Skip to main content

Partnering to Improve Surgical Care in Uganda through Reliable Technology, Service & Training 

Aug 16, 2019

For six years, the UAM at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital – serving a population of 4.5 million people in eastern Uganda – has helped providers deliver anesthesia more effectively and reliably to their patients. As the primary anesthesia machine in the maternity ward, the UAM is used during nearly 3,000 C-sections a year – many of which are emergencies – and enables the safe provision of general anesthesia for other obstetric-related cases as well. 

But the life-saving potential of medical technology like the UAM can only be actualized by the providers who operate it. The doctors and nurses in our markets work tirelessly to provide quality care to their patients, and in turn, Gradian is committed to providing them with wrap-around services, clinical skills training, and ongoing support needed to operate the UAM with confidence. It is a commitment we share with our local distribution and service partners who help ensure the UAM, once installed, continues to function at its best for years on end. 

In Uganda, Gradian has worked with our distributor Joint Medical Stores (JMS) since 2013. As a nonprofit medical distribution company established as a joint venture between the Uganda Catholic Mission Bureau (UCMB) and the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau (UPMB), JMS was designed to serve the needs of faith-based hospitals across the country. They procure, store, and sell more than 2,000 healthcare products, including pharmaceuticals, equipment, instruments and supplies, in addition to providing training and advisory services to Ugandan health facilities. 

Working with UPMB, UCMB, and international donors, Gradian and JMS have distributed and installed more than 50 UAMs at mission hospitals in Uganda, helping to treat tens of thousands of critically-ill and surgical patients since 2013.

As Kenneth Rubango, Director Biomedical Engineering at JMS reflected, “Gradian and JMS each have a lot to offer our customers but we are stronger together: we have each invested greatly in providing high quality equipment and support services to the hospitals we serve, but when we see what we’ve been able to do together – and what we’ll be able to do in the future, it’s much, much more.”

The new class of certified lead trainers in Uganda at last month’s training.

In order to enhance our current training and service offerings and continue to support the providers who use our products, we have begun rolling out our simulation-based training curriculum in Uganda. This high-fidelity training exposes anesthesia providers and UAM users to rigorous, hands-on practice in a safe learning environment that improves product use and and supports related clinical skillsets in anesthesia and critical care. With a newly certified class of instructors, Gradian – in partnership with JMS –  will be offering regional simulation-based training and refresher courses to all UAM users in Uganda. Our goal is to make sure all facilities relying on our products can also rely on years of clinical and technical support for the providers and equipment needed to save patients’ lives across the country.