The Challenge and Heartbreak of Low-Resource Surgical Care

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Uganda, Uncategorized

Bob Goodman, an orthopedic surgeon, served from 2014 to 2015 as a Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) volunteer educator in Uganda. Bob reflects on the difficulty and heartbreak of trying to provide the best surgical care possible in a setting where resources are unavailable for timely, safe and effective surgery. A 23 year old young woman, Angela, presented to the orthopedic clinic with a swollen left thigh and an ulcerating lesion of the bone below her knee. Her symptoms had begun many months before, and multiple tiny laceration scars on her leg were evidence of the unsuccessful treatment she had received from a traditional healer. Angela was admitted to the orthopedic service at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. The x-rays showed destruction in her tibia and a calcified tumor on her left femur. Cultures of her wound grew Staphylococcus. The available … Read More

Abraham: How I Make a Difference as a Health Worker

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Uganda

“I think that one of the best ways that I can make a difference as a health worker, is tackle problems at the upstream level.” This is what drives the passion and professional ambition of Abraham Openy, a fifth-year medical student at Gulu Univeristy in Uganda. And his dreams of having an impact go beyond treating individual patients. “I have always wanted to make a different in my community, since I was young. And its why I decided to pursue medicine. But I want to have a greater impact by working at a policy level. I want to apply my passion for social justice and equity to health care.” Abraham’s drive is evident when examining his growth as a leader in his community and school. He is currently part of the Federation of the Uganda Medical Students Association (FUMSA), a … Read More

Dr. Ewarko Obuku: Strengthening Uganda’s Health Workforce

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Uganda, Uncategorized

Last month a variety of stakeholders gathered to discuss the state of medical education, health worker training, and career development in Uganda. Supported by Seed Global Health, the meeting brought together various partners from academic institutions, professional societies, government agencies and international organizations to discuss gaps in medical training in Uganda. We spoke with the Secretary General of the Uganda Medical Association, Dr. Obuku Ekwaro, to talk about the challenges facing medical education in Uganda, solutions on the table at this important, multilateral meeting. What is the need for health workers in Uganda? There’s a serious shortage of health care workers in Uganda. The latest data shows that there are less than two health workers for every 1,000 people. And that number has not changed substantially even despite the increase in population in Uganda. The current framework and policy around … Read More

Seed Helps Organize Antimicrobial Resistance Conference in Mbale Uganda

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Uganda

Drug and antibiotic resistance is increasingly becoming a global problem, and having more and more of an impact on patient care and health.  On November 21st and 22nd in Mbale Uganda, various stakeholders came together at the first National Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance.  The conference brought participants from the World Health Organization, The Ministry of Health, The National Animal Industry and Fisheries, as well as leaders in laboratory sciences, clinical practice, and veterinary medicine.  The conference focused on finding new and innovative ways to create a multi-sector response to the issue.  Also in attendance were medical students from Busitema University, a supporter of the conference .  Seed had the opportunity to talk to a few of them and hear about what inspired them to pursue a career in medicine, and how they hope to make a difference in their community … Read More

Teacher and Student Find Inspiration in Each Other – Mary and Shamim

CommunicationsBlog, Featured, Uganda

When Mary Sebert arrived at Mbarara University of Science and Technology as a GHSP Nurse Educator in 2013, Shamim Ndagire was starting her final year as a nursing student. Despite three years of training, Shamim was still feeling apprehensive about treating patients. But with Mary’s teaching and guidance, today Shamim is a practicing nurse working at an Intensive Care Unit in Uganda. Mary also learned from her students, including Shamim, and improved her skills as an educator. Three years later, Mary and Shamim have remained friends. Recently Mary and Shamim reconnected to share the impact each has had on their own lives.    —————————————————————– Shamim –  About Mary… If I hadn’t worked with Mary at university, I am not so sure if I would be practicing nursing right now. I was very encouraged by her because for three years I … Read More

Collaboration and Partnership Secures Accreditation for Nursing Program in Uganda

CommunicationsBlog, Nursing, Uganda, Uncategorized

  For GHSP Nurse Educators Genevieve Evenhouse and Janet Gross, it would be months before they would actually begin teaching nursing students at Muni University in the West Nile region of Uganda. When they first arrived in July of last year, the nursing program at the school had unexpectedly lost its accreditation from the Ugandan National Council of Higher Education. Motivated to restart the program and get students into the classroom, Evenhouse and Gross worked closely with Amos Drasiku, the Head of the Nursing Department at Muni. Drasiku has significant experience working in the Uganda health system as both a nurse educator and a clinician in private and public hospitals. “Amos truly embraces the concept of teamwork,” says Gross. Together, they worked to meet the conditions for program accreditation. “We needed all the necessary requirements to run the program and … Read More

Empowering My Students to Have a Voice – Nurse education in Uganda

CommunicationsBlog, Nursing, Uganda, Uncategorized

Two years ago, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) established the first Masters in Critical Care Nursing program in Uganda with a small class of just six students. After two years of intensive course work and direct patient care, the students are approaching graduation. Prior to becoming a Global Health Service Partnership Volunteer, I spent more than 10 years as a pediatric intensive care nurse. Now, as a GHSP Nurse Educator, I have used my knowledge and experience to mentor and train these students in their second and final year of study. The students conduct most of their clinical training at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH). But the resources to make the best evidence-based practice interventions are often unavailable at MRRH.  So as they prepare to end their program, they are required to spend three weeks in the Intensive … Read More

Sharing knowledge and memories – GHSP Volunteer and Ugandan physician reminisce

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Uganda, Uncategorized

Ari Hoffman had just completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, when he arrived as a visiting faculty member at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Uganda in 2013. Sam Olum had arrived a year earlier as an Internal Medicine resident, after having completed medical school at Gulu University and working for two years as a medical officer at Lira Hospital and Lacor Hospital in northern Uganda. Both of them anticipated Ari’s arrival as a Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteer with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Ari worried that the residents he would be teaching, including Sam, had already worked as medical officers and probably had more clinical experience than he did. Sam was concerned that the GHSP Volunteers, including Ari, would expect them to know all about medical procedures … Read More

GHSP Volunteers in Uganda organize national conference on wound care and pain management

CommunicationsBlog, Seed Awards, Uganda, Uncategorized

Over 220 local health professionals attended a conference on wound/burn care and pain management organized by Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteers in Uganda on April 16. The conference was funded and organized using Program Support Resources provided by GHSP, and involved GHSP Physician and Nurse Educators, faculty colleagues, and medical and nursing students from all of the GHSP sites in Uganda, including a delegation of 60 who crowded onto a bus for the 11-hour journey from Mbarara in southern Uganda to Lira in the north, where the conference was held. “It was a wonderful conference,” reported Cherie Clark, a GHSP Nurse Educator based in Lira, who shouldered the daunting logistical challenges of hosting a national conference at a new university that opened its doors less than four years ago. “We had pretty broad representation. We had quite a few … Read More