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.

IVUmed patient in Vietnam

IVUmed in Vietnam


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Mongolia 2010

Thanks to the generous support of our volunteers and donors, we have completed our third joint pediatric and general urology workshop in Mongolia. Volunteers trained medical personnel at State Central Hospital #1 and the Maternal and Child Hospital in Ulaanbaatar. The workshop brought together a highly skilled and dedicated multinational partnership with the shared goal of enhancing the quality and availability of urological training and care in Mongolia. The workshop served 60 children and adults while providing training for over 30 Mongolian physicians and nurses.

After successfully completing prior workshops, training at both hospitals has now advanced to include more complex procedures specifically tailored to be performed in Mongolia. This included advanced cystectomies and laparoscopic nephrectomies at the adult hospital. While building upon previous trainings, the goal is to help our Mongolian medical partners become independent in delivering much needed urological care.

Heather LeMelle, IVUmed’s Operations Coordinator, joined this year’s team and shares about her experience: “The Mongolian children have a trust beyond my imagination for the doctors and nurses within the walls of the OR. This is an experience of a lifetime. To my wonder and amazement, just hours after surgery, these little ones would smile at me. I witnessed the teaching of the procedures between colleagues and the devotion of the entire Mongolian and US team while breaking through language barriers. I am honored to have participated.”

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