UCU nursing alumnus provides life-saving care at Uganda’s national referral hospital
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2022/04/ucu-nursing-alumnus-provides-life-saving-care-at-ugandas-national-referral-hospital/
By Eriah Lule
In a hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the need to make split-second decisions when the health status of a patient changes only means one thing: The nurses have to keep on their toes. That has been the work environment of Mwebembezi Frank for four years.
Mwebembezi is an ICU nurse at Mulago Hospital, Uganda’s national referral health facility. ICU nurses are mainly charged with the duty of providing lifesaving care to patients, many of who are fighting for their lives, and therefore, need a 24/7 nursing care. At Mulago, as with many other health facilities, crisis is an everyday occurrence. To execute his work well, this Uganda Christian University (UCU) alum has to summon a certain degree of level-headedness.
By his admission, Mwebembezi seems to have been well prepared for such a task. As a student of Bachelor of Nursing Science at UCU, Mwebembezi says he visited several hospitals for nursing practice as an intern.
“Those days,” he says, “were the formation of my resilience and bone-deep passion for health work. We used to do practical studies in different hospitals.”
With such programs, the 27-year-old says they got invaluable mentorships from senior medical professionals in the medical field, especially with the specialty of nursing, something he believes helped sharpen his love for the job.
At the UCU Faculty of Public Health, Nursing and Midwifery, students are availed real-life training opportunities to practice health work through internships and community outreach programs.
Denis Kuteesa, a UCU alumnus working as a volunteer at the Infectious Diseases Institute at Mulago, says it is “always exciting to learn from peers like Mwebembezi “who has a background of studying at UCU. “He is approachable and a supportive peer-mentor,” Kuteesa adds.
Mwebembezi’s journey at UCU began in 2014. Four years later, he graduated. His joining UCU had the influence of an older sibling who is an alumnus of the university.
Before joining UCU, Mwebembezi attended Nyakatsiro Primary School, Bishop Ogez High School, and St. Kaggwa Bushenyi High School, all in western Uganda.
He is of the view that nurses in Uganda are not co-operative enough to have their concerns, such as issues of welfare, addressed. He says the welfare of medical interns was among the thorns in his flesh as their leader.
From 2018-2019, Mwebembezi was the chairperson of the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns. He says during his term of office, he advocated for timely payment. At the time, the interns were receiving their allowances every quarter. Mwebembezi succeeded in getting the payment changed from quarterly to monthly.
For those who know Mwembembezi’s family, it was no surprise that he became the leader of the intern-nurses. His father, Tuhimbise Lemigious Kakyebezi, is a political leader in their district, Mitooma, in western Uganda. Mwembembezi’s mother, Kevin Deudata, is a retail trader in the same district.
Subsequent to receiving his undergraduate degree, Mwebembezi has obtained a Master’s of Science in Medical Microbiology from Mbarara University of Science and Technology in western Uganda. As an aspiring medical scholar, Mwebembezi believes a PhD is within reach.
He hopes to acquire a doctorate within the next five years, so that he is able to “impact my society through publishing research.”
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