People Reached in 2010

We recently reviewed progress for International Medical Foundation over 2010 and are pleased to note the following data:

  • 5,592 people were counselled and tested for HIV
  • 1,644 were enrolled on our treatment programmes for those living with HIV
  • 19 patients received treatment each month for Cancer
  • 9 received open heart surgery
  • 244 were admitted onto Hope Ward for surgery and complex clinical care
  • 89 received physiotherapy
  • 225 were tested for TB
  • 63 received treatment for TB
  • 5,688 local people received out-patient care in Pader
  • 3,045 had out-patient care in Lira
  • 28,818 attended preventative care presentations.

All of the above received care and treatment free of charge thanks to the generous on-going support of our sponsors.

IHK – Hwan Sung collaboration for Open Heart Surgery

We are delighted to let you know that we have just concluded yet another round of complex Open Heart Surgery operations at International Hospital Kampala (IHK) solely sponsored by Hwan Sung Charity Services. It cost close to $80,000 USD to cater for the nine patients from admission to discharge.  Many will need long-term follow-up and the IHK cardiac center will take care of that.

The relationship between International Hospital Kampala (IHK) and Hwan Sung dates back three years now with the sole goal of serving and saving the lives of disadvantaged Ugandans who would otherwise lose their lives. Together we were able to perform the first heart surgeries in Uganda in April 2007.

Nine patients were operated on in December 2010: Achebe John 30 years, Ninshaba Esther 4 ½ years, Kayita Marvin 17 years, Owiri Ronald 7 years, Nabbale Monica 13 years, Atukunda Albert 15 years, Ajwang Sandra 15 years, Ahabwe Winfred 16 years, Namono Habiba 17 years.

We hope and plan for the next round of sponsored Heart Surgeries in March/April 2011 supported once again by Hwan Sung.

Applications may be made directly to Hwang Sung Charity Services, Ntinda industrial area in Kampala.

We thank the Hwang Sung Chairman, Kim Sung-Hwan, for his generosity to the Ugandan community year after year.


Dr. Ian Clarke
Chairman, International Medical Group


You can read more about this at New Vision Online at these links:

Heart patients get free heart surgery

IHK carries out open heart surgeries

Advent: Day 19 Open Heart Surgery

IHK performed its first open heart surgery on April 13th 2007. You can read more here.

OHS is very complex and expensive. Each of these procedures costs about $7,000 (which compared of course to other countries is still very good value for money). Each is performed on a charitable basis, largely due to generous support from Hwan Sung.

So why do we do this, why do we spend so much on one patient when we know that the same funds would help so many others with less complicated conditions?

As mentioned in Day 16 we do debate this on a regular basis.

  • There is a very significant need for such care and treatment. There are many living in Uganda with heart conditions that severely impair the quality, and perhaps reduce the length, of their lives. So these procedures can be life-saving.
  • We have access to some donors who want to support this particular need. These funds are essential as the patients can not afford to meet the cost of the procedure.
  • At IHK the operations are performed by a visiting consultant, Dr Clement Akomea Agyin, a consultant cardiac surgeon currently working in St Anthony’s Hospital London. He is usually accompanied by a perfusionist; Mr. John Francis Nelson has filled this role in the past. The rest of the team is staff at IHK. This is therefore an important way to develop local capacity, training staff that in the future may be able to perform such procedures without assistance from overseas.
  • Each time we perform an OHS camp our management team re-assess the state of equipment and the training levels for staff in the theatres and in the Intensive Care Unit. This drives up our internal standards and capabilities, meaning that we are then more able and better prepared to provide safe, quality care to our other ICU and emergency care patients.

We believe in developing local staff and facilities to perform and deliver across the full spectrum of healthcare, from public health through primary care up to and beyond the tertiary level required for OHS. We are doing this using a financial model that combines local, sustainable private business, IAA Healthcare, and some donor supported initiatives, such as OHS.


February Funding

The following is a brief account of giving and sponsorship in February:

  • We received £125 from individual supporters in the UK.
  • A sponsor gave £1,000 to help meet University fees for Bosco, our TB lab tech.
  • Inverness Medical UK gave £511 in the form of discount for essential supplies to help support sugery in Hope Ward.
  • In Kampala, Hwan Sung gave $30,000, to support heart surgeries in Hope Ward.

