Student Profile: Davis Ampumuza perseveres despite poverty
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2019/01/student-profile-davis-ampumuza-perseveres-despite-poverty/
(NOTE: In September 2018, Uganda Christian University launched a School of Medicine with 60 students. To “put a face” on Uganda’s future doctors and dentists, some of these students were interviewed at the completion of the first semester. This is a story about one student.)
By Pauline Atwine
For Uganda Christian University (UCU) School of Medicine (SoM) student Davis Ampumuza, the cards seemed stacked against him.
- He is one of 20 children by a father with multiple wives.
- A mom who had no formal English-speaking skills raised him.
- Nobody else in his family had completed a university education.
- At age 27, he was older than nearly all the first-year SoM students.
But what he had going for him was a passion to improve health care and two friends – one who nudged him to apply to the university’s new medical school and another who loaned him the application fee.
“I was pushed into applying for the Bachelor of Medicine program by a friend who had finished his studies at UCU,” Davis, who grew up in the Rubimbwa Parish in Kabale District, said. “On a quest to fulfill my burning desires to make it among the shortlist, I hurried off to borrow the application fee from a village friend.”
The added appeal to study at UCU was the university’s infusion of moral Christian values in the curriculum. Speaking at the end of the first semester, he talked not only about the academic knowledge and skills but also how his spiritual life has been strengthened.
In particular, Davis has promised himself to bring strong work ethic and enthusiasm in the medical field to save the rate at which pregnant mothers lose their lives and children due to negligence and unavailability of medical officers. This goal alone drives Davis to keep seeking his tuition fees.
“I was one of those kids from the poor school who saw how green the grass was on the other side of the world,” he said. “I couldn’t sit back and expect someone to pay for my education. I had to miss some classes – getting notes from other students – to do things like play the guitar and teach it in church to even afford basic needs like scholastic materials.”
Yet, Davis keeps his focus on what he feels are critical needs in his country’s health care system. Prior to the Christmas 2018 break, he writes, in part:
“The short answer to making health care better in Uganda is a well-developed infrastructure. The longer answer relates to the fact that women in particular stay in very hard to reach areas whereby the distance between their homes and health units is very long and the roads are very poor. This makes it very difficult for the expectant mothers to acquire services easily and some of them end up losing their lives and their babies. Furthermore, minor surgeries are performed by under qualified staff…”
More information about the Uganda Christian University School of Medicine can be obtained at https://www.ugandapartners.org/priority-projects. To support students, books and facilities at the medical school, contact Mark Bartels, executive director, UCU Partners, at firstname.lastname@example.org orhttps://www.ugandapartners.org/donate/.