About UNC Project-Uganda

In 2004, a group of UNC physicians established the Amal Murarka International Pediatric Health Foundation in memory of their colleague, Dr. Amal Murarka, who died unexpectedly in 2003. The foundation sent a medical team to Kampala to establish the country's first pediatric intensive care unit at Mulago Hospital, Makerere University, where Dr. Murarka had previously conducted research. Subsequent work in 2007 and 2008 focused on pediatric cardiac surgery. The foundation not only built a cardiac ICU, but also performed a total of 21 life-saving pediatric cardiac surgeries.

In 2008 the foundation partnered with the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases to establish UNC Project-Uganda.


The UNC Project-Uganda was established to support sustainable delivery of compassionate and competent health care to infants, children, and adolescents in Uganda; to improve the medical knowledge of the Ugandan health care workforce through in-country training and a physician exchange program; and to provide advanced medical equipment, medications, and services necessary for the delivery of compassionate and competent pediatric care in Uganda.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ahsante Sana

Its been 48 hours since landing in RDU from Africa, but the experiences are as vivid as ever. One thing is for sure: this trip exceeded my expectations in every way! From the moment we walked into the Mulago Hospital intensive care unit until we departed the beautiful city of Nairobi, we were surrounded by colorful, friendly people. Each one of them touched us in different ways but all were eager to make us feel welcomed as honored guests in their countries. The dignity and warmth of the African people were an inspiration to all of us.

To all of them, I say "Ahsante sana" for all you gave us and we learned from you.

This medical mission was made possible through the generosity of many and I'd like to thank the following sponsors of our UNC Team:

The Family of Dr. Amal Murarka
UNC Hospitals
Health Volunteers Overseas
Samaritan's Purse
GE Healthcare

We are very grateful for their support and commitment to our mission. We literally could not have been successful without their help all along the way--both before, during and after the trip. They were our partners as well as our supporters.

Finally, on behalf of the entire UNC Medical Team, I'd like to thank Dr. Keith Kocis for his enormous leadership, encouragement and unfailing good humor throughout the trip. To say that we were met with many challenges is an understatement; but Dr. Kocis always kept the faith and inspired us to solve the problems. He led by example, staying up later and sacrificing his own comforts for the sake of the children and our team. It was a privilege to work with him. Thank you, Dr. K, for being there for all of us!

Afrique, natumaini tutaonana tena--

Helen Snow

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