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 1, 2009

Gifts for the children

The team brought gifts for the children to have after their surgeries. Brightly colored bags are filled with pencils, notebooks, crayons, bubbles, kazoos, etc. The bubbles and kazoo are wonderful for improving their lung function. The favorite seems to be the Beanie Baby stuffed animals. The children are asking for them immediately after they wake up during the day and evening post op. They are most comforting.

My own children, Kyra and Connor, helped select books for the children as well. The older children received the High School Musical activity book. I was pleasantly surprised that they knew of the movie and one had even seen it. The smaller children have Sesame Street books, with the middle aged children choosing either Pirates of the Caribbean or The Chronicles of Narnia. The country has primary education for all.

(As an aside, we have learned on this trip that even Uganda has "universal" health coverage. . .)

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