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IVUmed – Helping Children Around the World

IVUmed Rwanda

IVUmed in Rwanda

IVUmed’s Pediatric Urology Capacity Building Program makes quality surgical care available to children around the world – especially in low-resource areas. We accomplish this by building a global network of train-the-trainer centers of excellence. There are no pediatric urologists in sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti, and many places in India, leaving millions of children without access to care for debilitating urological conditions.

Pediatric urology diseases, malformations and injuries are among the most common conditions affecting children worldwide, and are up to 10 times more common than cleft lip and palate. In the US, when a baby boy is born with a condition such as hypospadias (a congenital condition in which the opening of the urethra is situated on the underside of the penis instead of at its tip), surgery can be performed before the child is even out of diapers, and there are few to no lasting effects. In countries where this type of surgery is not available however, shame, poor self-esteem and secrecy surround this condition, which often results in adult infertility if left unrepaired.

IVUmed’s teams of volunteer physicians, nurses, and anesthesiologists provide hands-on surgical workshops, lectures, online educational materials, telehealth consultation, and impact measures to equip doctors and nurses with the skills they need to care for children in their communities. In turn, these newly trained medical professionals build future capacity for care by passing along IVUmed training to their colleagues, fulfilling IVUmed’s motto, “Teach One, Reach Many”.

IVUmed’s focus on education stands out among global health organizations, as does our focus on urology. Another unique element to IVUmed is our collaborative model. While IVUmed is guided by a dedicated board and staff, leadership of our programs stems from the dynamic doctors and administrators at our many partner hospitals around the world. Their priorities lead our efforts, which are put into action by our volunteer doctors and nurses. Together, and with the generous donations of many benefactors, we are building a worldwide system of pediatric training programs, ensuring that children everywhere will have access to the care they need.

With the help of supporters like the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Societe Internationale d’Urologie (SIU), the American Urological Association (AUA), the Pan-African Urological Surgeons Association (PAUSA), and regional surgical associations, IVUmed is building a strong global network. Teaching hospitals throughout the world, skilled medical volunteers, ministries of health, local community leaders, international medical societies, regional colleges of surgeons, and charitable foundations combine strengths to give children everywhere the opportunity to lead the healthy, productive lives they deserve.

You can be involved too, whether a physician, engineer, photographer, philanthropist, medical student, etc.  We invite you to explore our volunteer opportunities here.  http://www.ivumed.org/how-you-can-help/

IVUmed patient in Vietnam

IVUmed in Vietnam

 

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Quotes from the Field: Kumasi, Ghana

March was our busiest month yet at IVUmed – including five workshops across the globe! We’re highlighting this excellent work with quotes from IVUmed volunteer medical providers on those trips and photographs from the regions served.

 

Today’s Highlight: Kumasi, Ghana

 

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“This was my first international trip. The lack of medical supplies and general knowledge was striking to me. Key is to working with what they have and building on basics to help create lasting education and change in practice. I left feeling like we made a difference in caring for these patients and teaching nursing staff how to care for our patients as well. I felt humbled and lucky to have the kind of medical care we have in the US. One of the most memorable things I saw in Ghana was how loving the families were– all of the children had parents there who loved them and were there taking care of them. On rounds in the ward, they all supported each other and it was one big community. I was so happy they were welcoming and were appreciative of what we were there to do.”  (Shared Anonymously)

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“It was fantastic. I really want to get heavily involved with IVUmed in the future! Let me help!!! Most memorable experience was how grateful the patients are. I work a lot with inner city patients who have no insurance, and I used to think that they would be grateful to have any medical care. I found this to not be the case, so it was just so nice to be able to operate and have patients just be so very grateful and to try to do exactly what the doctors said (even though in some cases there was a language barrier.)” Janae Preece, MD

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Programs Update: Kumasi, Ghana

 

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IVUmed Chair, Hiep “Bob” Nguyen, MD, recently returned from a pediatric urology workshop in Kumasi, Ghana. He reflected on the IVUmed team’s work there and shared these thoughts on the experience:

 

“It has been a wonderful trip. The team has been working very hard…everyone is exhausted but so energized from being able to take care of so many children. We received so much thanks from the parents, making us wish we could even do more, but there are only so many hours during the day and days during the week.

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“Our Ghanian hosts have been so generous with their time and assistance. They crowd our operating room wanting to learn and share their experience with us. 

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“The surgical workshops challenge you physically, mentally and spiritually. They give you a new perspective on health care and on kindness, making you a better person with each patient you take care of and each health care provider you help learn.”

 

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Ghana Opens World’s First FGM Reconstructive Hospital

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According to the online news source GhanaWeb, the world’s first hospital dedicated specifically to reconstructive surgery for women who have suffered Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is opening next week in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, Ghana.

 

The hospital is called “Kamkaso,” meaning “the house for women,” and was funded by donation from worldwide volunteers and philanthropists totaling $400,000. It will open in  on March 7, 2014 and will serve West Africa.

 

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At Kamkaso, experts will “perform clitoral surgeries and also train interested surgeons to restore FGM victims to sexual and self-dignity”.  Communications Director Nadine Gary stated, “We hope the hospital will serve as humanitarian pilot project for other parts of Africa and it’s likely to be replicated in other parts of Africa”.

 

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An IVUmed pediatric urology team will be training Ghanian doctors and nurses and providing patient care in Kumasi, Ghana from March 1-9. We look forward to working with and training Ghanian medical providers during this trip and in the future, supporting Ghana’s efforts to improve surgical care for the children, women, and men of their beautiful nation.

 

To read more about Kamkaso Hospital, go here.

 

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IVUmed is committed to making quality urological care available to people worldwide.