Health Team

Duke team promotes aftercare for Ugandan patients

Posted November 3, 2017 5:33 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 9:55 a.m. EDT

An important part of the effort to provide medical care to Uganda residents is to make sure the patients get the best possible care after surgery, which is why Duke University created a four-bed intensive care unit to follow patients after their surgery.

Mariam Kisayile is pleased that her husband, Mustafa, is making progress when she visits him in the Mengo Hospital ICU following his brain surgery.

"I'm feeling very well," she said. "I'm happy now."

Uganda operating room

Another patient's wife is a little more guarded after her husband's surgery.

"I feel my husband will be OK," said Amina Marsal. "It's not easy but with God everything will be OK."

Officials at Mengo Hospital built and opened their ICU just a week before they began conducting medical procedures in it.

"They've come an enormously long way to what we would consider modern critical care," said Dr. Carmen Graffagino, who treated Mustafa Kisayile, and traveled to Africa from Raleigh.

The team from Duke stocked Mengo's new ICU with equipment and supplies from the Triangle. Graffagino has been performing procedures out of the new ICU.

"This is an unbelievably, well-deserved and stocked ICU as far as having the resources to be able to take care of these very complicated patients," Graffagino said, adding that where surgery occurs is just as important as the procedure.

Each patient will have a different outcome depending on the procedure performed on them. Kim Rash is an American missionary and complains of pain after her neck surgery. Daniel Makutano is a 7-year-old patient who underwent a procedure on his spine. Joseph Nsubuga posed for photographs with the medical team after his surgery.

"I'm so happy," said his wife, Florence.

"Seeing the faces of the families when they see their families recovering means everything to me," said Lawrence Davis, a surgical tech who was in the operating room for many of the procedures. "The work that we've done is not in vain. I see the fruits of our labor."