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.

Monday, September 28, 2009

TEAM UNC Arrives in Kampala Uganda

17 team members boarded an airplane @ RDU Saturday at noon carrying 900 lbs of additional medical equipment and supplies. Sunday evening at 8pm (local) (1 pm EST) we arrived anxious to begin our mission. We stayed at a hotel outside Entebbe airport due to safety concerns of traveling at night and more importantly the recent riots in Kampala sparked by a disagreement between the the president of the country and a tribal king. We drove into the city early this morning, spending 1.5 hrs on the main road from Entebbe, then veering off to back roads for the final miles into the Capital due to gridlock. We have checked into our modest housing on the perimeter of the Mulago hospital complex. It will be our home for the next 10 days.

Our heavy/large equipment, which was shipped in August, has finally entered the country last night in the belly of our plane, but is still in the process of clearing customs. We need that equipment to proceed with our planned surgeries. We are hopeful the shipment will arrive by 5pm today. It will be a late night unpacking that shipment. We are all scurrying about reorganizing the pediatric cardiac ICU (4 beds) and stepdown unit (4 beds). Much of our organization system from previous missions remains intact. The OR team is unable to enter the OR now due to an adult esophageal surgery that is underway. We expect that operation to end soon and the OR to be transformed into a Pediatric Cardiac OR. Drs. Lwabi, Dorostkar, and I will begin the final screening of patients now. We have narrowed the potential pool to 12 to fill the 10 planned surgeries. Patients vary in age from 11 months to 14 years. Our new team members are quickly orienting to their new environment though jet lag is present in all.

We are still planning on having our joint cardiac surgery case conference this afternoon to review the patients. There's a lot to fit in today.


sandi said...

Hey guys. Glad you're all safe. i can just picture the ol' PICU at the hospital. I'll be keeping up with y'all on this site. Say Hi to any of the nurses that may remember me. Blessings...Sandi

Anonymous said...

Great to hear all have arrived safely. Thank you for the opportunity to be a small part of the wonderful work that you are doing for the children and their families. I will be praying for your efforts and for all those involved. I look forward to future updates. Best wishes to all. CK (team member friend)

Butch Bryson said...

All John Bryson's friends and relations in the Texas Hill Country and elsewhere are thinking about you all and praying for the success of your enspired mission. I passed the word of your safe arrival to all I could think of this morning along with the link to your site.

Wm C Bryson, jr
Kerrville Texas

Joan said...

We are proud of what you all are doing and every success wished for all surgeries and safe trip!

Anonymous said...

The whole Konsler family wishes you and the entire team a very successful trip. We look forward to hearing all about it over dinner with you and Trish!
Gwen and Tommy