The Department of Internal Medicine provides professional services to patients needing diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases and conditions related to the internal organs and systems of the body. Internal Medicine sub-specialties include Infectious Disease and Pulmonology.
The department of medicine is comprised of the Main Ward, with an 84- bed- capacity, TB ward which has 30 beds and the Isolation Ward, with 20 beds.
We also work in co-ordination with the Adult Outpatient department, HIV/AIDS Clinic, Medical Emergency Unit and the Private Clinic through which our patients are admitted.
Our team comprises two physicians, two medical officers, four interns and, on average, 18 nursing staff.
The Internal Medicine department runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What we do
We admit and treat adult patients, and offer separate male and female sections. We have also reserved two special sections, an 8- bed Critical Care or high dependency unit and a 10-bed paediatric section where we admit only children, aged 6 years and above, should there be inadequate space in the Paediatric ward.
We mainly treat infectious diseases, such as Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Community acquired Pneumonias, Urinary tract infections.
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) with Hypertension and its complications, Diabetes, Cancers, Liver Cirrhosis being the leading conditions. The prevalent children’s conditions which are treated on our ward are Sickle Cell disease, Rheumatic heart disease and Renal failure.
Sickle cell anaemia in children is highly prevalent and a leading cause of death. Children are usually diagnosed with Sickle cell at the age of 4 months. They receive treatment and counselling here, even into adulthood.
Our specialist services include clinical bedside diagnostic and treatment, Palliative care for terminally ill patients, preventive health services and counselling.
Basic simple surgical procedures such as tissue biopsies (skin bone marrow and Lymph node, pleural biopsies) are carried out. We also offer some non-invasive diagnostics including ECG and Spirometry.
We serve as a training site for both Gulu university Medical students and Lacor Nursing Students.
We also serve as an internship site for newly qualified young doctors and nurses to come and practice their medical skills.
Furthermore, we are a research site in collaboration with Gulu University and to the Ministry of Health.
Challenges in healthcare
Diagnosis and treatment of Cancers (especially HIV associated cancers) is the biggest challenge our department is facing. We are able to treat definitively some Haematological cancers, but access to high quality drugs for management of other more complex cancers is a an area of concern that we are working on.
Hepatitis B associated Liver cirrhosis is another condition that challenges us due to the high cost of drugs and diagnostics.
PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE
Our aim now is to improve on Non Communicable Disease diagnostic and treatment capacity, especially for Cancers, so that patients do not have to travel to Kampala for diagnosis and treatment.
To better serve our region, we are aiming at strengthening our local student teaching and training capacity, with the intention of becoming a Medical Centre of excellence.