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.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sharing education at Mulago Hospital

The team is back in the United States, home from another full mission of interdisciplinary exchange at the Mulago Hospital of Makerere University in Kampala. We taught, directed practice, and learned much about delivering health care in Uganda.

With input from the nursing staff of Mulago we were able to direct our teaching and training efforts to areas of post op care that they felt most in need of. This included reviewing the pathophysiology of congenital heart defects and the indications for and uses of cardiac medications, calculating and preparing cardiac medications and infusions, discussing a variety of cardiac case scenarios, interpreting chest xrays and ECG wave forms, treating post operative pain and discussing cultural differences in providing pain control, and demonstrating physical assessment and discussing and treating the findings.

All of this teaching was done while the nurses provided excellent bedside care to the ten patients and their families. All teaching was done at the bedside during both day and night shifts. The Mulago and UNCH nursing teams were enthralled by the teaching and learning and could have spent many more hours discussing the nursing care involved in treating children following open heart surgery.

Over the ten days, we reconnected and strengthened our bonds with the staff nurses. These nurses were so very keen about practicing and refining the nursing skills they had learned during the past 'pediatric cardiac surgery camps' that it was both a privilege and a pleasure to be with them as they worked to perfect their nursing care. It was quite obvious from their practice and their questions that they have incorporated much of what has been presented to them in the 'camps' UNCH and other groups have provided. I look forward to continued collaboration with the Mulago nursing staff developing and implementing further educational resources.

-- Diane Yorke, PhD, RN, Clinical Education Coordinator for the UNC Project-Uganda

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