preparing for a medical mission requires a great deal of organization and preparation. One of the most important tasks is getting the word out to the community.
Our nurses spent a lot of time distributing flyers, visiting hospitals to inform staff, and even going on a radio show. In Uganda, radio is one of the most effective ways to disseminate information. Three nurses participated in an hour-long program to spread the news about pediatric hernias and the pediatric hernia mission we were hosting.
As a result, families came from all over the country for the opportunity to have their children’s hernias repaired.
Some of the Children Helped During LWB’s Pediatric Hernia Mission
When Vickel’s grandmother heard about the pediatric hernia mission on the radio, she couldn’t believe the great news. Vickel was born with an inguinal hernia and was in constant pain. His grandmother is raising him along with 7 other grandchildren. She works as a peasant farmer and often must choose between medication for Vickel’s pain and school fees.
Vickel and his grandmother rushed to Kawolo Hospital in disbelief. They were so excited to learn that he would be able to have surgery! He is recovering well and is so happy to be pain-free.
Shanny, who suffered from an umbilical hernia, lives with her mother and three siblings. Her father left for the city a few months ago hoping to find better employment to support his family.
Shanny’s pain worsens after eating certain foods. Her mother, who is hired to dig on people’s farms, struggles to care for Shanny and her sister who suffers from a cardiac condition. When a doctor at another hospital told her about the free pediatric hernia mission at Kawolo Hospital, she brought Shanny and was thrilled her daughter was accepted for surgery.
Alice and Wasswa
Sisters Alice and Wasswa live in Iganga with their father and six other siblings. They are each a twin from a different set of twins, and both girls have umbilical hernias.
When their hernias flare up, they miss school, and their father must spend what little money he has on medication for the pain. He is a peasant farmer who rents a small plot of land on which he grows food for the family. The landlord allows them to live in a two-room house rent-free for now. Getting his daughters’ umbilical hernias repaired was such a blessing for this family!
John developed an umbilical hernia when he was a year old. As a single parent, his mother couldn’t afford surgery, so she treated him with herbal medicines in a desperate attempt to relieve his pain. These herbal medicines did more harm than good, causing intestinal distress.
Over the years, John’s hernia continued to swell. When she heard about the pediatric hernia mission, she rushed him to the hospital in search of a permanent solution for her child’s painful condition. His grateful mother told us that if she had not received this chance for healing, he would have continued suffering because she would never have been able to pay for such an expense.
Sometimes families bring their children to a medical mission in search of help, but the child’s condition is something completely different and cannot be immediately treated. Jovia is one of these cases. She was born with what was suspected to be an umbilical hernia. Her parents took her to the hospital for surgical attention but were told to wait until she was three years old. They didn’t return because they couldn’t afford the surgery.
Her father says there are times when Jovia gets very sick with a fever and is unable to walk. After a medical exam, the surgical team diagnosed her not with a hernia but with an omphalocele, a condition where part of the wall of the abdomen does not completely close around the belly button area, and part of the intestines or other organs can stick out through this pouch. They recommended she wear a binder and have surgery in three months. We will be assisting the family with surgery when she is ready.
Making Our Little Patients Comfortable
Traveling long distances and coming to a hospital for surgery can be a very scary experience.
Our Uganda team works hard to console the children as they register them for surgery.
They also give each child a package with a new blanket, toy, and backpack. These gifts help take their mind off the upcoming surgery and provide entertainment and comfort.
Appreciation for All Who Helped with our Pediatric Hernia Mission
Thank you to our wonderful Ugandan staff who worked so had before and during the mission!
Words cannot express our gratitude to Dr. Odongo, the head of the pediatric hernia mission team, who worked alongside the late, beloved Dr. Situma at Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital. Dr. Odongo and his surgical team did incredible work.
Everyone who helped sponsor this pediatric hernia mission provided relief from pain and hope for the future for these families, most of whom are struggling to provide food for their children and a roof over their heads. We’re excited to announce that our Uganda Medical Care program will be holding a second pediatric hernia mission in Uganda this September and look forward to many more children who can finally have an opportunity to live free from hernia discomfort and pain!
- Cambodia Programs
- China Programs
- Foster & Family Care
- Guatemala Programs
- Healing Homes
- Medical Care
- Special Projects
20 Years of Hope adoption Amrita Hospital Beijing Believe In Me Believe In Me School Cambodia cardiac surgery charity China China Healing Home cleft cleft lip cleft palate cleft surgery College scholarship COVID domestic adoption Early Childhood Development Center Education female empowerment Foster Care Guatemala healing home Heartbridge heart defect heart surgery Hope Foster Home India international adoption landfill Love Without Boundaries malnutrition Nutrition orphan orphanage poverty Rangsei sponsor a child Story of Hope Tetralogy of Fallot Uganda Uganda Heart Institute Unity Initiative VSD