PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Doctors and nurses from Uganda have been in Maine for the past two weeks. They recently opened a cancer care center in the city of Kampala, and they're hoping to learn some strategies to care for their patients in a part of the world where resources are limited.
The hospital that the nurses work at, St. Francis, recently got a lot of donated equipment. The Rotary of Uganda helped build a brand new cancer center there, but resources are very limited in Uganda. The nurses came to Mercy Hospital in Portland to learn how to use equipment, and give chemotherapy and palliative care.
Dr. Suzanne Hoekstra, a surgeon in Mercy's Breast Care Center, traveled to Uganda last year and saw what the women were dealing with. "All the things we take for granted, IV pumps and surgical equipment, and even sinks with running clean water, they just don't always have available."
The nurses also received their first mammograms. Mammography is not available in Uganda. Mary Louise Owoko said, "I am lucky and happy that I've had a chance to have a mammogram out in America."
A grant from Rotary International paid for the trip, which lasted two and a half weeks. Among the other places, the nurses visited were Southern Maine Health Care, York Hospital, the University of New England and Southern Maine Community College.