Qualitative needs assessment for paediatric emergency care in Kampala, Uganda

Boyoung Ahn, Ezekiel Mupere, Belén Irarrázaval, Robert Opoka, Hellen Aanyu Tukamuhebwa, Corey Bills, Dorothy Gingo, Nicolaus Glomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Acute childhood illnesses, such as malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhoea, represent the leading causes of under-five mortality in Uganda. Given that most early child deaths are treatable with timely interventions, emergency units dedicated to pediatric populations have been established in the country. In light of recent developments, the department of pediatrics at Makerere University requested a needs assessment in the pediatric acute care unit (PACU) at Mulago National Referral Hospital, which could guide the development of a new training curriculum for medical providers.

Methods: We administered a survey for medical providers working in the PACU at Mulago Hospital, which assessed their self-rated comfort levels with pediatric assessment, treatment, and teamwork skills. We also conducted focus groups with a smaller subset of medical providers to understand barriers and facilitators to pediatric emergency and critical care.

Results: Of 35 pediatric assessment, treatment, and teamwork skills, 29 (83%) questions had the median comfort rating of 6 or 7 on a 7-point Likert scale. The remaining 6 (17%) skills had a median comfort rating of 5 or lower. Focus groups identified a number of major barriers to caring for critically ill children, including limited resources and staffing, training gaps, and challenges with interprofessional teamwork. In terms of training development, focus group participants suggested continuous training for all medical providers working in the PACU led by local leaders.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalPaediatrics and Child Health, East Africa
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Cite this