Soroti Children’s Project

Note: this project is no longer active and therefore is not recruiting new team members.

The Office of Pediatric Surgical Evaluation and Innovation

SorotiGalleryIcon2016/2017 Team Members: Michelle Ng(, Nicki Gabers
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 works with the Office of Pediatric Surgical Evaluation and Innovation and is based out of the Soroti Regional Referral Hospital (SRRH) in Soroti, Uganda. Students are encouraged to develop and implement their own projects based on community needs and communication with Dr. Sister Mary Margaret Ajiko and other physicians at SRRH. In the past, projects have been mainly research based, but are now focusing more on community engagement. Students work closely with the physicians at SRRH, and have the opportunity to shadow in the various wards of the hospital.


In contrast from previous years with a focus on research, the Soroti project changed in 2017 to focus on community engagement. In May 2017, projects completed by the Soroti team (Nicki Gabers MED, Michelle Ng MED, Iris Liu UGRAD, Irena Zivkovic UGRAD) included hand hygiene education, diabetes education and a research project on pediatric surgical rare diseases. Students also had the opportunity to shadow physicians and participate in rounds.  Future project ideas include further hygiene projects and more outreach on early diagnosis of diabetes in the community. However, the project is currently being discontinued for the foreseeable future.


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.


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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