Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgeons at Mulago Hospital express concern over the escalating number of individuals requiring surgery and subsequently being referred to the hospital.
Dr. Abubaker Bugembe, an experienced ENT surgeon at Mulago, disclosed that over the past three years, the ENT department has been inundated with referrals from across the country, placing a considerable strain on the surgical team. He lamented the extended working hours and the overwhelming influx of patients.
During a camp specifically for children seeking Adenotonsillar surgery, Bugembe addressed the issue, revealing that although 128 children underwent surgery during the week-long event, an additional 650 cases referred from various regions are still pending. On regular days, the ENT department typically handles five pediatric cases weekly.
Dr. Fred Bisso, Mulago Hospital’s Senior ENT consultant, appealed to the government to proactively focus on training and equipping more ENT specialists.
This, he emphasized, would alleviate the need for patients to travel long distances, such as to Mulago, to access high-quality healthcare.
Bisso highlighted the dire consequences, as some individuals resort to self-medication or seek assistance from unqualified sources in desperate situations.
The ENT Society in Uganda underscores the critical shortage of ENT medical specialists, with only 49 serving a population of 42 million. The plea is for concerted efforts to address this deficiency and ensure widespread access to essential healthcare services.