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Surgeons Disappointed By Lack Of Literature On Uganda’s Iconic Surgeon Kyalwazi

The Surgeons pose for a group photo after the Late Sebastian Kakule Kyalwazi memorial lecture in Mbarara


Although the professional record of Uganda’s Surgery Icon the late Professor Sebastian Kakule Kyalwazi in Uganda’s medical circles is virtually unequaled, the country’s surgeons who draw their inspiration from him hardly have any Literature to know more about him.


These sentiments came out over during the Association of Surgeons of Uganda -ASOU’s first physical meeting since the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown was instituted, held at Acacia Hotel in Mbarara on Friday.


Fiona Namusisi Bishanga, the granddaughter of Kyalwazi, said that the surgeons should write books or design a website with information on the late Prof Kyalwazi in appreciation and honour of the works he did for surgery in Uganda and East Africa.


She said it is an honour to the family that the surgeons have kept the legacy of Prof Kyalwazi on and wants more surgeons to join the Association.

Presenting at the lecture, Dr Rosemary Nassanga, a retired surgeon urged the surgeons and student surgeons to do more research since the world today is evolving with many changes, noting that the practice has to be evidence-based.


She said that the late Prof Kyalwazi had 38 publications that are followed today because he did a lot of research.


Dr Frank Asiimwe, the President, Association of Surgeons of Uganda said they are reviving the training of Surgeons to increase the number of surgeons in Uganda without losing quality.


He said the ratio of patients to surgeons is extremely very low and worrying standing at 1:300,000 in the population, compared to the recommended ratio of 1:1000.


Born on October 31, 1919, in Masaka district, the late Prof. Sebastian Kakule Kyalwazi is described as the father of surgery and the best surgeon Uganda has ever had having graduated from Edinburgh as a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, in 1961 becoming the first East African to qualify as a surgeon.


Prof Kyalwazi was the first black head of the surgery department at Makerere University Medical School, Mulago from 1972 to 1983 and the first black president of the Association of Surgeons of East Africa in 1968 shortly after he was appointed lecturer in the Department of Surgery, Makerere University Medical School. He passed through the ranks becoming a professor and head of the Surgery Department in 1973. He died in 1992.


He attended his primary and junior School at Rubaga and Kitovu primary schools from 1931-36 he later joined St Mary’s College, Kisubi between 1937-41, he went to Makerere University College and to Makerere University Medical School and graduated in 1948.

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