Project CURE is a medical supply consignment organization with a number of pediatric hospitals in the developing world. The one in Uganda is a 42 bed hospital (24 beds on the pediatric ward, 8 in the adult ward and a 10-bed ICU) that was started twelve years ago. It remains the only pediatric hospital dedicated to neurosurgical disease in all of East Africa.
“It’s really an amazing place,” says Dr. Kennedy. “I’ve been inspired by the progress that this hospital has made in the treatment of pediatric infectious hydrocephalus, beyond that which has been done in regions of the world with incomparably superior resources.”
Though this first visit will last just a month, Dr. Kennedy says, “I am sure it will inspire me to return, to give back more, to work harder for medical outreach for children in developing areas, and to be an advocate for, and outspoken agent of funding their healthcare, in particular among organized neurosurgery in the U.S.”
During a busy neurosurgery residency, it can be difficult to carve out time for volunteer efforts such as these, but with the help of attending physician, Dr. Jeffrey Bruce from the Brain Tumor Center, Dr. Kennedy was able to argue the educational benefits of the endeavor. The trip qualified as an out-rotation and Dr. Kennedy went despite the lack of applied-for private funding.
Our attending physicians encourage residents and medical students to take part in these kinds of programs. Recent graduate, Dr. Elizabeth Fontana, made this same trip in 2010. You can read more about her experience there in our blog, Resident Fontana’s Eye-Opening Experience Treating Kids In Africa. Our attending neurosurgeons also support each other in these efforts. Stay tuned for a story about Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Dr. Richard Anderson’s recent volunteer work in Turkey.
We look forward to hearing more from Dr. Kennedy as his trip progresses.
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