Transformative Education
for Health Professionals

Working in International Hospital Kampala

PHOTO STORY – A HEALTH WORKER IN KAMPALA, UGANDA (PHOTOS TO BE CREDITED © WHO/ABDI HAKIM MOHAMED)

The International Hospital Kampala (IHK) is a private healthcare facility located in Uganda’s capital city. It employs 350 people, making it the largest provider of private medical services in Uganda.

Since 2008, 36-year-old Dr Andrew Sekitoleko, a family physician by profession, has worked as the Director of Medical Services at the International Hospital Kampala, Uganda. 

“I either wanted to become a priest or a doctor,” Andrew explains. “But one day, I got that ‘call’ and decided to study medicine. I became so passionate about it.” 

IHK is the national private referral hospital, and gets patients from neighbouring countries, including the DRC, Rwanda and South Sudan. The hospital receives over 15,000 in-patients and 120,000 out-patient cases every year, with about 70-80 % of the 100 hospital beds constantly occupied. 

As the Director of Medical Services, Dr Sekitoleko manages about 200 medical staff employed by the hospital. “Keeping our health workers is one of our biggest challenges”, he admits. “We train them a lot, including sending them abroad to countries like Kenya or India, and they acquire new skills. As they become experts in their area of work, they get a lot of offers from competing organisations.”

Dr Sekitoleko has been fortunate and did part of his studies in South Africa. “My training in South Africa really exposed me a lot. I was taught simple clinical and administrative skills, which I have found very useful in my job”, he says. 

Dr Sekitoleko finds it important not to loose touch with the patients. “I don’t want to spend all my time behind my desk. I am very social, and need to mingle with people, to know what is going on in the hospital. I see patient consultations as part of my job”. 

As part of his studies, Dr Sekitoleko learnt how to be a family medicine practitioner. “When you see a patient, there is a whole story behind them. You approach the patient in a different way when you get to understand his/her situation”, he continues.

All of a sudden, Dr Andrew’s phone rings and he is called to the emergency unit. While he checks on the patient, another colleague benefits from on-the-job training done by him. “My colleagues know that they can call on me anytime for any emergency”, he says. 

The top five reasons why patients come to visit IHK include: infectious diseases; non-communicable diseases: orthopaedics; emergencies; and ear and throat infections.

Twice a week, Dr Sekitoleko teaches Family Medicine at the International Health Sciences University of Kampala. “With my teaching, I want to pass on the knowledge and skills I have acquired to the future health professionals”, says Andrew.

WHO would like to thank the International Hospital Kampala, Uganda,for the facilitation and support received in producing this photo story.