By Marley Dozier, Youth Editor
Mubiru Dissan is a 24-year-old African man who has earned his orthopedic diploma in Uganda. He has spent ten years in school and wishes to go to medical school and ultimately reach his heart’s passion for being an Orthopedic surgeon. He has a passion for healthcare projects, and together with his colleagues under an organization called MERCY LINK FOUNDATION AFRICA, is working to educate African villages with simple healthcare skills, such as liquid soap-making and personal hygiene. Just like everyone else, Dissan has faced some challenges and has managed to overcome them. I asked him a few questions about his journey. Here are his responses:
Q: Why did you choose medicine; what sparked your passion?
A: My heart beats for medicine and orthopedics in particular. On the Accident and Emergency ward, during my practice, I saw many fractured people who are systemically sound but tagged ‘patients’ – this pinched my nerves and I felt pushed to yearn for surgery in orthopedics so that I may realign their broken bones. Ironically, whenever I was due for theatre placement, I was frequently sent to the orthopedics from where I practiced with my heart at peace and self-driven.
Q: What made you decide to start teaching healthcare to villages in Africa?
A: During my hospital placements, I realized that most of the non-orthopedic patients were at the hospital because of their ignorance in regard to personal healthcare back at their residences. I felt it worth and sensible to arrest ignorance at its infant stage before it graduates into chronic illnesses. This was started under a healthcare program specifically arranged to target villages where health awareness is scarce. “Prevention is the better cure” was the drive in my heart.
Q: What are some of the hardships or problems you have faced?
A: The gist of this program is to equip communities with health tips and health materials at a layman’s level – materials like first-aid kits. It’s absurd that we’ve nothing like this at the moment, which has made the program particularly significant. Secondly, in our communities, residents are fond of expecting a handful of token for their attention, no matter the importance of services rendered, be it in medical care or health sensitization. On many occasions, we’ve gone out to communities with information without ‘handouts’ for the communities. Our reception has been marginalized to a few attendants even after thorough mobilization! This has been a piece of discouragement to the team. Lastly, teamwork is not an easy value to achieve as everyone has their own opinion and say concerning the health program.
Q: How did you push through your challenges?
A: In the organization where we work as a team, we are provided with some transport arrangements which have assisted us to expand further in regards to reaching out to communities. In regards to teamwork, the organization has some other programs, such as Leadership training, so, combined efforts and programs bring us together to achieve a greater goal.
Q: Do you ever encounter people who do not want your help?
A: Many people look at it with a negative eye, so we penetrate communities tactically, using other community-friendly programs, which, in the end, ushers the Healthcare program as the mainstream. We mark the Healthcare program as our climax with full vigor and emphasis. The skills of penetration depend so much on the most common health challenges in a particular community.
Marley Dozier is the youth editor for Frontrunners Innovate contributing articles and interviews on the publication’s topics. She is a sophomore at an eastern NC high school in the US where she uses her leadership skills in NJROTC and aims for a career in health care.
Marley is a member of the Frontrunners Youth League.