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ADVANCING SPINE CARE IN UGANDA

Classroom Education

Teaching residents is the most important work we can do. We work with both residents and providers to develop skills that will last generations.

Clinic

Working side by side with residents in clinical applications.

Surgery

Taking classroom and clinical experiences into the operating room.

Relationships

Multiple yearly trips have created friendships that go beyond being medical colleagues.

Hear from members of our missions team

2016

On-Belay Missions started when Mark traveled to Africa with TIVA Water, world water project, working to supply safe drinking water in the city slums and remote villages of Uganda. Mark learned of a medical clinic named Wentz and went there to introduce himself.  Against all odds, he met Dr. Martin Nkundeki which led to an introduction to Dr. Tony Mutanda, an orthopedic surgeon at Mulago Referral Hospital. Three days later Mark was invited into surgery at Mulago.  The rest is history and Mark, Martin, and Tony remain good friends.

2017

In the spring, two crates of spine instrumentation and implants were loaded onto a ship headed to Africa Renewal Ministry outside of Kampala, Uganda. The first On-Belay surgical team of five surgeons including: Dr’s John Hicks, Josh Miller, Adam Lewis, Tom Large, and Michael Wattenbarger. The team gained strength when Dr. Wattenbarger accepted the role of CMO for On-Belay’s Missions. Many resident lectures, patient clinics, and surgeries were performed, and mutual trust was emerging.

2018

On-Belay’s surgical team added Dr. Tim McHenry, a soon to be critical component and cornerstone, and increased its efforts by moving to two trips per year. CoRSU Children’s Hospital was engaged in hopes to move the pediatric scoliosis surgeries to a more child friendly environment. Trust was being built on both sides.

2019

Once again, On-Belay’s commitment to Uganda increased by initiating a three trip per year schedule, needed to include the benefits of pediatric scoliosis traction. Another important addition occurred when Dr. Julius Ebinu, a neurosurgeon born in Uganda, but practicing in Sacramento, CA, joined our team. Julius fit perfectly. We became “One Team” determined to advance spine care in Uganda. We teach, see patients together, perform surgeries together, break bread together, laugh…a lot, sleep fast, and repeat.

2020

In the summer On-Belay took an important step towards sustainability by hiring our first Ugandan employee, Mark Mbayo, to be On-Belay’s feet on the ground and serve Mulago Hospital, CoRSU Children’s Hospital, Africa Renewal Ministry, and Wentz Medical Clinic.

As we all know, 2020 is marked by COVID – 19 and we longed to return, so we did. In October, Entebbe Airport opened to international travel, so our support team got on a plane to work on inventory and supply chain concerns. Following a meeting with the new Head of Orthopedics at Mulago, Dr. Patrick Sekimpi, On-Belay will now be assisting Mulago and the great team at Sign Fracture Care International install and manage a fracture nail program for their patients. This extends a huge benefit for the people of Kampala.

ADVANCING SPINE CARE IN UGANDA

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