It was the August Uganda team’s second day of clinic when a 6-month old baby named Tumwesige was brought in with a fever of 102.5 and a rapidly growing, unidentifiable mass on her abdomen. The child’s mother said that she first noticed the mass on Friday, which had since grown in size to its current baseball resembling state.
After a thorough assessment by the PMI team, it was determined that the abscess was a threat to the child’s life and needed to be removed. Without appropriate equipment in the field, the team immediately referred the child to MKMC for further examination and an IND (incision and drainage). The child’s family agreed to go to MKMC with their referral, and that they had sufficient funds to pay any medical bills incurred.
It was not until the next day the team received news of Tumwesige’s status. With great excitement Dr. Godson Senyondo, MKMC’s Medical Officer, reported that the baby had arrived, been assessed, and the abscess had been removed. Tumwesige’s fever had left, and she was recovering wonderfully in MKMC’s Inpatient Department. Later in the week, the doctors who had initially assessed the baby in the field were able to stop by MKMC and see how well she was recovering.
This story highlights the valuable synergy between PMI’s short-term teams and our long-term presence. In sending quarterly teams of medical volunteers, we are able to blanket large areas with medical care and identify patients who need follow-up at our clinic. Having a long-term presence on the ground allows for cases like Tumwesige to be cared for to the full extent of their need. Tumwesige, along with many other patients we have had the privilege to treat, would have died had it not been for PMI’s intervention.