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.

Friday, October 19, 2007

How many days?

Well, we are all doing well. It is now day 5 into this trip with surgery starting this past Tuesday. We can't seem to keep up with what day it is, but each has definitely been filled with plenty of work. The cases are not always straight forward postop, but we have worked hard to get these children through. The nursing staff are like sponges, all crowding around you when something is being done no matter how big or small it may seem to us. They are a sharp group of nurses with various levels--Sister Grace is the head nurse of the area, Sister Medina is similar to a charge nurse ( if I have gotten it right!) and then a sundry of other level nurses and finally interns who are recent nursing school graduates who are spending the next year going to all areas of the hospital to learn the work. We have managed to teach them about HP monitors , IV pumps, syringe pumps, blood gas machine use, ventilators including suctioning and retaping ettubes, arterial lines and drawing labs from them, and just the basic head-to-toe assessments with correlation to what they are putting down on the flowsheet. It is amazing how much they have absorbed in such a short period of time. One of the girls is a strict, but comedic nurse who told Katherine she must have missed the class on how to write well--you know, penmanship class. I have given her the name Teacher at which she smiles and gives a little laugh. Needless to say we are having a very rewarding experience with 5 more days to come!

Karla Brown, PNP

1 comment:

Uganda Medical Mission Team said...

Nice to hear how busy you all are and that the work is going successfully. Karla, you mentioned how quickly the staff nurses were learning about the equipment and necessary documentation. I was wondering what kind of working/professional relationships the Ugandan health care workers have with each other? Based on your short time there would you say that they work together as a team or is there much hierarchy in how roles are played out? I'm also interested in hearing about what kind of follow-up will these patients get when the medical mission team comes home? I assume many more trips are anticipated but has there been any thought to future implementation of telehealth-communication to assist with diagnosis and management? I'm sure you all can't believe how quickly the days are passing -- time does fly when you're having fun and doing good! Stay well.