Greenslopes Private Hospital Specialists Gives Hope to Women in Uganda

Instead of joining Christmas festivities and merrymaking at home, a team of specialists from Greenslopes Private Hospital chose to travel to Uganda in late December 2018 to volunteer their time and surgical skills to women suffering from various medical conditions.

Urogynecologists Professor Judith Goh AO, Dr Hannah Krause AO, and Dr Alexandra Mowat, each paying for oneown travel expenses, visited the remote region of Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda to offer medical services to women needing treatment from conditions such as vaginal fistulas and uterovaginal prolapse.

“Patients generally can’t get access to medical care or they can’t afford to receive it, so the conditions they present with are quite extreme. They have the conditions for a long time or they come in quite unwell because they’ve not been able to get treatment,” Dr Krause said.

“It’s amazing to see the changes they have in their outlook even within a couple of weeks. Sometimes when they first come in they are very embarrassed and won’t say very much, but once we perform the surgery a lot of them open up, they smile,” Professor Goh said.

“The working conditions are actually quite tough; there’s no air conditioning in the theatre, it’s in the tropics so it’s really, really hot, and often there is no electricity. But with the opportunities I’ve been given in regard to my training and education, I think it’s just more than living a good comfortable life, it’s to try to help as many people as we can.”

Professor Judith Goh AO, Dr Hannah Krause AO, and Dr Alexandra Mowat

The medical mission was part of the “Medical Training in Africa & Asia” project managed by Professor Goh under the Health and Development Aid Abroad Charity.

Supported by scrub nurse Ms Melina Kreutz, the trio of medical experts treated a total of 144 women and operated on 109 women during their two-week mission.

Prior to going to their mission, the team raised money to pay for the Uganda patients’ surgery, hospital stay, and travel whilst Greenslopes Private Hospital donated medical supplies, including scalpel blades, vaginal packing gauze, sterile gloves, Marcain for spinal anaesthesia, Mayo needles and theatre masks.

“Greenslopes have always been very eager to assist up in terms of providing equipment, and the theatre nurses are very good, in that they will ask us if we need equipment if anything’s decommissioned before they throw it out,” Professor Goh said.

The trio of specialists from Greenslopes Private Hospital are scheduled to return to Uganda in October this year.