We have 4 key strands to our Uganda health partnership. These include maternal health, antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention control, paediatric cancer and critical care.

"The beauty of this collaboration is that it is not one partner imposing their will on the other partner, it’s like working together, identifying issues, and then still working together to find solutions to those issues. So it is a combination of existing ideas and exposure of ideas to how other people are working on the same issues. Then we come up with a collective approach that will be beneficial to our patients."

Dr Musa Sekikubo, Consultant Obstetrician and Uganda AMS IPC Partnership Lead

Maternal and Neonatal Health

Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention Control

Paediatric Cancer

SCALE – Critical Care

Maternal & Neonatal 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 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.

Paediatric 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.


Strengthening Health Workforce Capacity through Global Learning in Critical Care

The SCALE Project is a collaborative health workforce capacity development initiative between the Ministry of Health, Uganda and the NHS in the UK.

SCALE Critical Care Uganda is a collaborative project supporting the development of critical care in Uganda. It is supported by the Ministry of Health, Uganda, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, the Association of Anaesthesiologists, Uganda, the Uganda UK Health Alliance, the Royal College of Anaesthetists, Health Education England, University of Cambridge and Cambridge Global Health Partnerships.

SCALE – Critical Care has been established to enhance skills and knowledge of Ugandan and UK critical care health providers through peer-to-peer learning and exchange.

Background and Rationale

Access to critical care is a crucial component of healthcare systems. Low- and middle-income countries face a rising burden of critical illness and premature death yet the capacity to provide care for critically ill patients in intensive care units (ICUs) is critically low.

The outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic has further stretched the existing critical care capacity leaving thousands of severely ill patients with limited access. There is an urgent need for significant investment to develop health system capacity in these countries to address this burden.

Uganda had severe shortage of functional Intensive care units across the country with only 55 ICU beds across the country (1.3 ICU beds per million population) (Atumanya et al, 2020). In the wake of the COVID 19 Pandemic, the health sector has made significant Investments in increasing the number of ICU beds and expanding critical care services to 14 regional referral hospitals.

The country is now faced with a critical need for human resources to deliver critical care especially in newly equipped facilities that have already been faced with overwhelming numbers of COVID 19 patients in need of critical care.

The Project

The Strengthening Workforce Capacity through global Learning in Critical Care (SCALE-Critical Care) is expected to develop human resource capacity to deliver intensive care at facility level as well as drive health system improvement. The program will further create opportunities for virtual learning and global placements to UK professionals and trainees to learn from a clinically rich environment in Uganda.

The overall goal of the programme is to increase critical care capacity through workforce development between Uganda and the UK.

Specific Objectives

  1. To develop distant learning in critical care between training institutions in Uganda and the UK.
  2. To enable Ugandan health workers to benefit from the Medical Training Initiative (MTI) scheme and other training & scholarship pathways in the UK for critical care
  3. To offer global placement opportunities for UK professionals to support critical care training, practice and research in Uganda.

What is a health partnership?

A long-term link between health institutions in high and low/middle-income countries, health partnerships facilitate the flow of ideas and expertise between the different healthcare systems to strengthen services and improve patient outcomes. Health partnerships achieve this through training programmes, sharing and learning, based on the healthcare needs of the overseas partner.

Interested in getting involved?

We are looking for new volunteers to join the SCALE partnership. 

  • Do you have knowledge and expertise in critical care?
  • Have an interest in global health?
  • Interested in bi-directional sharing and learning with healthcare workers in low- and middle-income settings?
  • Keen to volunteer? Much of our work takes places virtually and international travel may take place.

Contact us –

Our Health Partnerships

“Collaboration and dialogue with medical professionals overseas enables a broader perspective of the needs of less well-off populations, fosters understanding, particularly when treating migrants here in the UK, and leads to a greater appreciation of the NHS… Second hand descriptions are no substitute for being there.”

Peter Gough GP, Cambridge Global Health Partnerships Advisory Committee member and volunteer