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, April 13, 2011
Sorry for the paucity of communications as the internet has been out at our guest house and at the hospital. Mellanye Lackey was able to work out a satellite communication modem card that we are now using. Well the team is in HIGH GEAR after arriving Monday am. Tuesday morning was spent trying to organize and develop our strategy for all that the team is doing. Jenny Boyd has taken the HUGE task of transforming the PICU space (now 6 years old located "Up the Hill") into a FUNCTIONAL PICU, with all the limitations that come with doing this in a resource limited environment. With all the PICU RNs (John, Kristi, Anna, Jeannie,Sue and Katherine), immersed in the formidable task ahead the PICU was transformed in a matter of hours. Shiela and Judy worked on establishing oxygen therapy and noninvasive ventilation, which we needed before lunch ever arrived. SO, the next in the list of FIRSTS for our team is putting a child with severe respiratory distress onto BiPaP....Fast forward 1.5 days and that child is alive on a nasal cannula, thought still recovering...The team has been thrown into the fire and have acted with great resilience. Tim Weiner operated with our long time friends and colleagues at the Heart Institute on 3 babies with PDA today. All are extubated and doing well in the Cardiac ICU ("Down the Hill"). He is scheduled to operate on a child with imperforate anus and another child with Hirshsprung's disesase. Jenn has got the OR restablished to allow for these surgeries to proceed. We've reconnected with old friends and made many new. Donna has spearheaded an intense pediatric resuscitation and clinical skills course for our Ugandan colleagues. Parvin is the 'jack of all trades" again this year working in the PICU, Cardiac ICU and cardiologist on call. All members of the team are participating in that training, which runs for 5 days. Mellanye gave Grand Rounds to the Dept of Peds unveiling access to UNC's AHEC digital medical library and other available electronic resources for them. Benny, Tommy and Robin left today for Mbarara. It was a longer ride than expected (5hrs) but arrived to very comfortable housing and a plan for an extensive evaluation of the facility while providing expert educational opportunities.
More to follow by all the new and old team members. We're all doing well and the only downer has been the lost bag. we're still hopeful as another KLM flight arrives tonight.