Publication date: 3 July 2019

Diamedica engineers regularly visit hospitals overseas to install and service equipment, and to train local technicians on how to maintain our equipment. When we are in a country, we try to make best use of the available time and to visit as many customers as we possibly can.

This month, MD Robert Neighbour, was on the road in northern Uganda travelling well in excess of 1100 km to visit hospitals at Lira, Gulu, Kitgum and Kiwoko.

First stop was Lira University Hospital, to check on a recently installed Glostavent Helix anaesthesia machine, donated thanks to Poole Africa Link, Dr Frankie Dormon and Weymouth Rotary. Satisfied that the Glostavent was functioning perfectly, Robert instructed the staff in how to make best use of the new machine and keep it in good working order with the appropriate tools.

Next, on to St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu, a not-for-profit hospital that treats some 300,000 patients every year, more than half of which are children and pregnant women. Dr Ray Towey has been a volunteer anaesthetist at the hospital since 2002 and is involved in the training of anaesthetic officers, nurses, and medical students.

Diamedica have supplied Dr Towey with a wide range of anaesthesia and ventilation equipment over the years and visited on several occasions. The hospital has six Glostavents, the oldest supplied back in 2006, and all remain fully functional and serving the people of Gulu. Robert gave the Glostavent machines a service, whilst providing instruction to the keen team of technicians who maintain the hospital equipment.

The counter on the Glostavent’s integral oxygen concentrator records how long a machine has been run for. The machines at Gulu had each been run for between 12000 – 24000 hours, although one Glostavent had clocked up more than 31000 hours. That is the equivalent of three and a half years of non-stop use, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week! Further evidence, if it were needed, that the Glostavent is built to last and provides unbeatable value for money in low-resource settings.

Robert personally delivered a patient monitor for the new operating theatre at Yotkom Medical Centre in Kitgum.  Yotkom is an Acholi word meaning “health” and this beautiful new hospital that has been established by Australians and Ugandans to provide medical care to the isolated rural community at Kitgum in northern Uganda. The operating theatre is shortly to be equipped with a Glostavent Helix machine that will enable anaesthetic and surgical services to begin at the hospital.

The final stop was Kiwoko hospital in Nakaseke district to inspect and check on their six-year old Glostavent, before heading back to Kampala for an overnight stop and the flight home. Another busy week!

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