Donate | The PanAfrican Acupuncture Project – Kisoro District Hospital, Dec 2013

Posted October 25, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Charity ~ 3,537 views



Kisoro District Hospital, July 2013

After arriving in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, we began the long 12-hour drive to Kisoro. This took us through many towns, past Lake Mburo National Park, through Mbarara town, and finally up the winding mountain roads to Kisoro. Located in the southwest corner of the country bordering the Congo and Rwanda, Kisoro is a ruggedly beautiful land of steep hills, towering volcanoes, and serpentine lakes.

The Kisoro District Hospital is extremely busy, offering outpatient and inpatient care to the people of the district of Kisoro as well as to Rwandans and Congolese, who easily cross the nearby border. In the dry season, there is often a lack of water. However, during our week-long training, due to some internal politics and struggles, the small amount of water that is usually available was difficult to find. The usual solution—bringing in water via the ubiquitous yellow jerrycans—barely fulfilled people’s needs. At the hospital this meant that there was very little water for cleaning and not enough water for any but the most urgent surgeries.

The opportunity for PAAP to begin working at the Kisoro District Hospital was in large part because of our collaboration with Doctors for Global Health (DGH). In many ways, DGH set the stage for our work. DGH has 10 initiatives at the hospital, including a Village Health Worker Program, a Volunteer Physician Staffing Program, a Medical Student Program, a Nursing Program, a Maternal Mortality Project, a Malnutrition Program, a Chronic Disease Clinic, a Psychiatry Project, a Disability Project, and a Cervical Cancer Screening Project and Women’s Clinic. In fact, the Cervical Cancer Screening Project employed
an approach very similar to ours, in that it included teaching hospital staff new skills over the course of three separate trainings. Working at this hospital would give PAAP the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the impressive number of DGH initiatives

With the enthusiastic support of Dr. Michael Baganizi, Medical Superintendent of the Kisoro Hospital, we began the training of 10 medical providers, all of whom are on staff at the hospital. The team of Trainers included Katie Dooley (Massachusetts), Caroline Smith (California), Walter Fischer (Belgium), Allen Magezi (local Project Coordinator), and me, Richard Mandell.

The Trainees eagerly embraced the new material. With Training Manual in hand, they began by learning the trajectories of the channels and the locations of the acupuncture points. And, after the introduction of clean-needle technique and Universal Precautions, they were soon practicing how to insert needles painlessly and with confidence. After instruction on how to use the Training Manual to guide them from intake through the choosing of the appropriate acupuncture points, the Trainees were ready to treat patients.

During the week, many patients came to be treated. As we Trainers supervised and observed the Trainers practicing, we were impressed by how quickly they were learning and how positively their patients were responding to the treatments. When we arrived at the hospital on the last morning, there were hundreds of patients lined up waiting for treatment. Everyone –Trainees and Trainees—treated patients.

After leaving Kisoro, we received word from Michael, who expressed his optimism about the Project’s success at the hospital. He reported that Trainees have been practicing. “Actually last evening, he wrote, “they were treating a patient at theatre [the operating room] when I went there for an operation.” They are already planning to secure a room and post regular hours to ensure that acupuncture has a permanent presence at the hospital.

We are all optimistic. With a leader such as Michael and an enthusiastic community of Trainees supporting and encouraging one another, Kisoro Hospital may certainly become a Ugandan hospital that will offer acupuncture well into the future to those who so urgently need the care and comfort that acupuncture can provide.

PAAP will return in December to conduct the second of three trainings.

Testimonial — My Experience with Acupuncture

Background   I am an Acupuncture Protocol Specialist and a retired senior orthopedic officer with experience of 41 years.   I have been practicing orthopedic medicine alongside Acupuncture medicine for the last 8 years.  I have used Both Acupuncture and western conventional medicine to alleviate illness and sustain human life.   I have practiced Acupuncture in all groups of people—men and women, young and old, and in many different ethnic groups both in Uganda and Rwanda.

