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, April 17, 2011


It's Sunday and most of us are only working 1/2 day or have the day off.  I went to the pediatric Acute care unit that exists next to the Pediatric ICU to check on our patients (they had been moved from the PICU to the acute ward due to the fire yesterday).  I went with mixed feelings.  It's all a double-edged sword - I am well meaning - but I went hesitantly, because I knew that I could easily be sucked into the unending whirl of need and patient care (and though eager to work, ... I have limited energy also).  The most frustrating thing was and is and continues to be:  LIMITED SUPPORT.  Limited supplies, suboptimal education, overwhelmed and overworked staff, limited access to clean water, virtually no infectious disease precautions, cultural beliefs that hinder delivery of "western medical care" (be it treatment of hydration or infection), care delivered by a combination and mix of spotty staff and a variety of family members (making continuity and consistency a HUGE problem), language barrier, and inability to assess and address basic patient needs (such as hydration or fever), lack of follow-through and the seemingly un-ending number of very sick kids are enough to make anyone just stop and cry.
Never-the-less . . . you try to make a difference.  One baby at a time - just one

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