Originally funded by a seed grant from the UW Global Health Institute in 2019 that aimed to bring cardiopulmonary ultrasound to children in Uganda, the Department of Emergency Medicine and its trainees are engaged in ongoing teaching and research in at the Mbale Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) in eastern Uganda.
Primary Project Team
Dr. Jessica Schmidt, UW-Madison
Dr. William Okiror, MRRH/Busitema University
Dr. Peter Olupot-olupot, MRRH Clinical Research Unit
Dr. Jessica Schmidt leads the project with support of department faculty and trainees. The project, named Ultrasound Uganda, focuses on teaching pediatric residents, hospitalists, lecturers and clinical researchers in point of care ultrasound, as well as conducting clinical research.
Uganda is a country working toward improving the survival and well-being of its children, but there are hurdles to progress in education, newborn survival, nutrition, immunization, disease, poverty, violence, sanitation and hygiene, among other factors. Uganda is also home to over 900,000 children refugees and asylum seekers with unique healthcare challenges.
The collective efforts by Dr. Schmidt and the Global Health team here at UW strive to make Uganda a country fit for all children by building the capacity of local clinicians, affording children a better chance to live healthy lives and fulfill their potential.
Ultrasound Uganda aims to build the capacity of local clinicians in low-resource settings by developing skills in POCUS and conducting clinical research, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and survival rates. However, the project also encompasses additional needs assessments (e.g., needs of children living in and around Mbale with sickle cell disease) and mentorship of local clinician researchers by UW faculty.
The program has seen great success, with over 300 ultrasound scans completed as of April 2022. Participant enthusiasm was high, including among clinicians from pediatrics and internal medicine.