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3.00 (1 review)
PO Box 7161,Sir Albert Cook Road, Mengo, Uganda
Cathedral Hill Road Kampala Central Region UG
Hospital type

Mengo Hospital is the oldest hospital in Uganda. It is a Christian, missionary founded, Private Not For Profit, (PNFP) hospital. Within the government grading system, like all other NGO hospital, it is a general hospital, although operationally it is and should be categorized as a referral hospital.

Hospital Facilities

Mengo is a well-established hospital with a good range of specialist departments and clinics, including General Surgery, Orthopaedics, Obs/Gynae, Medicine, Ophthalmology, Paediatrics and Physiotherapy.

Additional Comments

Since 1896, Mengo Hospital has been providing quality, cost-effective medical care to Ugandans. Their philosophy is to treat each patient in a highly individualized manner and integrate the latest technological advancements into our services. Their website is quite informative.

Specialties required

General Surgery and Intensive Care specialists. Elective students welcome.


The hospital is located about 35 km by road from the main airport at Entebbe. Visitors can be met at the airport by arrangement with the hospital.


This is available on site

Length of stay

Three months is optimal for learning the local and hospital culture and being most effective, but length of stay will largely depend on the visitor.

Visa Requirements

A visa is required and more information is available at:

Name of contact
Dr Henry Luwees
Average, but could've been great!

Mengo hospital is based in the royal district of Mengo, adjacent to Namirembe cathedral. Founded by Sir Albert Cook in the 19th Century, aka the father of modern medicine in East Africa, it’s the oldest hospital in the country. Facilities are rudimentary: medical admissions is outside, clinical areas are basic and labware is ten years out of date compared to the UK, but vastly superior compared to rural medical centres.

There are many departments in Mengo, with many opportunities to get involved. The aptitude, knowledge base and techniques are superior to most equivalent junior doctors in the UK, because of the lack of resources available to look stuff up (e.g. BNF, the Oxford Handbook).

Good Features:

  • Welcoming: the public relations officer was very welcoming and provided an introduction to the entire hospital. Each department knew who my party and I were and our purpose there.
  • Variety of Involvement: my friend delivered a baby, I diagnosed, consulted with and spent time in the HIV department, was in surgery plenty and worked on general medical wards.
  • Freedom to Travel: our departments were very flexible with time off/time to go travelling in other parts of the country.
  • Beauty: Kampala is not a very beautiful city, but the hospital is located near the gorgeous hill of Namirembe Cathedral, which is idyllic and peaceful. A wonderful place to read a book, get a cup of tea!
  • Food: for £2 for a very filling local meal, and £6 for a foreign meal (e.g. burger and chips), food is what I’ll miss most!

Areas of Improvement:

  • Timing: often staff were late or didn’t show up to meet my party who were in a completely foreign country, without
  • Money: ratify the cost of the entire trip long before the trip is booked. Then, offer the option to settle the bill online, as well as on arrival.
  • Communication: The online e-mail function on the website didn’t work. Email often took a long time to be replied to. Finally, upon arrival this was corrected. What about how to get around town? Transport was very risky and we had to orient ourselves into the town of Kampala (which is affectionately called ‘crazy-crazy’).
  • Clinical Responsibility: whilst the public relations office took care of all non-clinical needs, I often didn’t have an assigned clinician ensuring I got the most out of my experience, and often had to battle to get clinical time, signatures, etc, which is very discouraging.

Worth going to, but ensure you know where the ATM is, how to get around town and where to eat/where not to eat. If you are a seasoned traveller and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end somewhat, come here!

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