Short Report – Special Collection: African Health Systems

Improving rural health services: The case of a family physician’s contribution at Aber Hospital, Northern Uganda

Samuel Okori, Innocent K. Besigye
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 13, No 1 | a3229 | DOI: | © 2021 Samuel Okori, Innocent K. Besigye | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 August 2021 | Published: 13 December 2021

About the author(s)

Samuel Okori, St. John XXIII Hospital-Aber, Lira, Oyam District, Uganda
Innocent K. Besigye, Department of Family Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda


Family physicians (FPs) provide quality comprehensive primary care services responsive to the needs of the people they are serving. In Uganda, FPs are still few with poor visibility hence difficult to demonstrate their impact. This short report describes the contribution of a FP guided by the principles of family medicine to improving health care services to meet the needs of a rural population in Northern Uganda. This was carried out through targeted capacity building for teams within various hospital departments and the provision of transformative leadership and management. Hospital laboratory and radiology departments were strengthened to provide the needed diagnostic services to the population and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care and tuberculosis screening were improved through the establishment of community service centres together with strengthening community outreaches. The transformative leadership of the multidisciplinary team provided by the FP significantly improved the quantity and quality of health care services.


family medicine; rural health; primary health care; primary care; health systems


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