The Surgery – Uganda
The Surgery is an International Medical Clinic established in the 1940’s. This 24-hour facility includes an ambulance service, emergency department, in-patient care, laboratory services, prenatal and obstetrical services, immunization, comprehensive HIV care, and family medicine. The Surgery does considerable charitable work. A street children’s network and most all the orphanages in Kampala rely on The Surgery and receive free consultations.
All staff and most all patients speak English. Students participate in the wide range of emergency care and primary care is provided. They report that the doctors are very eager to teach and provide insights on culture and medicine. Students find that the educational environment and standard of medical care at the Surgery is extremely high.
Location & Community
Kampala is the capital city of Uganda, situated on the northern shore of Lake Victoria in eastern Africa. Makerere University, one of East and Central Africa’s premier educational institutions, is located in Kampala, as is the headquarters of the East African Development Bank. Despite its close proximity to the equator, the city has a moderate climate, largely due to its elevation of 4,000 feet/1,200 meters.
Become familiar with Uganda’s culture, history and economy by reviewing the Wikipedia Uganda Page. One rich resource for Uganda health information is the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation IHME Uganda Country Profile.
Visitors to Uganda fly into the International Airport that serves the city of Kampala. Airport taxis await all planes and are available to take passengers into the city. The Surgery can also arrange a vehicle to transport visitors from the airport.
For current information, please visit the Embassy website appropriate for your country. United States citizens can visit the Embassy of Uganda in Washington, DC.
Traveler’s Health & Safety
Malaria is unusual in Kampala but more common outside of the city. Chloroquine-resistance is present, and prophylaxis with mefloquine, doxycycline or malarone is generally recommended. The Surgery physicians can offer advice regarding prophylaxis. One should consult with their personal physician before traveling, and refer to the CDC Travel Website for the most up-to-date health information.
Those coming for care at The Surgery are mostly expatriates, tourists, wealthier Ugandans, and those working for entities that provided medical insurance – including airlines, embassies and NGOs located in Uganda. The Surgery patients tend to be more educated and well-to-do than mainstream Africans. The Surgery also offers charitable services, for example to street a children’s ministry and to orphanages, though these are not main populations served.
English is the most common language spoken in Kampala. The entire staff of The Surgery speak English, as do most all the patients. Other languages commonly used in the city include Swahili, Luganda, and Congolese.
Medical Care Services
The Surgery is an International Medical Clinic established in the 1940’s and is based on the General Practice model as followed by Britain, Canada and many other European countries. This 24-hour medical facility includes an ambulance service, emergency department, limited in-patient care, laboratory services, immunization, pediatrics, and family medicine.
The Surgery routinely provides care for a wide range of emergencies, including trauma, renal colic, myocardial infarction, severe malaria, meningitis, appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, severe respiratory infections, HIV multiple organ disease, and acute asthma. Comprehensive outpatient care is also provided, where schistosomiasis, amoebas, giardiasis, and malaria are commonly managed. Minor surgical procedures are performed at The Surgery, and major cases are referred to appropriate medical centers.
Healthcare Profession Staff
The Surgery is lead by Dr Richard Stockley, MBBS, a British trained general practitioner who graduated from the Liverpool School for Tropical Medicine. He has lived and worked in Uganda since 1984. He is joined by eight other physicians of Canadian, Australian, and Ugandan background.
Students from America, Germany and Australia regularly study at The Surgery. They report that the doctors are very eager to teach and provide insights on culture and medicine. Students find that the educational environment and standard of medical care at the Surgery is extremely high. Previous INMED Learners who served at this training site include these Graduates.
Student Lodging & Meals
Lodging is available at a guesthouse located near The Surgery. Lunch is provided on site, and restaurants and grocery shops are plentiful.
Mobile phones and calling cards can be purchased in Kampala. Internet cafes are plentiful.
Many students take advantage of their weekends in Uganda to visit game parks, particularly Murchison Falls National Park. White-water rafting on the Nile River is also popular.
Behavior & Dress
Men should look smartly and wear a dress shirt and tie to work. Women wear skirts or dress pants and should be careful that their shoulders are always covered.
What To Pack
Visitors should bring copies of all healthcare profession licenses, diplomas, or certifications. It is also recommended to pack a carry-on bag that has essentials items just in case one’s luggage becomes lost. Bring clothes appropriate for the weather. Most any item can be purchased in Kampala. A headlight or flashlight is important for the occasional power blackout. Water purification tablets may be handy for outings. The plug sockets are the same as in the UK, so a plug adapter set may be useful.