New Lights in Rwanda and Uganda

For surgical teams in Rwandan and Ugandan hospitals, lack of reliable lighting can cause problems for staff and patients alike. As Senior Medical Associate Dr. Isaac

New Light

Achwal explains, power can “just go off at [the] crucial point in saving a patient’s life.” Consequently, staff at the Kanombe Military Hospital in Rwanda and at the Kagando Hospital in Uganda are particularly excited about the installation of two new high-tech operating room LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lamps. The new lights have a power back-up feature and in case of an outage will continue working for 2–4 hours.

The Fistula Care project purchased the lights for the hospitals with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). At sites where resources are limited, appropriate equipment can further motivate staff and allow them to provide quality, safe services to their clients. As Dr. Gabre Egziabhari Tekle, who routinely performs fistula surgery at Kanombe Military Hospital, explained, “these lamps are extremely important and useful, since they enable one to see all the types of fistula clearly and thus make the repair of fistula easier and faster.”

The new lamps last approximately 50,000 hours, and they create a sharp light with minimal shadows. Unlike conventional surgical lighting, the bulbs do not produce heat, which can make surgical teams physically uncomfortable during surgery.

The new lamps have several additional features that open up exciting possibilities for fistula care. The arms of both of the lights are flexible, so they can be adjusted to different positions for examination or surgery. The lights are mobile (as opposed to being fixed to the ceiling) and have adjustable breaks, so they can be steadily fixed wherever required. It is also possible to install a microphone and camera to the lamps, so that surgeons in training can watch a fistula repair surgery from another room. The Fistula Care project looks forward to continuing work with Rwandan and Ugandan medical personnel as they strive to provide quality fistula treatment.