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Making a mark

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 17 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:201
  1. Andrew Hodges, surgeon
  1. Kagando Hospital, Kasese, Uganda

    Six years ago I completed my post as general surgical registrar in England and left for a remote rural hospital in Uganda. I took up a job as a general surgeon. The job description entailed tackling any surgical problem of any specialty which I felt able to cope with. The huge need and the lack of resources are overwhelming. I was the only surgeon in a district of 450 000 and in all the neighbouring districts of similar populations there were no surgeons. In neighbouring Congo the position was even worse.

    I wish that the urologist could have seen those happy women … I would have gladly passed on the chicken

    Most of the conditions which presented to my clinic were new to me. In Uganda there are few surgical specialists other than generalists outside the capital. I attempted to send some patients to Kampala—a boy with a bean in the trachea made it to the referral hospital but died while waiting for the doctors …

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