Read more about previous Giving here…

Uganda performs six heart surgeries

Published in New Vision Online…

By Josephine Maseruka

LOOKING at the little Aziz Abdulla Ssegujja on oxygen in the intensive care unit at the International Hospital Kampala, there was no doubt that he had just undergone a big operation. As he lay on his back with a blank expression, the surgeons kept watch.

Clement Agyin and Edward Khandazhapov check Aziz Ssegujja after a heart operation at the International Hospital KampalaSince Saturday, the hospital has conducted six open-heart operations, bringing to 13 the cases done since April 2007. This time, the UK-based Ghanaian cardiac expert, Dr. Clement Agyin, with a team of local and foreign doctors, conducted a more complicated surgery known as the Tetralogy of a Fallot’s.

Ssegujja’s condition, which one is born with, bears four abnormalities: a hole in the heart, a defective narrow pulmonary valve, obstructed flow through the lungs and a mal-positioned aorta (the largest blood vessel in the human body).

Dr. Agyin explained that eight-year-old Ssegujja could not walk. His oxygenated blood was mixing with the de-oxygenated blood, making him have 68% oxygen in his blood as opposed to 98% in a normal person.

“He was retarded, had shortness of breath, he could not walk and often squatted. His lips and tongue had turned blue. Though still in the intensive care unit, his body systems are working better than before the eight-hour surgery that was conducted on Monday,” Agyin stated. For Aziz’s parents, Nasser and Fatima Ssegujja of Kawempe, it was a miracle come true that their son was getting a new life.

Dr. Ian Clarke, the proprietor of IHK, said: “This is one of the most technically challenging congenital heart condition any team can deal with and the first of its kind in Uganda.”

The team of 12 experts included Dr. Moses Galukande, a senior surgeon and Dr. Michael Oketcho from Mulago Hospital. The anaesthesia team was composed of Dr. Stephen Ttendo and Dr. Joseph Ejoku.

Others were Dr. Edward Khandazhapov, a Russian and John Nelson, a British perfusionist, who ran the heart-lung machine.

The nurses were Lillian Nakayiza, Maureen Dhabangi and Sumine Okullo.

Galukande explained that other operations involved repairing the pulmonary valve, patching two holes in the heart and correcting the Aortic blood flow.

Simon Okoth, a Senior Six student, was among those operated upon. He had an obstruction in the Aoarta and his heart was twice the normal size.

The others operated on were Kennedy Komakech, 27, Yvonne Akello, 7, Linton Ayebale, 8 and Mark Mwesigwa 18.

All the operations were funded by Sung-Hwan Kim, the proprietor of Hwan Sung Charity and the honourary Consul of South Africa to Uganda, who contributed $30,000 (about sh55m).

This is the second time Kim is funding the surgeries. The first time he offered sh60m to five patients, who were operated on in October. Each operation took about $7,000 (sh12m), half of what it would cost in India. In the UK it costs $50,000 (sh80m).

IHK, through its charity organisation, Hope Ward, is appealing for more sponsors to help 30 heart patients due for operation in May, August and November.

Heart Surgeries Begin Today

The next set of Heart Surgeries begin today, March 1st.

Thanks to continued support from:

  • Hwan Sung Medical Charity Services
  • Dr Clement Agyin and his colleagues in St. Anthony’s Hospital, Cheam
  • Inverness Medical UK
  • and the Medical and Support staff at International Hospital Kampala

the following will each recieve life changing care:

  1. Simon (Valve Repair)
  2. Mark (ASD Closure)
  3. Abdallah (VSD Closure)
  4. Linton (Valve repair )
  5. Yvonnie (PDA)
  6. Kenndey (Valve Repair).

Read more about our Heart Surgery Programme here…

Supporting Heart Surgery

Clement, Moses and the team at IHK are making preparations for another set of heart surgeries.

Dr Clement Akomea Agyin

Dr Moses Galukande, Consultant Surgeon, IHK.

Sponsorship has been pledged by Hwan Sung.

