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.
MissionThe 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.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Since we arrived here at Mulago the UNC team has been pulling all sorts of crazy shifts, morning shifts followed by a short break in the afternoon and back to work for the night shift, it is rather in the trenches, but the laughter is flowing, and singing is often heard from Nurses, patients and physiotherapists... We have special CPT songs where we do chest percussion on the children in time to singing local tunes. The friendships developing between the Mulago and UNC Nurses are some of the most devoted I have ever known and the mutual appreciation is as prevalent as the intense learning taking place. In not even a week we are seeing some wonderful ICU nurses become more confident and proficient. I am so very proud to witness such a transformation and to hope that we may be able to come back to build on this program.
The children are stoic, and proud but we are watching them gain trust in us and even the most serious are beginning to smile. Until they become like Edward our second patient who laughs with us and sings, borrowing every ones camera to take photos, which are actually very good. One of the things I love about Edward is that even though he is now out on the ward, he will visit the ICU patients, hold their hands and give them words of encouragement, he is a very kind and generous little boy.
Alicia is a 3 yr old that I have been helping to care for today, she is the cutest little girl, with a charming smile and brave personality, she gave her permission to Karla our Nurse practitioner today to go ahead and pull out her chest tube, with barely a cry.
I feel very humbled by the achievements I have been so fortunate to witness and the love and dedication from staff and patients warms everyone that has has the privilege to be here.
Katherine Desrochers, RN, PICU