Dr. Michael Haglund first visited Uganda in 2007. At that time, only four neurosurgeons practiced in the entire country and Dr. Haglund felt compelled to understand why. During the initial visit to Mulago National Referral Hospital, there were 1,500 beds and only one ventilator, a machine which helps unconscious patients breathe during surgery, for the entire hospital.
The neurosurgeons of Mulago were using technology that was used at Duke University Hospital in the 1930s. Upon returning to Duke University, Dr. Haglund began putting together a team of surgical nurses, nurse anesthetists, biomedical engineers, and physicians; collecting supplies and equipment and a plan to improve the quality of neurosurgery. This has turned into a surgical and training camp held twice a year at partner hospitals in Uganda.
The camps set the stage for the creation of the Division of Global Neurosurgery and Neurology in 2014 which focuses on research, service (surgical camps), and training in Uganda and other East African countries.