NEWS FROM LACOR HOSPITAL – SPRING 2023
We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your support in helping us provide quality healthcare to those in need.
This past financial year, 2021-2022, Lacor Hospital treated 208,727 patients, with 29,850 admitted to the hospital. These figures show a minimal increase of 0.4% from the previous year.
At our Emergency Room, Dr. Derrick Mukurasy and his team work tirelessly to attend to patients with a range of ailments, from breathing difficulties to severe forms of COVID-19, always ensuring that they are treated efficiently.
Despite the challenges of limited resources, our dedicated staff shows ingenuity and determination in saving lives, as in the case of Dr. Oriba Dan Langoya and his team, who performed a life-saving peritoneal dialysis on a young boy using improvised equipment.
Thank you for being a part of our story and fighting to keep our hospital functioning, providing the best care possible at the lowest cost.
Dr. Derrick Mukurasy, a doctor at the Lacor Emergency Room, tells the story of a night like any other in Northern Uganda.
“Midnight has already passed; it seems like a quiet night. Suddenly, a screech of brakes. Joyce, an elderly patient in an ambulance, arrives from Pabbo. She can’t breathe. Janet and Fiona, two Lacor health workers, monitor and oxygenate her. The staff continues her treatment in the intensive care unit and after three days of consistent improvement, Joyce is discharged.
The Lacor Emergency Room treats people with breathing problems, severe Covid, poisoning, car accidents, and allergic reactions.
“Every day we receive up to 35 people. We have six beds for the surgical section and six for the medical section. A nurse triages right away,” Dr. Derrick explains. “Extremely serious patients arrive from other hospitals or from our health centers about 40 kilometers away.”
Dr. Derrick continues: “Yesterday we had twenty patients altogether. A young woman with a very painful crisis of sickle cell anemia, two patients with intestinal bleeding, one with cirrhosis, another with diabetes and four cases of severe malaria. And then three in hypertensive crisis and one who had had a heart attack, as well as others who suffered trauma. Almost everyone urgently needed blood. But here, blood is a precious lifesaver that is too often missing.”
Lacor’s courtyard always has an ambulance ready. The driver leaves after the emergency call, and the patient is welcomed immediately.
Last year, the Lacor Emergency Department welcomed 11,678 patients.
Dr. Oriba Langoya, a physician in Lacor’s Department of Internal Medicine, tells us the story of Okello, a young boy from the Kitgum District, a hundred kilometres from Gulu.
“I met the young Okello during my usual ward tour,” he says. “He was a swollen patient—confused, restless, struggling to breathe. He had stopped urinating. I had the feeling that life was about to leave this boy. We immediately transferred him to intensive care and took blood samples to understand as quickly as possible if his kidney function was compromised.”
Okello needed a dialysis treatment, but the only place to get this service was 360 kilometers from Gulu. After obtaining permission from his department head, Dr. Jackson Kansjime, and the Executive Director of Lacor, Dr. Cyprian, to allow for peritoneal dialysis, Dr. Oriba and his team immediately did an ultrasound to place the dialysis catheter. “We improvised a catheter by modifying two nasogastric tubes. Then we took Okello back to intensive care.”
Dr. Oriba explains the obstacles he faced every step along the way: “We then faced another challenge: the fluid used to remove waste was unavailable. Even in this case, we did not lose bravery and we prepared the fluid ourselves. It worked! Okello remained in intensive care for six days and, after seven peritoneal dialyses, his kidney function recovered.”
The ingenuity, the teamwork, and stubborn courage returned life to this boy.
“Of course, we need catheters, some fundamental laboratory analyses and the right fluid for peritoneal dialysis. Still, we have great determination and we work together, which often makes all the difference.”
One of the year’s highlights was Lacor’s national recognition for offering the most affordable care for COVID-19. Despite this focus, the hospital continued to care for patients with other health problems, ensuring continuity of services during the pandemic. The hospital treated 43,328 outpatient children under five, a 3.6% increase from the previous year. In the pediatric unit, admissions were down by 13%, but deliveries increased, and cesarean sections rose by 40%.
Lacor remains a crucial referral center for COVID intensive care and high-flow oxygen administration. It is also a place of choice for people with serious health problems that require specialized care or for maternal health and assisted deliveries. The hospital is well equipped to deal with new outbreaks, as evidenced by its recent preparation for the reappearance of some Ebola cases in the area. Thanks to the donations received during the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital has a well-stocked supply of protective equipment. The staff has been trained on the latest precautions and measures to protect themselves and their patients.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Lacor Hospital continues to be a beacon of hope for the people of Northern Uganda. Its commitment to providing affordable and accessible healthcare is unwavering, and its staff remains dedicated to ensuring the health and well-being of its patients.
Every patient we are able to treat and every life we can save is a testament to your generosity.