Transforming Lives: GSE Urogynecology Outreach 2023


In the spirit of global collaboration and medical outreach, Dr. Blake Osmundsen and Dr. Ian Fields embarked on a transformative two-week Urogyn campaign at Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana from October 30th to November 10th, 2023. This medical mission aimed to address urogynecological issues prevalent in the region and to teach local physicians the evaluation and surgical repair of these conditions. A dedicated team of third and fourth-year residents from Botswana – Drs. Dimeku, Laryea, Kago, and Kime took part in the mission. The campaign encompassed three days of clinic and patient screenings, followed by seven days of intricate surgical procedures. This post shares the details of their mission, shedding light on the significant impact it had on the lives of the patients and the local healthcare system, with a special focus on the inspiring journey of Keitumetse, a young woman who triumphed over adversity.

The Urogyn Campaign: A Collaborative Effort

At the heart of this mission was a collaborative effort between seasoned professionals and enthusiastic residents from the University of Botswana (UB). Dr. Osmundsen and Dr. Fields worked hand-in-hand with the third and fourth-year residents, fostering a unique learning environment that combined expertise with a commitment to community healthcare.

Clinic and Patient Screenings

The first three days of the campaign were dedicated to clinics and patient screenings. This phase was crucial in identifying and assessing individuals with urogynecological issues, laying the groundwork for the subsequent surgical interventions.

Operating Days

Following the initial screenings, the focus shifted to the operating room, where the team performed a total of 25 cases over seven intensive days. These cases ranged from addressing prolapse issues to intricate procedures involving rectovaginal and vesicovaginal fistulas. The surgical team included UB residents and faculty in every case to ensure dissemination of skills and knowledge.

Patient Story: Keitumetse’s Triumph Over Adversity

Among the many inspiring stories that emerged from the Urogyn campaign, the tale of Keitumetse stands out as a testament to the transformative power of compassionate healthcare. Keitumetse, a vibrant and hopeful young woman, had been living with the burden of a vesicovaginal fistula – a condition that often leads to uncontrollable leakage of urine through the vaginal opening.

Upon meeting Keitumetse during the patient screenings, the medical team, led by Dr. Osmundsen and Dr. Fields, recognized the urgency and complexity of her case. .

The day of the surgery arrived, and the operating room buzzed with focused energy. Keitumetse lay on the operating table, nervous but also so hopeful to have her life back. The UB residents and faculty, under the guidance of the visiting experts, embarked on a meticulously planned surgical procedure to repair the vesicovaginal fistula.

As the hours passed, the surgical team worked in harmony, addressing the challenges posed by the condition with skill and precision. The operating room became a space where expertise and compassion converged to bring about positive change in Keitumetse’s life.

The surgery was a success, marking a turning point for Keitumetse. As she emerged from the anesthesia, a smile graced her face – she would no longer have to avoid friends, family and the things she enjoys doing. The medical team’s dedication had not only repaired her physical ailment but had also contributed to restoring her confidence and ability to live her life without constant embarrassment of urinary leakage.

Local Impact and Community Empowerment

Beyond the surgical achievements, the Urogyn campaign had a profound impact on the local community. By addressing urogynecological issues that often go untreated, the campaign contributed to the overall well-being of the patients involved. The empowerment of the Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana was evident, as the collaboration not only provided immediate relief but also enhanced the hospital’s capacity to handle similar cases in the future.

Global Health Partnerships: A Blueprint for the Future

The success of the urogynecology campaign serves as a blueprint for future global health partnerships. It highlights the potential for positive change when international medical professionals collaborate with local healthcare systems. By sharing knowledge, resources, and expertise, such partnerships can address critical healthcare needs, leaving a lasting impact on communities around the world.

Dr. Blake Osmundsen and Dr. Ian Fields, along with the dedicated team of UB faculty and residents, undertook a transformative urogynecology campaign at Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana. Beyond the surgical achievements, this mission exemplified the power of collaboration, education, and compassion in global healthcare outreach. As the stories of patients like Keitumetse unfold, it becomes evident that the impact of such initiatives extends far beyond the operating room, creating a ripple effect that empowers communities and shapes the future of healthcare on a global scale.