Programs

MedLend Medical Missions

Uganda

*MedLend returns to Uganda in October of 2010 to offer follow-up care for previous patients, serve more underprivileged women with free surgery, and help teach Ugandas medical students how to repair fistulas. Since this health issue afflicts mostly the under-served, treatment is not explored as deeply in the local medical school system. With MedLend's help, more Ugandan doctors will be able to help their neighbors by treating this problem, but we cannot do this mission without your help. This trip takes place in only 5 weeks, so we need your help now. Please donate today. Doing so gets you involved with improving the quality of international health care, and it will positively affect an untold number of lives. Thank you.

MedLend is honored that our founder, Dr. Henry Hamilton, and Medical Director, Dr. Tom Margolis, were invited to participate in a special project by the University of California at Los Angeles. UCLA is building a permanent clinic in partnership with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) to serve the needs of impoverished patients there.

According to Wikipedia.org, the infant mortality rate in Uganda is very high: 79%. Adults also are afflicted by a high mortality rate, usually only living up to 49-50 years, depending if they are male or female. For this reason, it is important in Ugandan culture to produce as many babies as early as possible, so there are more chances some will survive.

One of the biggest problems this causes families in Uganda is that of vesicovaginal fistulas. Many Americans have never heard of a fistula since they are extremely rare in American culture. The culture of family structure is much different in Uganda, however. It often dictates that females be married and begin producing offspring by age 13 or 14.

To paraphrase descriptions by Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Marglolis: when girls begin having babies at this early age, the pelvis can often be too small to support the life they carry. This leads to obstructed labor, and can produce a devastating phenomenon of delivering a still-born child. Also, it tends to tear a hole between the bladder and the vagina, leading to urine leakage that produces a putrid scent. Because of the smell, husbands often divorce the young wives, who are then cast out of their homes and aside by their families.

Luckily, MedLend was there, surgically repairing nearly 30 fistulas alongside medical students and representatives from UCLA and MUST. We feel fortunate to be a part of their success.

You can help women repair their bodies, and restore their family lives by donating today. If you would like your donation to go towards a Uganda medical mission, or any other specific program, you can designate it on the memo line of your check, or through our online donation program with Network For Good. Just click the Donate Now button to access that feature. These patients would thank you if they could.