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I received an email today with an update from some heroes – Dr Barb Hall gave us an update on their latest trip to Uganda with Dr Hannah Krause and yet again their inspirational work makes me feel very inadequate.
Again I am just going to include the whole email, with some glorious photos of some very, very appreciative ladies, whose lives must have been truly miserable before Barb and Hannah performed their life-changing surgery and repaired their fistulas and restored their continence.
It beggars belief that the doctors performing the surgery have to pay to do it, but pay they do, and it is for this reason that they are heroes.
Barb’s email follows:
Some of the 151 patients waiting for screening.
Hello friends,
We have recently returned from Kagando, Uganda, having completed another successful surgical camp. This camp was fraught with uncertainty from the start. There was some violent, political unrest in the area not long before we were to go – so there was a period of uncertainty as to whether the camp would go ahead – however after reassurance from the local doctors we decided to go, as patients were already arriving at the hospital for treatment.
The “mobilisation” had been incredibly effective – nurses visiting mountain villages, radio announcements, church announcements and flyers in public places. We screened 151 patients and of these 123 required (or were suitable for) surgery. This included 52 fistulas, 67 prolapses and 4 minor procedures. The nurses and hospital facilities were stretched to the limit as we filled the fistula ward, the makeshift tent (erected over a concrete slab that will one day become another fixed ward) and the “overflow” paediatric ward with patients on every available bed (in some instances 2 to a bed) and then on mattresses on every spare centimetre of floor space. Morning ward rounds became increasingly long and tedious – as we spent considerable time crawling around the floor to examine patients! By the end of the camp, there were many, many happy faces and many women whose lives have been changed forever.
We spent approximately AUD$43,000 on the surgeries – US$300 per fistula and US$250 per prolapse. This has been possible because of your generosity – mainly with the huge success of our fundraiser event last year. We and the women of the Kasese region of Uganda thank you all for your contribution to our project.
I have included a photo above of women lining up to be screened on the day we arrived in Kagando, and another below of a group of women who are dressed up ready to go home – dry for the first time in years after successful surgery to close their vesico-vaginal fistulas. You can see the absolute delight on their faces!
We plan to return to Kagando later this year, so will need to once again call on your generosity to fund what promises to be another bumper camp! Our 2017 fund raiser is planned for June 10th.
Thank you for your generosity in helping us to cure these women,
Barbara Hall  – for the “team” of Hannah Krause, Judith Goh and John Taylor
PS On the plane on the way home we watched a movie  “The Queen of Katwe”. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in seeing what life is like in rural Uganda. It is set mostly in Katwe, a town not too far from the Kagando region, and gives a true depiction of the life of the poorest people in Ugandan villages. It is a truly inspiring movie.
Thanks Barb for your email. In amongst the crazy goings-on today: Trump’s latest spin on continence; Nick Kyrgios behaving like a child undergoing toilet training and other dirty linen; it was a breath of fresh air to receive such an inspiring email! I have done the bolding within the email- to really emphasise some points – two women to a bed <aghast expression on face> Can you imagine if we were asked to not share a room but a BED with someone undergoing surgery??
As you read in my last blog, I chose to receive no presents last year, but instead asked that family and friends make a donation, regardless of how small to HADA and I also chose to give small donations to HADA on family and friends behalf, instead of buying them presents ie. more ‘things’.  Very quickly around $1000 was raised.
And people who donated on my behalf received a tax deduction for buying me a present!
And I received a tax deduction for donating to HADA instead of buying my family and friends more ‘things’!
A win-win situation – less ‘things’ and more money (100%) of which goes to the work that Professor Judith Goh, Dr Hannah Krause and Dr Barb Hall do in Uganda and other places.
SO I have decided to do the same again this year. I can’t go to Uganda and do anything useful, but I can give some small donations and I can spread the word about their marvellous work. Please – if you feel you would like to contribute to a life-changing cause – SHARE this blog far and wide and let’s try and help raise another $43,000 for HADA to do their thing!
Eight now dry Fistula patients about to go home HAPPY (one day’s discharges)!