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Ugandan hospital marks 1 year of serving kids by hosting international health summit

May 27, 2022
A little over a year after serving its first patients, Children’s Surgical Hospital in Entebbe, Uganda, held a ceremony that also marked a step forward for the African Network of Medical Excellence. The hospital was created through the efforts of Italian nonprofit EMERGENCY.

See inside the new hospital through the experience of Ramadhan, a young patient who received one of the more than 1,000 surgical procedures that have been performed there so far. Additionally, approximately 7,000 kids have been seen for outpatient consultations.

When it opened, the hospital tripled the number of surgical beds available for children in Uganda while also aiming to be a surgical referral point for patients from other countries in the region.

As the hospital celebrated its first anniversary, health officials from Burundi, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, the Central African Republic, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe convened for discussion on Building Medicine of Excellence in Africa that resulted in the signing of a Joint Declaration relating to the African Network of Medical Excellence(ANME). Children’s Surgical Hospital is the second facility to join ANME, following EMERGENCY’s Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery, built in Khartoum, Sudan, in 2007.

Situated on the banks of Lake Victoria, the hospital was designed pro bono by Renzo Piano, one of the world’s leading architects. It includes three operating rooms, 72 beds (six for intensive care and 16 for sub-intensive care), an observation and stabilization ward, six clinics, a radiology room, a laboratory with a blood bank, a CT scanner, a pharmacy, a guesthouse for traveling patients, medical training rooms, and an outdoor play area. The vast majority of the hospital’s hundreds of staff are Ugandan.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) proudly supported the project through a grant to EMERGENCY, which the Foundation also partnered with through its global COVID-19 relief initiative. That effort focused on offering mobile care clinics and delivering food and other essentials to people across Italy.

In its mission and design, Children’s Surgical Hospital parallels the three new hospitals SNF is creating in Greece as part of its ongoing Health Initiative. Also designed by Renzo Piano, the three hospitals seek to connect people to their natural surroundings, to incorporate principles of sustainability, and to build spaces around the needs of the people who will use them—all considerations in the construction of the hospital in Entebbe.