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.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Uganda Fall 2008

Well, it is that time of year again. The UNC group has been preparing for this Uganda trip since early Spring by acquiring donations of equipment from many vendors, establishing personnel, and discussing the general preparations needed for such a huge endeavor. I am excited to see the Ugandan staff again, especially the nursing staff who were so eager last year to learn. I still think about that trip, and find myself amazed at how much they learned and so desperately wanted to soak up more. This year has been a bit more organized on our part. The unknown is not as prominent in our thoughts as we are now building on what we did last year. We are going armed with multiple lectures, hands on opportunities, and will be able to leave them with the ability to reinforce what we have taught with CDs, jumpdrives, and handouts full of information. We have books donated to start a little "library" for the nursing staff thanks to Diane Yorke, our nurse educator who made it all happen. While I currently work as a Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery PNP, I quickly return to my bedside PICU nursing role that I had done so many years prior. I like the ability to combine the two roles in this environment. I can go back to my "roots" and yet have it enhanced with my PNP skills. I hope to impact not only the postoperative patients, but also the nursing staff through lectures and precepting. And like Lupe, I have found this to be such a rewarding experience in so many ways. I hope one day, the nurses will be able to come to the US to further their education and be able to take that back to Uganda to "pay it forward" to the rest of their community.

Karla Brown, PNP
UNC Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery

No comments: