Bridging the gap...

Help CLEFT to bridge the gap and make a difference.

Visit to Uganda by Brian Sommerlad and Mike Frost

Following Kaye Barker’s excellent fundraising effort in raising more than £3,000 by running the Uganda Marathon for CLEFT in June, Brian Sommerlad and Mike Frost, consultant anaesthetist visited Kampala, Uganda, last week.  The plastic surgery & burns dept in Mulago Hospital has been decanted to a branch of the hospital in the east (Kiruddu). 

The surgeons, Dr Robert Ssentongo (deputy Director of the hospital) and Dr Rose Alenyo, as always work under very difficult circumstances. 

 They had no operating facilities the day that Brian and Mike arrived and there were no theatre lights except for one very poor portable lamp.

There was one rusty and antique anaesthetic machine which Mike felt was unsafe.  However, with the help of  John Mark, the senior anaesthetic in Mulago Hospital, a rather more modern and appropriate anaesthetic machine was obtained. 


The team were therefore carrying out the very first operations ever performed in this hospital.

The first operation was on a small baby with a very complex facial cleft with what is called choanal atresia, with no nasal airway and the procedure involved trying to open up an airway.

The second operation was a 48 year old man whose unrepaired cleft lip was repaired under local anaesthetic.


The money which Kaye raised is going to buy two sets of surgical instruments for repair of cleft lip and palate and it is hoped to send these out to Uganda in the near future.

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