“Elizabeth is a very determined person,” says Giacomo Menaldo, Country Director. “She understands the importance of this hospital. She could have earned much more money elsewhere, but working alongside our doctors is exactly what spurs her on.”
This is how Giacomo, our Country Director in Uganda, introduces Elizabeth, a Ugandan colleague at the Children’s Surgical Hospital in Entebbe.
She’s a 32-year-old general surgeon, and has been with us since we opened the facility. She wants to specialise further in paediatric surgery.
“I have worked with international colleagues before,” Elizabeth says. “Here we can deal with diversity, and learn. I myself have changed a lot: if I compare myself with what I was just 10 months ago, I see a great improvement in the field of surgery. You never stop learning.”
Elizabeth often operates together with another fellow Ugandan surgeon, Dr. John.
“Elizabeth and her other Ugandan colleagues are the future of this hospital,” explains Giacomo. “Our goal for the next two to three years is to welcome local medical specialists, work alongside them, and make them responsible for a department.”
There are currently 20 million minors in Uganda. “My biggest dream would be to have hospitals like this all over the country,” Elizabeth tells us. “To develop trauma, oncology and all the specialties of paediatrics that are lacking – there is still too little paediatric surgery in Uganda.” With the Children’s Surgical Hospital, we have made our contribution. Today the 72 beds in Entebbe tripled the number of paediatric surgical care beds in the whole of Uganda.
“I also dream that this hospital will become a centre of study and practice for all of Africa. A pivotal African centre.”
Our goal is “that in a few years it will be Elizabeth and her Ugandan colleagues who will explain how the hospital works,” Giacomo concludes.