UNC Surgery Around the World

Many health care providers in the Department of Surgery volunteer their services abroad, for the most part providing surgical care and instruction in developing nations.  Recent travels include:

Tanzania Trauma Registry

Renae Stafford, MD, MPH, of UNC's Trauma/Critical Care division, traveled to Tanzania on an independently funded trip to establish ongoing educational contacts and to facilitate the development and implementation of a national trauma and emergency care database registry project.  Read more.

Angkor Hospital for Children, Cambodia

Dr. Tim Weiner, UNC Pediatric Surgery, returned to Siem Reap, Cambodia, accompanied by Elizabeth Speck, a PGY-5 resident with the Department of Surgery. For a week in October 2009, Drs. Weiner and Speck volunteered their surgical expertise at the Angkor Hospital for Children, a pediatric hospital funded by the NGO Friends Without A Border.  Dr. Speck's report.  Previous trip: Cambodia trip 2008

Mulago Hospital, Uganda - Revisited

In its third visit in as many years, a UNC-led medical team provided heart surgery for ten children with complex congenital heart defects at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. At the time of their departure on Oct. 7, all of the children were doing well.  Full report.

South Africa - Learn-Not-to-Burn

Ernest Grant, RN, MSN, Director of Burn Prevention and Community Outreach at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, traveled to South Africa in August 2009 to conduct a Train-the-Trainer workshop on the South African version of the Learn-Not-To Burn Preschool program. Conducted in concert with the National File Protection Association (NFPA), this is the culmination of an eight year project that involved several prior visits to identify the scope of the project, challenges of burn and injury prevention, and strategies for implementing a multi-faceted program. The effort in August focused on the adoption of the Learn-Not-to-Burn Preschool curriculum by several key organizations, including the Early Childhood Development Institute, the National Injury Prevention Program, and the Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services system.  Additional information (.pdf)

Kamuzu Central Hospital, Malawi

UNC Surgery significantly expanded the longstanding collaboration between UNC and the Kamuzu Central Hospital, which has primarily focused on HIV and AIDS efforts, to include the prevention, treatment, and research of trauma and burn injuries.  Dr. Jonathan Samuel (Surgery resident) is spending two years in Lilongwe, Malawi to conduct surgical research and assist with clinical care. In addition, Drs. Anthony Charles (UNC Trauma and Critical Care) and Clara Lee (UNC Plastic Surgery) travel regularly to Malawi to oversee research efforts and provide surgical care and instruction. Additional information and photos, including a Global Health Update (Feb. 2009) from Myron Cohen, MD, Director of Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases.

West Bank, Palestine

The West Bank (2.5 million people) and Gaza (1.5 million people) have limited resources for care of children with cleft and craniofacial anomalies. Surgical care of these children has been limited historically to sporadic foreign surgery teams that have not traveled to these sites during times of political upheaval. Over the last several years, Dr. John van Aalst, UNC Plastic Surgery, has led many trips to the West Bank. The objectives of each trip: surgically treat between 25 and 55 children with cleft lip and palate, ear, and nasal deformities; and share expertise on cleft care with local surgeons, dentists, orthodontists, speech therapists and audiologists. Funding for the trips are provided by the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund and a grant from The SmileTrainAdditional information and photos.

Mulago Hospital, Uganda

In October of 2008, a pediatric heart surgery team, comprised of healthcare providers from UNC, the Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC, and the Jacksonville Hospital, traveled to Kampala, Uganda in their second annual excursion. In helping the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Program at Mulago Hospital reach a goal of self sufficient, sustainable care for Ugandan children with heart disease, the team performed ten surgical cases and followed up on the ten surgical patients from 2007 (pictured above in group shot with UNC t-shirts). UNC participants included Dr. Michael Mill (UNC Cardiothorcic Surgery), Karla Brown (pediatric nurse practitioner), Ruben Bocanegra (surgeon's assistant) and Bill Nicotra (perfusionist), who traveled under the sponsorship of The Larry King Cardiac Foundation and Samaritan's PurseAdditional information and photos.

Peoples Liberation Army Hospital, Beijing

Drs. Ben Calvo, HJ Kim, and Jen Jen Yeh were invited by the Peoples Liberation Army Hospital and the Cancer Institute Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing to share their expertise on intra-operative radiation for the treatment of recurrent rectal, pancreatic, breast and retroperitoneal sarcomas. During their visit, from Oct. 11 through 18, 2008, they made several presentations, and met with health care providers from the Peoples Liberation Army Hospital. They also took the opportunity to meet with a field officer from the National Institutes of Health to encourage collaborative work with scientists in China. More information and photos

Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, India

Dr. Duncan Phillips (UNC Pediatric Surgery) journeyed in August to the Gandhi Institute of Child Health in Bangalore, India, to participate in the International Workshop on Advanced Pediatric Laparoscopy 2008. Over the course of a weekend, Dr. Phillips performed a variety of surgical procedures, which were telecast to an audience of surgeons located in a nearby conference center.  Photo