Uganda October 2018

Review on our humanitarian mission from 4.-8.10.2018

This trip was not planed at all for 2018. Our contact person Denise Jaspers and the local medical team around Dr. Robert Ssentongo and Prof. Peter Mugyenyi introduced two acid burn victims to us that were so severe that we finally decided to do the trip to Uganda. Our Team consisted of the plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Sattler who would meet Dr. Robert Ssentongo as the local plastic surgeon to do reconstructive surgery on these severely burned patients. Uganda is like whole Africa a poor country with a high percentage of illiteracy (66,9% women, 80,8% men) and HIV occurrence (5-15%). We came upon a well organized institution called Nakasero Hospital in the heart of the capital of Kampala and were warmly welcomed. Our local guide Denise organized a save place to stay for europeans which was located just around the corner of Nakasero Hospital. Each day we had to pass several military check points on our way to work which sometimes simply scared us. Our ugandan colleges made us feel welcome and introduced us quickly to the surgical challenge of acid burn victims. Their facial skin seemed to be melted into plane surface without individual characteristics, clinical they suffered from periorbital and perioral burn scar contractures. The leading problem of one patient was his bilateral lagophthalmus. To prevent him from blindness, we planned him for bilateral ‚full thickness skin graft‘ elongation and scar release on both upper eyelids. Secondly we reconstructed the oral commissure by multiple z-plasties to ease future food consumption. During the oncoming days we were ‚set on fire‘ to give our best in the operating theatre and help our patients out of their misery. We were constantly supported by the gratitude of both patients and hospital staff. At the end of our trip we looked back on successfully operated patients and handed over to our ugandan colleges to manage the aftercare. Via fotostream the checkup documentation reached us on the plane and back home in Germany. The experience at ‚Nakasero Hospital‘ was outstanding and we were grateful to be part of it.

We will be back!
Daniel Sattler.