Salma Dali, MD
Salma Dali, MD
Pediatrics · Palo Alto, CA

Pediatric Hospital Medicine in Uganda

March 11th
Mbale, Uganda

Project Description

In Mbale, Uganda, the project would be comprised of a combination of clinical time and medical education. The clinical work would be focused on pediatric inpatient medicine, working alongside the medical providers at the Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. The medical education component would take place both in the form of structured didactics on common pediatric topics (like respiratory illness management) and also through clinical reasoning sessions. Given that the types of diseases can have differences based on epidemiology, clinical reasoning sessions would allow for a great exchange of information on principles of high-value care. Additionally, I plan to work with local providers to teach newborn resuscitation, which has the potential to have lasting impact.

Population Served

Because Mbale is a low-resourced area of Uganda, it will be beneficial to work there through existing partnerships with Atlas International. In addition to the local community, there will also be benefit to the medical providers and to me through educational exchange. I hope to be able to educate on common respiratory conditions and newborn resuscitation, and in turn to learn about the differences in disease patterns, diagnosis, and management of common pediatric conditions in Uganda. Additionally, being East African myself, I am particularly interested in learning from and contributing to the community in Uganda.

Expected Impact

A peds hospital medicine project in Uganda would first and foremost allow for an exchange of knowledge. I hope to learn about the healthcare system and epidemiology of common pediatric conditions in Uganda. For example, what are the standard diagnostic tests for a particular condition and are there different indications for obtaining labs/imaging? I hope to be able to carry forward knowledge about how the management might differ based on resources and epidemiology patterns, and to keep these in mind when treating patients in the U.S. who come from different regions of the world.

Trip Photos & Recap

Working at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital on the pediatric ward was an incredible experience that provided exposure and medical care to pediatric patients from all across Uganda.

I had the tremendous privilege of learning from residents and medical students about a variety of complex diseases, including cerebral malaria, congenital heart disease, and sickle cell anemia. In turn, I taught about common pediatric conditions in U.S. hospitals that are encountered less frequently in Uganda, like asthma and other respiratory illnesses. There was an immense amount of knowledge exchange—while I shared resources used in resuscitation like intra-osseous lines and AED, I left with sharper physical exam skills and a greater appreciation for thorough care despite resource limitations.

One of the greatest joys was engaging with the community alongside a local organization to teach middle schoolers about sexual health and reusable menstrual pads as a method of decreasing school absence.