IVUmed returned in person June 18-25, to Uganda visiting three sites in Kampala and one hospital in Mbale, Uganda with a team of urologic oncologists. Dr. Scott Eggener, long-time IVUmed Board Member and University of Chicago Professor of Urology, and Urologic OncologistDr. Michael Large, from Urology of Indiana, represented IVUmed for the eight-day trip.
They spent the first part of the trip in the nation’s capital Kampala partnering with local urologists Dr. Henry Dabanja from Mulago Hospital, Dr. Mbaaga Kigongo from UroCare Hospital and Dr. Jackson Orem from Uganda Cancer Institute. They then traveled across the country to Mbale located in Eastern Uganda to partner with urologist Dr. Fred Kirya from Mount Elgon Hospital.
“The primary highlight is always the collaboration and kinship with urologic colleagues, particularly as we directly provide patient care and brainstorm ways to optimize urologic cancer care,” said Dr. Eggener.
Located in central-east Africa directly above Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, Uganda is slightly smaller than Oregon in landmass. It is part of the African Great Lakes area and the Nile River flows through its borders. Kampala, the national capital and largest city, and home to 3.8 million residents. Uganda has one of the youngest and most rapidly growing populations in the world. The median age is just 15.7 years.
A number of factors have affected the ongoing shortage of medical personnel in the country. Consider this: Uganda has less than two dozen urologists serving 46 million people. To address this, IVUmed has led 15 in-person training workshops since 2011. These workshops have focused on female, general, pediatric, reconstructive and oncologic urology topics. The most recent workshop focussed on prostate cancer to improve treatment outcomes for more Ugandan men, many of whom don’t seek treatment until the cancer is in an advanced stage.
Every IVUmed workshop and trip in country embodies IVUmed’s mission to teach local providers and foster local training and support networks. Each workshop presents opportunities for local surgeons, urologists, nurses, and anesthesiologists to learn new surgical techniques. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, IVUmed volunteers have presented 21 Virtual Visiting Professor lectures to our colleagues in Uganda, who operate from four different sites.