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Local Champions

Meet the Champion: Dr. William Okiror

Dr. Okiror is a medical doctor and currently a finalist student of Masters
of Public Health at Busitema University. Professionally, he is registered
with the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC)
and Uganda Medical Association (UMA). William is passionate about
research. In the last 7 years of practice, he has participated in research
areas involving infectious diseases in children besides conducting
clinical ward rounds, teaching intern doctors and students. In his spare time, he enjoys playing football and watching movies. 

What got you interested in POCUS?

For the past 7 years of clinical practice, I have experienced challenges in bedside diagnostics for different patient conditions. Diagnosis in non-ambulant patients has been challenging because most of the time we rely on centralized facilities like the radiology department for diagnosis/treatment. I picked interest in POCUS because it has aided bedside diagnosis, it’s portable, user-friendly, and healthcare professionals can be trained on how to use it.

Where do you hope to take POCUS in the future at your site in Mbale?

My hope is that in the future, POCUS will be part of the diagnostic workup for the routine clinical care of patients. In addition, clinicians not only in Mbale but across Hospitals in Uganda will have been trained on POCUS and will be embraced with new technology. 

Do you have any tips or advice for others doing similar work?

Yes, we need to open up more room for collaborations with partners doing POCUS, so that we can share knowledge and experiences in different settings, this will enable us to steer this project further. I am particularly excited with platforms such as ”Global Ultrasound”, I believe this will bring everyone doing POCUS together.

What has been hard about getting POCUS up and running in Mbale?

The one machine we have  for POCUS is not adequate  to meet patient demand. The COVID 19 pandemic could not allow us to do POCUS efficiently among the covid suspects. There was fear of contaminating the machine. Some walkways in the hospital are not paved well  to enable the rolling of the machine.

How would you go about implementing our project differently?

I think we have done the first phase of the project-the training and baseline research. Next would be lobbying for more machines to use in the hospital. Thereafter we shall evaluate and assess how POCUS has impacted the clinical practice.

How has POCUS changed your clinical practice?

As a clinician, POCUS has ensured prompt diagnosis and treatment of my patients other than relying on other diagnostics like Chest X-ray services which are sometimes not reliable. More so, POCUS has also ensured timely referral of patients for further care. POCUS  has created more opportunities for research and collaborations. e.g. we are doing a study on pneumonia 

How do you think we can work with you in the future to improve POCUS in Mbale?

We need to roll out more training to health workers across the region. We need to lobby for more POCUS machines to aid clinicians. We need to engage in future research to explore more uses of POCUS like scanning eyes, abdomen.

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