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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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Our Purpose for Service

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In just a few short weeks, an IVUmed volunteer team will be heading to Kampala, Uganda to conduct a female urology workshop. IVUmed workshops give our volunteer urologists the opportunity to change the lives of their host colleagues and their patients. The local doctors will gain essential surgical skills through training and educational models developed by IVUmed and its volunteers, who maintain professional contact throughout the year to continue the learning process.  Our international partners can then use their new capacity to help patients in their community, even after the volunteers have left.

This is a monumental event for our partner physicians, as well as patients like Veronica Nandego, shown above. Veronica Nandego mentions, “I have urinated on myself for 50 years.” Not only has she suffered countless years of public humiliation but has lost three children, lost ability to bear children and no longer presents proper urinary function. Veronica’s story is very common across Africa due to lack of capable physicians to perform the proper surgeries to deter maternal issues from becoming this severe.

IVUmed was contacted by local medical professionals in Uganda in hopes of coordinating for the upcoming workshop. We have had the opportunity to arrange travel arrangements for Veronica to reach Mulago Hospital, where the workshop will be hosted, approximately 45 kilometers away from her one-room hut in Bugembe.

Working with IVUmed’s volunteer physicians will better equip the local doctors with the skills they need to help many African women like Veronica return to society and  live a normal life.

IVUmed’s motto, Teach One, Reach Many, guides our continuing successes in improving the quality of life for individuals worldwide through building the confidence and skill sets of local medical professionals.

To read more about Veronica’s story and personal life, continue to this article.


Map of Uganda from Jinja district, where Veronica lives, to Mulago Hospital in Uganda.

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