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  • His Highness the Aga Khan and His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda lay a brick at the Nakawa site to symbolise the foundation stone-laying for the Aga Khan University Hospital.
    AKDN / Will Boase
Aga Khan University to build new teaching hospital in Kampala, Uganda

Kampala, Uganda, 17 December 2015 - The Aga Khan University, a not-for-profit, private international university, announced today it will build a teaching hospital in Kampala to provide Ugandans with health care and higher education of world-class quality.

The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Kampala will train specialist doctors, nurses and other health professionals capable of leading the improvement of health care within the country. The decision comes in response to a request by His Excellency President Museveni, whose government has granted land in the Nakawa area of Kampala on which to build the hospital. AKUH Kampala will join the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi as one of the only hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa to meet rigorous international quality standards.

“We believe that with investments such as this and many others by the Government and other private sector actors, we shall soon be able to have all the healthcare needs attended to from within Uganda, with no need to spend time and money going for treatment abroad,” said the Right Honourable Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda speaking at the land grant and initiation ceremony at Kampala’s Serena Hotel.

“As a regional university in East Africa, today marks a major step for the Aga Khan University as we establish a much larger presence in Uganda, to add to our growing footprint in Tanzania and Kenya,” said AKU President Firoz Rasul also at the ceremony. “We look forward to providing a range of treatments and services that are currently unavailable in Uganda, and to training and retaining health care leaders who raise quality standards within Uganda’s health sector.”

Earlier in the day, President Museveni officiated a ceremony with His Highness the Aga Khan at the site for the new hospital in Nakawa. “I want to take this opportunity to salute His Highness personally, but also salute the Ismaili community. The two have contributed to filling the deficit of entrepreneurship in Uganda and East Africa,” he said.

“The creation of the Aga Khan University Hospital in Uganda has a purpose not only in serving Uganda but of serving East Africa and bringing knowledge and competence of sophisticated science on an on-going basis,” said the Aga Khan.

The Aga Khan University’s vision for the new University Hospital in Kampala includes:

  • A first phase to be completed in 2020: The ultimate vision is for the University Hospital to grow toward 600 beds in phases of development over time. The first phase of construction will be completed in 2020 with the establishment of a tertiary hospital of approximately 150 beds costing more than US$ 100 million.
  • Provision of advanced care: As an international standard tertiary hospital, the University Hospital will provide advanced forms of care. It will include specialties in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, cancer, women and child health, stem cell and regenerative medicine, neurology and minimally invasive surgery, and have the latest in state-of-the-art medical equipment such as MRI and CT scanners and nuclear medicine. It will ensure that Ugandans have access to world-class care when they need it and where they need it. No longer will Ugandans need to leave the country to receive high quality health care. This will be of enormous economic and social benefit to patients and to Uganda. In addition to treating Ugandans, the hospital is expected to attract patients from across the region.
  • Achieving the highest quality standards: The Aga Khan University is the only institution to have earned accreditation for two hospitals – The Aga Khan University Hospitals in Nairobi and Karachi – on two continents from the U.S.-based Joint Commission International. Accreditation from the Commission is considered the gold standard in international health care quality assurance. The University Hospital in Kampala will seek the same accreditation to confirm that the care provided equals the best in the world.
  • The education of a new breed of health care providers and leaders: The University will use the Hospital to educate doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals who are equipped not only to provide excellent care but to lead and transform health care institutions and systems to make them work more effectively. A Postgraduate Medical Education programme will train specialist doctors in a range of fields – including internal medicine, surgery, paediatrics and obstetrics and gynaecology – helping to alleviate the severe shortage of such specialists in Uganda. In addition, the University Hospital will expand the offerings of its School of Nursing and Midwifery in Kampala, which has already graduated 539 nurses, many of whom hold leadership positions within Uganda.
  • Retaining and returning Ugandan health professionals: By providing a working environment and training programmes that meet the highest international standards, the University Hospital will attract Ugandan health professionals working abroad back to Uganda, while retaining new graduates who might otherwise leave for advanced education or for work outside the country.
  • Providing access to the University Hospital for individuals who cannot afford its services: Access to the University Hospital for patients who cannot afford it will be provided through AKU’s Patient Welfare Programme. The Programme is funded by the University itself and by philanthropic donations from individuals, foundations and businesses. The University is confident that Ugandans will join AKU in contributing to access for the less fortunate, just as its existing hospitals outside of Uganda have attracted significant contributions from local donors to fund access.
  • A research programme: Research will address a range of issues, including the growth of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, the need to improve maternal and child health, and the social and economic determinants of health.

In addition to establishing the University Hospital, the University plans to add to its four Medical Centres in Uganda by building a dozen more over time across the country where patients can access basic care and receive referrals to the University Hospital. This will connect patients within and beyond Kampala to the University Hospital and make it easier for them to access its services.

The University Hospital will be located at the junction of Jinja Road and New Port Bell Road in the heart of Kampala, a central location offering easy access for patients and employees.

Press contact:

Uganda and East Africa:

Doris Mitti
Regional Communications Officer, East Africa
Aga Khan Development Network
Tel: +256 414 235900/0776 701253


Semin Abdulla
Aga Khan Development Network

About the Aga Khan Development Network

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), which was founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, is a private, international, non-denominational development organisation. It employs over 80,000 people in over 30 countries. Its agencies address complex development issues, including the provision of quality healthcare and education services, cultural and economic revitalisation, micro-enterprise, entrepreneurship and economic development, the advancement of civil society and the protection of the environment.  For more information on AKDN, please visit: