Lira Report May 2016 Jamie

Lira Report May 2016 Jamie

Lira Uganda Objectives and Findings

web site – http://lirauni.ac.ug/


  • Bag Carrier


I was able to help Frankie take out 60KG of medical equipment, supplies and books!


  • Photographs


I have taken a number of photos of the University and the Hospital to give the October Team a taste of what they will encounter, and hopefully see some progress (in the Theatres and Wards).

Taking film in Lira is difficult. Permission should be obtained if any people are going to be in the shot and most of the time this is not possible. Most of the film in town I took with a small camera, and where there are people involved I asked first. I think with the proliferation of smart phones this will ease, but one needs to be careful.


  • Technical Equipment at the University


The University is well equipped with Desk based computers, all running Windows & and with MS Office loaded. There are 12 in the Resource room at the Faculty of Health Sciences and 15 in the University Library. These need to be updated to Windows 10 and I left a flash drive with the software with Andrew Ojulong who is the Librarian, and am now in regular contact with him. The Faculty of Health have a Satellite (Orange) internet link and WiFi but it is painfully slow and does not allow downloads, only browsing. Cellular communication is fair over the site and we started using a cell equipped PC. Cable internet is due to be run to the site in September.


  • Administration


The administration departments have a number of desktop and laptop computers (many equipped with UPS) and staff appear to be proficient in their usage. The University gets Government Support as well as the fee income from Students, and applies for funding using a Government developed budget system that I was told is used for most public funding. The fee income and the University running costs are managed by a series of Excel spreadsheets that looked to be very professionally developed and give cash account management and other financial reports.


  • Constitution


We met Professor Jasper Ogwal-Okeng, the University Principal and man of great vision and enthusiasm. He was kind enough to give us an hour of his time and explain where he was trying to get with his vision, and welcomed the possibility of links with Poole Hospital and Bournemouth University. He sees his university as being “world class”! He has offered to send Frankie Dormon copies of the Constitution and other documents. Wikipedia cites the relevant constitutional events.


  • Transportation


The University is on a plateau about 20mins outside Lira to the Southeast. There are two roads that are graded, but one is due to be “upgraded” later this year. There is a student bus from Lira but in reality a taxi is needed. The locals use Boda-bodas, motorcycle transport that seems to carry more people and goods that defy imagination.


  • Lira Hospital


Was founded in 1920 and many of the wards date from that time! (Evidence – plates on the wall). It is one of 13 referral hospitals in Uganda funded by the Ministry of Health.

  • Medical records are all kept manually and for in-patients only?
  • The hospital has a CME facility with some computers and this needs more research. The I.T. System Administrator is Inno(cent) Okello and Jamie is in email and facebook contact with him. The hospitals computers need updating, and they want an up to date laptop for their CME lectures!.
  • The hospital has a Philips PCR Eleva Compact X-Ray digitiser that is based on a single machine alongside the X-Ray room. Currently it does not work due to a “communication” error. For their traditional backup there are no chemicals to develop films. I am in touch with Jonathon, Daniel and Inno as my research on the internet indicates connectivity problems, and I have suggested a few things they should do before I talk to Phillips.
  • The hospital could use a simple computerised clinical information and recording system
  • Computer Hardware and software maintenance education would be useful.



Lira is 200 miles north of Kampala on a paved road

The population on the town is about 100.000

There is a reasonably good electricity supply (power went off a few times in the middle on the night)

There is a piped water supply (not potable)

There is a Church sponsored private university



The people are very friendly and hospitable

The people like alcohol (W.H.O.)

Population 36 million (est)

Life expectancy 54

50% of the population under 20

Population has increased by 5 million in 5 years

They are soccer mad supporting Man U. and Arsenal amongst others

At least 10 million people have mobile phones (increasing fast)

SIM cards for mobiles is relatively cheap and we used AIRTEL

Data card for my Laptop provided by MTM and 10$ lasted the week (2GB)