Mulago Hospital’s Department of Medicine

Prof. Ocama Ponsiano
Dr. Ocama, MBChB, MMED, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences

The bustling streets of Kampala, Uganda are the backdrop for the vibrant energy of the city’s 1.6 million inhabitants. Nestled atop a hill overlooking the cacophony of daily city activity sits Mulago National Referral Hospital, the teaching hospital for medical students and residents of Makerere University College of Health Sciences.

Almost ten years ago, Mulago Hospital’s Department of Medicine developed the subspecialty units of Infectious Diseases, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Endocrinology, Pulmonology, Cardiology, Dermatology, Hematology/Oncology, Rheumatology, Palliative Care, Emergency Medicine, Nephrology and Geriatric Medicine. These units provide specialized care for patients with various diseases, and allow for cross-consultations wherever the need arises. They also provide avenues for teaching undergraduate medical students as well as residents completing masters programs. While these students are mainly those registered in Makerere University, we also receive students from around the world who come for electives and exposure to tropical medicine and other conditions not commonly seen elsewhere. The units uphold the values of higher education by serving as research units for both locuniversity of al and international investigators that produce cutting edge studies to contribute to medical literature.

Due to the shortage of subspecialists in the various units, we currently rely on our collaborators to help train personnel to maintain them. Our partners have included North American Universities including Yale University, University of Vermont, Johns Hopkins, UT South Western, Case Western Reserve, McMaster, Alberta as well as European institutions including University of Antwerp and Karolinska Institutet.

We appreciate all the support rendered by our collaborating partners. However, there is still need for support toward the changing mandate of the hospital. This is especially important now that the hospital is undergoing a major renovation project to facilitate the ability of physicians to provide the population of Kampala, Uganda and all of Sub-Saharan Africa with the highest quality of healthcare.

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