Observations   Right from my training I picked a lot of interest, which I harbor up to now after seeing a number of amazing results, treating many chronic patients, and getting good results after acupuncture treatments.  I got encouraged further and made two concurrent studies.

  • Acupuncture in Mbarara This was done for a whole year to see how effective it was generally in the population in and around Mbarara.  The whole exercise started on 1st July 2006 and ended 30th June 2007. The total number of patients was  181, and the results were as follows:
    • 65% got healed with a single treatment.
      • 21% got healed with three treatments.
      • 11% got healed with more than three treatments.
      • The second one was done to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture treatments on diseases and symptoms related to HIV/AIDS. The results showed 98% success.

      The above studies encouraged me further to do Acupuncture treatments far and wide in the above mentioned countries on an almost daily basis.  And therefore I have treated a very large number of patients with different diseases. Below I highlight my experience and some of the few diseases I have treated.

      • Stroke:   Acupuncture treats stroke and within an average length of one month patients start walking by him- or herself.  Eight of the eleven patients I treated made it out of bed and walked by themselves; the three who didn’t make it gained a lot too. For example:

      One lady of 40 years had a stroke twice in the previous 2 years. By the time I met her, she was lying in her bed unable to talk or feed herself. She was being turned all the time and had developed a fistula and a urinary infection.  With

      • Acupuncture, the fistula stopped and the infection also stopped with a cover up of antibiotics.  She managed to turn herself with very little help, and she could be seated in her wheelchair without any support.  The number of people turning her reduced, and the family was happy with relief they got. 
      • The second patient was 80 years old and was obese. With Acupuncture treatment she managed to turn herself in bed and the number of people who were turning her reduced.
      • The third patient was a 30 year old man.  A scan had been made to his brain, but there was no proper diagnosis of what caused the paralysis. All his body was stiff and brittle, his lower limbs were fixed in adduction, and his upper limbs adducted to his chest.  After several treatments, this stiffness of the whole body reduced, but his lower limbs remained in adduction and the upper limbs remained attracted to his chest.   His body didn’t remain brittle/mental form he was in before.  His body become rather soft and his brother, who was doing a post-graduate in surgery, commented “At least he looks like a good patient.” All in all, no patient goes without something tangible on this treatment.
        • Other symptoms for these patients are pain, loss of speech, incontinence of urine and stool, wasted muscles, and stiff joints. When these symptoms are addressed they disappear very early. This is what impresses the patient and his attendants and encourages them to continue with the treatment. Generally patients gain body weight and have a greater sense of wellbeing.
        • Trauma   Simple injuries like bruises, contusions, and joint sprains respond very well. Acupuncture does wonders. Pain and inflammation reduce immediately so the patient can start walking freely. 
          • Fractures With fractures, pain is reduced and swellings subside within the first three days.  Patients on tractions don’t need a lot of weight, and the limb alignment is easily attained.  Even patients in plaster of Paris experience very little pain or no pain at all, and they report easy feeling.  And these fractures heal much faster.

        Joint stiffness In trauma cases, these correct so quickly that they present little problem when a patient is handled well.   I have treated a knee ankolysis which had happened 4 years before I met this patient.  When I met her she was complaining of other symptoms and had lost hope regarding the knee stiffness.  This was at 180 degrees. Other

