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Putting basic health care supplies within reach

Medicine cabinet kits provide basic first aid supplies to orphanages throughout Uganda, thanks to an organization created by Troy Lund, M.D., Ph.D.

The first time pediatric blood and marrow transplant physician Troy Lund, M.D., Ph.D., visited Uganda, he discovered a surprising number of well-funded labs and research initiatives dedicated to infectious diseases like HIV, AIDS, and malaria. But he also saw a severe lack of resources for some of the most significant causes of childhood mortality there: pneumonia, diarrhea, and dehydration.

So Lund created the Medicine for Sick Children Foundation, an independent program that provides medical education, clinical care, and advocacy for suffering children. Since the organization’s inception, Lund and others have supplied antibiotics, first aid supplies, and pharmaceutical therapies for kids in Uganda through a “medicine cabinet kit” program.

These kits provide first aid supplies like those one would find in medicine cabinets in American homes, and they are delivered or shipped to orphanages across Uganda. Partners in Africa teach the orphanage mothers how to properly use the supplies and follow up on and systematically track the orphans’ health conditions.

Today Lund’s efforts are yielding results: About 250 children aged 6 months to 16 years regularly benefit from his kits.

“There are too many foundations that leave ‘stuff’ in Africa and have no follow-up to what they have done,” Lund says. “If our efforts aren’t making a measurable impact in preventing childhood mortality, we’ll shift our focus to ensure the foundation does indeed serve its intended purpose—that is to reduce childhood morbidity in the developing world.”

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