Kampala - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

In my opinion, the health unit is lacking. There is a good hospital, UMC Victoria. They take good care of you. The health unit has yet to meet with them at all. You can find good providers if you know where to look. The current Community Liaison Office (CLO) is great and trying to compile a good list and handbook. Much street knowledge was lost during covid. Many things require a medevac and the medevac point is Pretoria which needs to change. - Jan 2024

Medical care is fine but not great. We use the Med Unit at post and various providers on the local economy and it has been fine. - Jun 2022

I have known people either lose their life or near death from Malaria and African Tick Fever. Medical facilities are adequate for non-life-threatening issues. Ambulances are the most uncomfortable vehicles and I feel like your conditions would get worse. Sometimes equipment is broken or no electricity to run. Reading of X-ray is rather hard - not a good image quality. If you are hospitalized, there is no food or water service so your family or friends need to bring food, a change of clothes, blankets, etc. People with weak stomach systems may suffer in Uganda. There is a good orthodontist and less expensive than the US. Medical evaluation is for serious injuries, extensive testing, and such. - Dec 2021

Everyone will go through some form of GI discomfort. Medical care is OK for routine stuff but anything requiring a scalpel will result in a medevac. - Aug 2020

Malaria is an issue, people do contract it in Kampala. Also, the air quality makes it hard for respiratory issues. - Nov 2019

Malaria just about everywhere. Ebola/Marburg in remote areas. HIV prevalence (6% - much higher in some locals). Medical care was fine for routine examinations and issues. We had the option to medevac for baby deliveries, but we knew of expats that delivered locally. Serious medical care might require a trip to Nairobi or even South Africa. - Oct 2019

The air pollution is pretty unreal. We live in Muyenga and often our air is significantly better than Bugolobi or other areas. Serious issues (heart conditions, etc) would be medevaced but broken limbs and other significant but not urgent issues can be handled at post. Good dentist and great orthodontist. - Mar 2019

Air pollution, water pollution, tropical maladies, and parasites. Air pollution is the real one, as there's little you can do to mitigate the effects on the most vulnerable. Children attend open-air schools, and there is nothing done to mitigate the effects of the toxic air on their lungs, which are much more susceptible to the deleterious effects of air pollution than adults. Water pollution/contamination is an issue, but the air quality really has a huge impact on life. You can't enjoy any of the otherwise nice aspects of Kampala, because you can't go outside. It makes you feel like a prisoner counting down until your parole board meets. Tropical maladies (malaria, others) are a serious concern. - Feb 2019

Lots of health concerns. Uganda has more crazy viral illnesses than possibly anywhere on earth, and even named many of the big ones. Upper respiratory illnesses and diarrheal illnesses seem to be constant. Air pollution and allergens are rampant so lots and lots or respiratory complaints. Medical care is pretty hit or miss (but mostly miss). - Jan 2019

Medical care is not to western standards. Many viral outbreaks (Ebola, Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever, Zika) begin in Uganda. HIV/AIDS rates are higher than in other countries. - Dec 2018

Malaria is a concern so most people take either Malerone or Larium. - Dec 2018

Yes, there are many diseases that are prevalent here. Overall it seems to be a dusty and dirty city. My children have gotten quite a few bacterial and viral infections. Malaria is a risk here as well as Bilharzia. We have found a couple of decent local pediatricians for regular check ups and minor illnesses. Medical care and facilities overall seem to be lacking. For anything above routine, you will likely need a medevac. For an emergency, you have to hope you have time to make it out of the country. This has been my biggest concern while being here. - Oct 2018

A lot of people have constant diarrhea and/or bouts of food poisoning. Most people exercise less here because of the air quality and heat. I would say the heat and air quality also lead to a greater level of fatigue. There is a med unit which will refer people out for minor things but if you have any serious issue you would get flown out. - Sep 2018

Malaria. There is only one hospital that Tricare will let us go to here. We are being sent to Germany to see fertility docs this month. - Sep 2018

Yes! Uganda is a petri dish for diseases. Several infectious diseases have outbreaks in the rural countryside every year. Malaria is endemic, and people not taking prophylaxis get infected regularly. Yellow fever and polio vaccine is required. Medivacs can be to South Africa, Dubai or the USA. - Aug 2018

Malaria and bilharzia are the main health concerns. - Jun 2018

Poor air quality, unsafe blood supply, lack of decent medical care, etc. We get medically evacuated for pretty much everything that isn't minor. HIV/AIDS is quite high here, so you also need to be careful about clippers at hair places and other ways you might come in contact with other's blood. - Jun 2018

Typhoid is a major issue here and the prevalence increases every year. Malaria is not a problem in Kampala proper, but it becomes a problem outside the city. - Aug 2015

Malaria is a huge concern. Parasites are relatively common. Lots of mystery stomach bugs. We have a great clinic at the Embassy and they can recommend a good local doctor for most minor issues. Anything serious gets a medevac to South Africa. - Jun 2014

The Embassy nurse if the first stop. After that you MIGHT get medical help outside the Embassy. Most of the time you will get EVACd to Nairobi or Pretoria. Dental work is very good and inexpensive. - Oct 2013

Malaria, Bilharzia (aka Schistosomiasis-- caught from contact with fresh water sources), food-borne illnesses, and a variety of other ailments. Riding on a boda can be really bad for your health. Most major ailments at the US Embassy will get you medevac'd to South Africa. There are two approved hospitals here, and from what we hear there is good care. I have also heard, but not seen for myself, that there is a very good pediatrician in the Bugolobi neighborhood. - Mar 2013

We called Uganda "the petri dish" because every disease on the planet seems to be here. Malaria is the worst, but there is also dengue, west nile, schisto, ghiardia, meningitis, ebola, marburg, plague, and the usual intenstinal fauna. Avian flu was on the border with Sudan, so they also are watching for that. It is a daily effort to try to not get sick. There is no potable water - everything needs to be treated, and uncooked vegetables or fruit - even at nice restaurants - is suspect. - Sep 2009

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