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Denver School of Nursing Students Complete First Healthcare Trip to Uganda

Team Provides 12 Days of Clinical Service with NGO, Clinics and Hospital, Helping 400 Patients




Four Denver School of Nursing (DSN) students and two faculty members have completed the first DSN healthcare trip to the West Nile region of Uganda. They worked with The Mango Project to educate local families, assist with treatment of patients hospitalized because of malnutrition and increase collaboration between Muslim and Christian community leaders, said Dr. Marcia Bankirer, president of DSN (www.denverschoolofnursing.edu).


Students Miranda Foust, Jessica Guthrie, Ian Morlock and Jason Mullins also provided care at a “free clinic” in partnership with St. Jude’s in Kawempe, where in two days over 150 patients received assessments, free medications and treatment, free HIV and malaria testing, free pediatric respiratory assessments and free treatment of infections.  DSN brought a medical kit from Denver-based PROJECT CURE, which contained $2,000 worth of medical supplies, for the “free clinic.”


Accompanied by DSN faculty members, Micah Hughes, assistant professor and director of DSN’s Global Health Perspectives (GHP) program, and Avery Hughes, DSN adjunct clinical faculty and pediatric ICU nurse educator at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, the team provided education outreach in a remote village.  They also assisted in the pediatrics and malnutrition wards of Yumbe Hospital.


At the Yumbe Hospital, students and faculty provided nutrition education for 180 mothers at the family planning center and another 60 mothers and their children who came each day for immunizations.


A new partnership between The Mango Project and Yumbe Hospital provided preserved mangos for the pediatric and malnutrition ward for breast-feeding mothers and hospitalized children. The Mango Project (www.themangoproject.com) first worked in the region in 2003. It was co-founded by Assistant Professor Hughes, who serves as its executive director.  Since 2012, 310 hybrid mango trees have been grafted and planted into The Mango Project orchard near Rodo, Uganda.


“The mangos serve as nutrition supplements and educational tools along with standard medication and hospital treatment for severe cases of malaria, respiratory infections and other parasitic infections that require in-patient hospitalization,” Hughes explained. “In Rodo village, there is no electricity or running water.  People suffer from severe malnutrition and the area has the highest incidence of malaria in Uganda.”


The World Health Organization (WHO) states that 90 percent of malaria-related deaths occur in Africa. WHO reports that the West Nile region had the highest number of malaria cases in Uganda in 2009.


The DSN team planted 10 grafted mangoes, five at the largest mosque and five at the largest Christian church in Rodo.  A single indigenous mango tree will produce over 500 fruit. “These trees are a powerful symbol of hope and collaboration for years to come,” Hughes said.  

The Mango Project trains locals to preserve mangos for distribution to local communities during the 10 months out of the year when mangos and other fruit are not available.

Denver School of Nursing’s GHP program has been invited to return to Uganda by District Health Officer and Medical Director of Yumbe Hospital, Dr. Yayi Alfred.

About Denver School of Nursing (DSN)

Denver School of Nursing, 1401 19th St., Denver, is a private, post-secondary college that provides educational programs and training for nursing professionals. The college specializes in offering rigorous curriculum and clinical site-based academic programs toward associate and bachelor degrees in nursing. DSN is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (www.ncahlc.org) (800-621-7440); the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC); and its associate and baccalaureate programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326 (404-975-5000). The college is granted full approval for its associate and bachelors nursing programs by the Colorado State Board of Nursing. For more information, call 303-292-0015 or visit www.denverschoolofnursing.edu.

Denver School of Nursing’s GHP program combines classroom training with in-field service-learning internships. The college partners with in-country nonprofits to make the best use of the healthcare infrastructure that exists in that country to allow for continued care of patients after faculty and students return to Denver.