Kampala, Uganda | URN | Rotary has announced a new health campaign in which they will help Ugandans who cannot walk, get fitted with artificial limbs.
In an initiative which they are funding together with the Indian Association, and new fertilizer company Gencrest, Rotary’s former District Governor John Magezi Ndamira said they decided to engage in the new health campaign alongside the children’s heart surgeries, after realizing a huge need for people involved in accidents to move again.
Ndamira says they are in a mobilization stage and that they have asked Rotary and Rotaract clubs across the country to move within their villages to identify people who are in most need.
Unlike the heart surgeries initiative where Rotary sends a hundred children to hospitals in Mumbai, the artificial limbs campaign will see experts from India being brought into the country to conduct the surgeries without moving the patients out for the complicated procedures.
Mohan Rao, the Chairman of the Indian Association said while they could have ferried the beneficiaries abroad, they resolved to work with Ugandan health workers on this so it can also be a form of skills transfer as they learn from each other on best practices.
However, the burden of people who need artificial limbs is big although clear statistics are unavailable as some are immobile because of diseases like cancer and others from injuries sustained in road traffic crashes.
For crashes, Uganda police statistics show they are on an increase, having recorded 17,443 in 2021, an increase from 12,249 in 2020.
Experts say over seventy per cent of people involved in accidents get an injury including loss of their limbs.
Madhusudan Agrawal, Uganda’s Honorary Consul to Mumbai says this grim picture shows that their donation is just a drop in the ocean, but adds that they will in future consider increasing the numbers of beneficiaries depending on how this first batch of surgeries go.
However, exact dates for the surgeries are pending an MOU that will be signed later this month.
Thomas Tayebwa, the Deputy Speaker of parliament who graced the occasion where this pronouncement was made said Uganda has gained a lot from the return of Indians who had been expelled from the country by President Idi Amin.
He urged more Indians to come to invest in the country, just as Gencrest, the latest entrant which is also participating in financing the artificial limbs campaign.