Gulu Gets New Digital X-ray Equipment

Dr. Drale Desmond attends to a patient

By David Martin Aliker

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that two-thirds of the planet does not have access to basic radiology services: simple x-rays, which can show a cracked bone or lung infection, and ultrasounds, which use sound waves to picture a growing fetus, track blood flow, or guide a biopsy.

Early this year (2019), the death toll on Kampala-Gulu Highway between January and March had reached 32 reports Daily Monitor. If the death toll in 3 months is 32; what will be the number of survivors in the last 6 months? Try and imagine the number of survivors who would succumb to death if the traditional x-ray method which takes time and has a higher margin of error was the only means of scanning their injuries?

Gulu Medical Imaging Consultants have purchased new digital x-ray equipment worth approximately 150 million shillings.

This is the first clinic in Acholi Sub- Region to invest in digital x-ray equipment. It can serve more than 80 patients in an hour.

Traditionally, to carry out an x-ray on patients; medics would have to operate in a dark room, take pictures and use chemicals to process the film in order to make a diagnosis.

The challenge with traditional x-ray systems is that the margin of error is high depending on one’s expertise in mixing chemicals and there is possibilities that the picture may not be clear hence misdiagnoses.

It also takes a lot of time to traditionally carry out an x-ray on patients besides the inconvenience of keeping the traditional x-ray films in big envelops.

A Digital radiography / X-ray is a form of X-ray imaging, where digital X-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film.

Its advantages include time efficiency through bypassing chemical processing and the ability to digitally transfer and enhance images.

This computerized Radiography (CR ) system consists of an image reader/digitizer, cassettes containing imaging receptors (photostimulable-phosphor plates), a computer console or workstation, software, monitors, and a printer. Imaging plates are inserted in a radiographic table’s cassette holder and images are acquired using the x-ray system.

Computed radiography (CR) cassettes use photo-stimulated luminescence screens to capture the X-ray image, instead of traditional X-ray film.

Digital x-rays benefit the patient in a variety of ways. Decreased radiation, clearer image quality for diagnosis, and less wait time for the patients.

According to Dr. Drale Desmond,” Gulu Medical Imaging Consultants can directly share scanned images with any medical institution with digital x-ray equipment without having to print the scans because it uses digital image and communication (DICOM).systems”

Digital x-rays have picture archiving and communication systems to review and compare results to even see an improvement ones sickness.

“Our plan is to improve access to imaging medical services to the community and this equipment makes work easier for us to carry out an x-ray in two minutes.” remarked Dr. Desmond.

Unlike other big medical institutions, the costs of their services are exceedingly low depending on the nature of sicknesses. The cost ranges from 20,000UGX to 250,000 UGX.

This is majorly to service the equipment and maintain the workforce otherwise most patients are unable to afford the cost of digital x-ray services.

Therefore, if you have any health related challenges especially with your bones or internal body parts that need scanning; visit their facility on Acholi road in Gulu and get served by the best radiologists in town.

Gulu Medical Imaging Consultants prides itself as having the highest level of expertise on radiography in northern Uganda with a dedicated and passionate team to serve you.

The author is a Blogger based in Gulu and can be reached on mdaliker@gmail.com

Published by La’Gulu

Aliker is the author of My Mayor (The Political Story of a Poor Elite and Rich Illitrate). Aliker is well spoken, a Blogger, Social Media Geek and an Alumni of Makerere University, Uganda Management Institute, Gulu University and University of San Diego-USA respectively.

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