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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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Quotes from the Field: Pignon, Haiti

March was our busiest month yet at IVUmed – including five workshops across the globe! Our next few blog posts will highlight those trips with quotes from IVUmed volunteer medical providers and photographs from the regions served.

 

Today’s Highlight: Pignon, Haiti

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“It was heartening to see the level of enthusiasm from trainees at all levels. I felt that the Haitians are eager to develop the skills and to use them in their own practices. This is a transformative time for healthcare in Haiti, and we are lucky to be part of it.” Catherine deVries, MD

 

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“The local urologists were so grateful for the experience. After working with them for even a week, I could see improvement in their techniques. Making a difference like this (though it will take time) will truly improve the country. They were a great group of people, and with a refreshing drive to enhance their skills. It was inspiring to be a part such a great project that makes a real and immediate difference.” Jonathan Warner, MD

 

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IVUmed Volunteer Featured in Local Paper

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IVUmed is currently conducting a female reconstructive urology workshop in Pignon, Haiti at the Hopital Bienfaisance de Pignon until March 27, followed by a male reconstructive urology workshop through April 5th. The Morrison County Record out of Minnesota interviewed Justin Lindhart, a CRNA volunteer on the female urology team, on his fifth medical service trip to Haiti.

 

In his interview, Lindhardt shared details regarding his work with IVUmed and insights into providing medical training and care in Haiti, giving a perspective on the challenges and rewards of working in resource-poor areas around the world.

 

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Lindhardt is quoted, saying,  “IVUmed takes care of the background checks, helps with booking flights, places to stay, insurance and proof of licensure, etc. They make it much easier for us…Our goal is to teach the Haitian physicians and nurses the necessary skills in current urology practice.”

“The hospital at Pignon, in comparison to other third world countries, is outstanding. They have Stryker Endo Suites which means they have high definition monitors and video equipment. They are able to hook up by satellite to any hospital around the world to assist in teaching and learning from others. By using this equipment they are able to watch other procedures at other sites,” Lindhardt said.

“The thing that impresses me the most is the resilience of the patients. An example is we did a procedure on a 3-year-old boy who had a hernia. The next day he got on a motorcycle with his dad for the three-hour trip home. Never complaining or fussing at all.”

“In other years we had support  in the form of supplies from St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Catholic Health Initiatives, and Little Falls Anesthesia which we were very thankful for. Now there is funding through IVUmed and others. They have everything we need ready for us when we get there,” he said.

Lindhardt concluded his interview by saying, “It is an absolutely wonderful learning experience. I would encourage anyone who can to try the experience.”

 

Our thanks to the Morrison County Record for covering this story, and to Justin Lindhardt and all of the many IVUmed volunteers who serve around the world to help realize IVUmed’s goal to make quality urological care available to all people.

Read the original interview on The Morrison County Record website here.

 

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