Kampala. Authorities at Mengo hospital have said they are negotiating with Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mukono to establish a medical school to train more medical personnel.
The hospital’s medical director, Dr Rose Mutumba, said the project was prompted by the realisation of the high shortage of trained personnel to provide better medical services in the country.
The medical school will be established at Mengo hospital site, but no date of commencement was given.
“We will start with the dental department, admitting about 50 students,” Dr Mutumba said during celebrations to mark the hospital’s 119 years since establishment on Wednesday. The event was marked with a medical boot camp offering a wide range of free medical services, HIV testing, sugar and blood pressure checkups, blood donations, counselling, dental check-up and eye screening.
At least 800 patients were registered at the boot camp.
Currently, Dr Mutumba said Mengo hospital provides diverse medical services but the proposed medical school will facilitate advanced training in medicine and also focus on bolstering areas which are short of specialists.
Mr Lawrence Mulinda, 76, one of the attendees at the celebrations, said he had travelled from Butambala to benefit from the celebrations, which he had heard on radio.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity the hospital has given us for all the checkups I have gone through in the various tents. I have not paid a single coin. I wish this offer continues for at least a month,” an elated Mulinda said.
Mengo hospital is the oldest hospital in Uganda. It was established by Sir Albert Cook in 1897, upon Kabaka Mwanga’s invitation. The Church Missionary Society (CMS) of England sent a team of missionaries to Uganda and consequently, on February 22, 1897, Sir Dr Albert Cook held his first outpatient clinic under a tree on Namirembe Hill, which later became the current Mengo hospital. Today, it is a referral hospital with some specialised medical services.