        • symptoms were abdominal pain, ear problems, and stiff joints of the hands.  As treatment continued the knee had a flexion bent of 15 – 20 degrees.
        • Wound Healing I have treated different types of wounds, fresh wounds and chronic wounds, which are dirty like diabetic wounds.  With Acupuncture treatments. Septic wounds become very clean in the first three days and they reduce in size and qualify for a skin graft.
        • Head injuries When the patient who is restless after an accident is treated with Acupuncture, he or she cools down shortly after treatment.  I have often met these patients after 2 – 3 days of their admission.
        • Mal united fractures I have met mal united fractures of fibia and tibia. These also respond to Acupuncture treatment, and they reduce clinically on angulation and pain around the fracture side.
        • Paraplegia These patients also gain quite a lot from Acupuncture treatment. Incontinence of urine stops, pressure wounds heal, both motor and sensation improve. With prolonged treatment, there is no doubt that a great number of patients would get out of their beds much more quickly.
        • Other symptoms
          • Chronic headache All types of headache I have treated have been responding quite well, including migraines, trauma cases, stroke cases.  In migraines, the recurrences are reduced greatly.
          • Rhinitis/sinitis/simple cold I have treated a number of cases as after they have failed to recover from the western medicine. They recover very well. One interesting case was an 8-year-old boy.  This boy had been at Mulago Hospital, and according to his parents he had some operations which they had paid for heavily. At the time I met him, he could not breathe through his nose.  He was breathing through his mouth and therefore his mouth and throat were always dry, his nights were always painful, and he his groaning was disturbing the other members of the household.  After the first treatment he had a comfortable sleep, and the mother told me that the house was cool at least.  There followed other treatments. At the time he was in primary two. Now he is in primary six, and he is doing well and has never had any other attack.
          • Chest In asthmatic attacks when a patient is treated with Acupuncture he or she will tell you that the chest is light. And if Acupuncture treatment continues the crisis of attacks reduce to the extent that one may say that it has healed.  In asthmatics, cough, chest pain, and wheezing are reduced.  
                • Palptations Treating palpitations and chest pain also gives good results.  I have treated very many of these cases, be they hypertensive, diabetic, or cardiac patients.  Acupuncture treatments are very helpful in all cases.
                • Abdominal problems All cases, such as abdominal distention, constipation, diarrhea, also respond positively to Acupuncture treatment.  
                • Fibroids I have treated very huge masses in the lower abdomen, and the sizes reduce clinically during my presence. After few treatments, they disappeared completely.  I have also treated different types of hemorrhage and dysmenorrhea and they give good results.
                • Backaches I have treated a very large number of patients with backaches, even some having vivid osteophites on the x-rays or born with ankolysis of the spine.  Pain reduces and movements of the back improve.
                • Joints Shoulders, elbows, wrists, figures, hips, knees, ankles and toes—all respond well to Acupuncture treatments.
                • Anemia   Anemia patients also do well. I have treated patient with zero platelets without using needles but using acupressure and moxa, and the response was good.  She started gaining platelets, gained some strength, and was free of pain.
                • Acupuncture on Genocide victims I carried on Acupuncture treatments on genocide victims during the morning times in Rwanda between 7th and 14th of April 2013 in Nyagatare district referral hospital. A total number of 26 victims were admitted. Five of them were treated with Acupuncture before having any other drug. They responded so well! They felt calm and went to sleep, and when they woke up they were strong and were feel of other symptoms, such as general weakness, headache, backache and other associated joint pains.  All these patients were treated and dismissed by the 9th day of the same month.  This greatly reduced the number of days the hospital would have spent with them.  Generally, Acupuncture improves patient’s general health, reduces stress and anxiety, improves immunity and stops pain almost spontaneously.  It is therefore imperative and my strong opinion that Acupuncture treatment must be made available to all the concerned patients.  For we who have known the use of Acupuncture should strive to make known.Needles and adjucts like many of my colleagues I have been getting hem from PAAP organization without any charges whatsoever  And I thank PAAP Organization very much without any boundary Thank YOU PAAP!!!
                • Thank you Richard Mandell the President and founder of PAAP organization You have been very approachable instant at answering our questions helpful at the time we need you Your guiding and friendly attitude as done all this.  I have no good word to thank you. Thank you Richard!!! Thank you!!!  Thank you!!!

            Richard Mandell, Lic.Ac.
            Licensed Acupuncturist
            Founder and Executive Director
            The PanAfrican Acupuncture Project

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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