The Aga Khan University will open a modern hospital in Uganda as it seeks to spread its influence in the region.
Mr Firoz Rasul, the president of Aga Khan University, at the weekend announced plans to establish the AKU Hospital in Uganda.
He was speaking at the 11th convocation ceremony of the university, which celebrated 30 years of its founding on Saturday.
A total of 53 students received diplomas in General Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.
Mr Rasul said the university is working with the Ugandan government to find suitable land for the hospital, which will be a comprehensive secondary and tertiary care health centre. It will complement several medical centres that are planned across the country.
The ceremony was presided over by Mr Yusuf Keshavjee, trustee of the AKU board, Dr Greg Moran, the university provost and Mr Rasul. It was attended by vice-chancellors, senior government officials, diplomats, national and international academicians, donors and prominent citizens.
Dr Maggie Kigozi, president of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women-Kampala was the chief guest.
In her speech, Dr Kigozi congratulated the university for having seen over 300 nurses graduate in the last 10 years and noted that 95 per cent of the graduands chose to remain in Uganda instead of seeking employment abroad.
She challenged the graduands to follow in the footsteps of AKU alumni to become leaders and mentors in their communities and to provide outstanding care no matter the circumstances or the population in question.
AKU nursing alumni occupy leadership positions in the East African region as heads of associations, top officials in health ministries and pioneers in specialised nursing fields.
Dr Kigozi acknowledged the vision and leadership of the University’s Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan and applauded the work of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) saying “The Aga Khan Development Network, of which the University is but one element, is part of the fabric of this country. Its work in health care, education and economic development is unique and shows the deepest regard for the well-being of all people, regardless of origin or belief. Uganda is very lucky to have AKU and the AKDN actively working for a brighter future.”
Mr Rasul said that AKU currently operates the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, which is the only teaching Hospital in Africa accredited by the US- based Joint Commission International which constitutes the gold standard in hospital quality around the world.
Medical centres continue to be established across Uganda to increase access to quality health care. The hospital currently has a medical centre located at the DTB Centre in the central business district and will be opening two other medical centres in Acacia Mall and Metroplex Plaza in Kampala later this month.
He concluded by congratulating the graduands urging them to serve the interests of all humanity and make a difference in the communities that they serve.
He expressed his profound gratitude to faculty and staff for their commitment to the success of the students, service and research; individual donors for their unwavering support; international donor agencies for their funding, partnership and confidence in enabling the University make an impact on the quality of life of the communities where it serves; university partners around the world for their readiness to collaborate for the growth of knowledge; and to the government for its encouragement to develop the higher education and health opportunities for Uganda.