Essential consumables for the Blood Gas Analyser (provided in September by Cardiac Report Limited) have been purchased from Inverness Medical UK, which has kindly provided a very significant discount on its list price. Funding for these supplies has been given by the husband of one of Clement’s UK patients who wrote to us saying:

“With thanks to Dr Clement Agyin who helped save my wife’s life in St. Anthony’s Hospital in Cheam”

Clement’s work colleagues at St Anthony’s have raised funding to help buy the equipment necessary for the monitoring of 3 ITU beds; instead of buying Christmas cards and other presents for colleagues they put the money in a gift box for Clement’s work in Hope Ward, IHK.

Read more here…

IHK performs second heart surgery

Cyprian Musoke and Harriette Onyalla writing in the Sunday Vision

KAMPALA International Hospital (IHK) has once again successfully carried out open heart surgeries. Five operations, worth $35,000 (over sh61m), were carried out last week.

The five patients operated on in the last five days are Patrick Imoni, 30, Thabit Senfuka, 24, Afra Namirimu, 10, Rashid Matovu, 8, and Dan Bakira, who is one year and four months old.

Agyin with heart patient Afra Namirimu who was recovering from the operation at IHK in Namuwongo yesterday

Addressing the press at the hospital headquarters in Namuwongo yesterday, IHK director Dr. Ian Clarke, who described it as a breakthrough, said the operations were more complicated than the last. They involved cardiopulmonary (heart-lung) bypass, valve repairs and sealing heart holes.

“We are happy that Mulago Hospital and us are doing brilliant things together. We did the first round of open-heart surgery and there were all sorts of appeals to equip us. We have the ability to do it, we just need leadership,” Clarke said.

This is the second time the hospital has carried out heart surgery. Two patients were operated on in April. They were the first people to have their hearts corrected in a Ugandan hospital. Most heart patients go abroad for treatment.

“A full normal life is expected for the five patients now that they have undergone this surgery successfully,” said Clarke. “They are to be discharged between the 7th and 10th post-operation day,” he added.

IHK’s first heart patients, Mark Atwine and David Kalenjera, have fully recovered.

The IHK director said the hospital had fulfilled its promise to carry out heart surgeries on a regular basis, and appealed to the Government and companies to come to their aid and sponsor patients who need treatment.

Last week’s operations, which cost $7,000 per patient, were sponsored by Hwan Sung Group of Companies. More surgeries at the hospital are scheduled for February, May, August and November next year.

“We plan to carry out valve replacements next year. Many patients needing heart surgery in Uganda need it for malfunctioning valves,” said Dr. Moses Galukande, a general surgeon and the heart surgery project manager at IHK.

Sung-Hwan Kim, the chairman of Hwan Sung, told the press conference that he was pleased to give new lives to five Ugandans.

“I think five lives are far more valuable than $35,000 and it is my way of giving back our business profits to the society. “I will develop and expand, step by step, these free medical services to help poor patients continuously in future. I hope that the beneficiaries will be as many as possible,” Sung, who is also the Korean consul to Uganda said.

Excitement over and contentment with IHK’s strides in heart surgery were visible on the faces of the heart surgery team.

The lead cardiothoracic surgeon in both the first and second operations has been Dr. Clement Akomea Agyin, a British national of Ghanaian descent, working at St. Anthony’s Hospital in London. He was assisted by Tom Mwambu from Mulago Hospital and Galukande. The intensive care team consisted of Dr. Edward Khandazapov and nurse Lillian Nakayiza and her team.

The support department included laboratory nurses, pharmacy staff, bio-technicians, general ward nursing, general administrative team’s Rachael Anuwo and Dr. Michael Muhame. The anaethesiologist team was led by Dr. Stephen Ttendo assisted by Cephas Mijumbi of Mulago Hospital, Dr. Joseph Ejoku and Dr. Ronald Nangamba.

Heart Surgery Update

Good progress has been made so far this week, with 4 heart surgeries already completed. Ian sent us this update:

CNN are doing a feature, they have just been in theatre filming – it will be a three minute slot (not on a news programme) probably something on Africa or medicine. We operated on another patient this morning – an 8 yr old boy who is fine and they are currently in surgery with a ten year old girl. We will take a break tomorrow and operate on a baby on Friday.

Actually tomorrow we have a visiting team of ENT surgeons from New York who are doing some procedures under Hope Ward and teaching ENT residents from Mulago at the same time so it is a busy week in theatre.