Uganda

We have 3 key strands to our Uganda health partnership. These include maternal health, antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention control, and cancer.


Maternal Health

The Kampala Cambridge partnership first began in 2014, named Improving Maternal and Neonatal Healthcare at Mulago. This initial partnership developed between staff in the Rosie hospital and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Mulago National Referral Hospital (now Mulago Specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital), Kampala. The partnership is centred around reducing rates of maternal mortality, and developed as an extension of an academic project between the University of Cambridge and Makerere University on the genetics of pre-eclampsia.

The workload of the Mulago Hospital, Kampala is huge – in 2014/15 almost 40,000 babies were delivered – nearly eight times as many as in the Rosie. Despite the enormous efforts of the overstretched staff, the maternal mortality is nationally four times the target global rate set in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Our partnership is helping our Uganda partners to bring this rate down.

Since its inception, the partnership has continued to grow. Our joint work went from:

  • developing guidelines on some of the main causes of maternal mortality, to
  • outlining how these guidelines could be practically implemented, to
  • the training of doctors, midwives and students as multidisciplinary teams.

We are also supporting our partners in Mulago Hospital and Makerere University in the creation of a new textbook, ‘Principles of Obstetrics in Africa’, which will be published by Cambridge University Press (CUP). The book will sit alongside their current ‘Principles of Medicine in Africa’ and will be available free on the Internet.


 Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention Control

In 2019, we established a second strand to our partnership with Uganda, the Kampala Cambridge Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Control Project,  funded by the Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund. Framed around antimicrobial stewardship and infection control, this subsequent project builds upon our established partnership with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.  The goal of the project is to reduce healthcare associated infections on the obstetric and neonatal wards at Kawempe National Referral Hospital and Mulago Specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital through increased skills, knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial stewardship and infection control.

To date, the collaborations between clinicians and academics have sparked a host of ideas and activity, ranging from the delivery of a short course in antimicrobial stewardship, exchange visits to Cambridge, G-PPS data collection, and co-authoring textbooks. We continue to develop and expand the partnership, with a recent scoping visit focused on cancer.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Kampala Cambridge Partnership.


Cancer

In 2019, CGHP began to explore partnership opportunities within the field of cancer. Cambridge is a world-renowned hub for cancer research and care. The Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), located in Kampala, is fast becoming a focal point for cancer services across East Africa. CGHP has longstanding links with partners in Kampala, thanks to pre-existing partnerships framed around obstetric services and antimicrobial stewardship. This provided a good foundation for the development of a cancer specific partnership between Kampala and Cambridge.

CGHP is a member of the Uganda Cambridge Cancer Initiative, with partners including Cambridge Africa, Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), CRUK Cambridge Centre, and the University of Cambridge Department of Pathology. In May 2019, the Initiative hosted a team from UCI here in Cambridge. During their visit, members of the Initiative including CGHP, hosted an event titled Cancer and Global Health, with speakers including Dr Jackson Orem, Clinical Director of UCI.

In early 2020, a small team from Cambridge University Hospitals travelled to Kampala as part of a scoping visit. The team was comprised of a senior paediatric physiotherapist, clinical specialist physiotherapist in oncological rehabilitation, and a paediatric oncology consultant. The team spent a week exploring partnership opportunities, meeting with colleagues at UCI in order to identify potential areas for collaboration within adult and paediatric physiotherapy and paediatric oncology services.

UCI has a small physiotherapy team who have a high case load. Physiotherapy continues to play a significant role in reducing long term complications associated with cancer treatment and survivorship. The partnership will seek to strengthen the role of physiotherapy at UCI.

Patients from across Uganda, and surrounding East African countries access the paediatric oncology services provided at UCI. During the scoping visit, CGHP members discussed opportunities for collaboration across the paediatric oncology pathway. Partners have identified nursing and pathology as initial areas for support and co-learning between UCI and Cambridge.

The on-site charitable foundation, Bless a Child Foundation (BACF), which provides accommodation and support services for children undergoing treatment, is an essential part of the paediatric oncology pathway. We hope to continue developing links with the foundation.

Alongside our partners in Kampala, we look forward to growing this exciting new partnership, with a view to expanding into adult oncology services.