While most Bulamu patients can be treated with general medicine services such as antibiotic prescriptions and immunizations, occasionally people bring family members whose illnesses require what they view as a “miracle,” given their meager resources. In response, Bulamu has inaugurated the Bulamu Angel Program, allocating a portion of each camp’s budget to provide surgical interventions in cases where the Ugandan healthcare system has failed to do so. Here are four cases from Arua where Bulamu is either saving lives or correcting disabilities that are severely impacting the patient’s life:
Rahiba is a 20-month-old girl born with an atrial septal defect. In simple terms, this means a hole in her heart, which is not able to pump sufficient blood to the rest of her body to support normal growth. Bulamu has agreed to fund Rahiba’s miracle, providing the $500 needed to pay for the open-heart surgery that will save her life.
Ahmed is a 2-year-old boy who was born with Hydrocephalus–accumulation of fluid in the brain cavity. In Arua, Peace Corp pediatrician Robin Ortenberg, M.D, assessed him and recommended surgical intervention. The surgery can be performed at a Ugandan hospital for a fraction of what it would cost in the US. Bulamu will pay $695 to cover the hospital bill, transportation for mother and child, medication, post-op care, and two follow-up visits—plus a new life for Ahmed.
Opulenyi is 9 months old. She was born with congenital cataracts in both eyes that have left her blind since birth, a condition that can easily be corrected with proper ophthalmological care. Bulamu will fund her surgery to remove the cataracts at a total cost of $200.
Zubeda Juma (left, with one of her 3 teenage children) lost her left eye due to trauma. Then her right eye developed a cataract, leaving her increasingly blind. When her husband abandoned her due to this disability, she became the sole provider for her family. Bulamu will be her angel, providing $200 for the surgery that will restore her sight.
The examples above are all from the Arua camp held in November, 2017. The Angel Program will continue to operate at future health camps to impact the lives of those with special needs.