Soroti Children’s Project

The Office of Pediatric Surgical Evaluation and Innovation



SorotiGalleryIcon2016/2017 Team Leader: Laura Kim (
Location: Soroti, Uganda
Date & Duration of Project: Approximately 5 weeks in summer 2017
Positions: 4

Project Steering Committee:

  • Dr. Sister Mary Margaret Ajiko, General Surgeon
  • Mr. Damian Duffy, Executive Director, OPSEI (contact


Soroti, Uganda

Soroti Children’s Project gives GHI students the unique opportunity to work on collaborative clinical research, which addresses important community needs. Based out of Soroti Regional Referral Hospital (SRRH) in Eastern Uganda, this project allows students to develop and implement a research project of their interest in the interest of advancing scholarly achievement in Uganda. Students work closely with Dr. Sister Mary Margaret Ajiko and other physicians at SRRH, and have the opportunity to shadow in the various wards of the hospital.




In 2013, the first GHI group travelled to Soroti and conducted the Photovoice Project. Photovoice was a needs assessment at four local Soroti schools, centered on empowering the participants of the study to express themselves and their health concerns via the medium of photography.

Based on the results of the Photovoice study, four students (Vivian Ma MED, Jordan Cheng DENT, Tin Jasinovic MED, Nick Zhygan MED) traveled to Uganda in 2014 to initiate new projects. The team worked both with local schools to promote health education, nutrition and dental hygiene, as well as with SRRH itself.


The 2015 team (Mackenzie Caulfield MED, Jack Huebner UGRAD, Angela Maccan MED, Alykhan Rajwani MED and Amanda Ribeiro MED) centered their research around burns and burn treatment. Each team member investigated a different aspect of burns and burn care in Uganda, including burn incidence, patterns of burn care, and developing a cost-effective resource for burn treatment.

This team used a variety of sampling methods, including random household surveys across North-Eastern Uganda, retrospective chart analysis in community health centers, and usability assessments of a burn treatment kit.


In 2016, the Soroti Team (Jake Blanco MED, Ross Hengel MED, Rehman Jinah MED, Laura Kim MED) traveled to Uganda during the FLEX block. All of the projects were based out of SRRH, allowing students to benefit from clinical time in the clinics, wards and operating theatre.

This team examined a wide range of topics, including a qualitative study of the impact of diabetic foot amputation, an assessment on hand hygiene compliance in the hospital, a study of how patients raise funds for services that are not covered by the public healthcare system, and a survey of physicians’ perceived role as advocates. The results from these projects will guide the 2017 team to address the identified community needs.

Based on an informal needs assessment completed in 2016, a number of potential future projects have been developed with physicians, surgeons and intern doctors at SRRH. There is a lot of flexibility available for future projects; previous team members look forward to providing support and guidance along the way.

  • The most common surgery performed at SRRH is to correct adhesions formed from previous intervention. Retrospective chart reviews of surgical notes could identify trends or causes for this frequent correctional surgery.
  • Diabetes and hypertension are on the rise in Uganda. Performing prevalence studies, and understanding the gaps in patient knowledge could assist in improving patient management.
  • There is limited information about Group B Streptococcus prevalence in pregnant women, and no widespread screening available to women. Obstetricians, nurses, and midwives are interested in initiative a screening process to at-risk moms and newborns.

Dr. Sister Mary Margaret

Dear Medical Students:

I want to warmly invite you to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital.  We will have many opportunities to share in the care of the patients.  We are keen to show you our beautiful country, to work hard collaboratively, and to share in the joy and satisfaction of helping the children and families.  

~Dr. Sister Mary Margaret Ajiko, General Surgeon,  Soroto Regional Referral Hospital

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