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.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
We have had such a wonderful few days, meeting the Ugandan children and their families before surgery when apprehensions are running high and the tears run freely. We are later met with smiles, words of thanks, and tears of joy when the families reunite after surgery. But as I lay in bed, contemplating tomorrow, my thoughts are broken by the screams that cry out in the night in the open air Mulago Hospital. We are surrounded by others who have not been as fortunate as the children we operated on today. Instead, families are grieving in the most profound way over the loss of those dear to them. We are traveling with Dr Cathy Partyka, an old friend of Drs Sable and I (we were pediatric residents together in Washington DC), who is spending her vacation time in the neonatal ICU on the 5th floor of Mulago Hospital. Her first day was not as joyful as ours...She was greeted first thing in the morning by the deaths of 3 newborns. She has been introduced in a harsh way to the realities of Ugandan Medicine; knowing what and how to save a child's life but being unable to accomplish this in the austere conditions we work in. We hope and pray that tomorrow will be another successful day for our team and a day of healing for those around us who are infirm......Good night...