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LEGEND: Prof Josephine Nambooze

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Added 21st November 2019 10:18 PM

Namboze attended mainly missionary schools during the pre-independence period.

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Namboze attended mainly missionary schools during the pre-independence period.


Nambooze was born at Nsambya, a suburb of Kampala to Joseph Lule, a school teacher, and Maria Magdalena Lule, a housewife. She was the firstborn in a family of thirteen children.

Born in a committed Christian family, Prof. Namboze attended mainly missionary schools during the pre-independence period. From St. Joseph’s Girls’ Primary School, Nsambya, she joined the prestigious Mt. St. Mary’s College Namagunga, but had to switch to Namilyango College under a special arrangement to enable her study sciences.

During the mid-1950s, she was admitted to Makerere University School of Medicine to study human medicine, the first female in the history of the school. Following graduation from Makerere, she undertook postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom and the United States, returning to Uganda in 1962.

She joined the staff at Makerere University in 1962 as a lecturer in public health and maternal and child health. She was given the responsibility of supervising Kasangati Health Centre, a teaching facility of Makerere University School of Public Health. She later made senior lecturer, associate professor, and full professor in those fields. She has also served as the World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Botswana and as director of support for health services development at the WHO regional office in Brazaville, Congo.


Since her graduation, Prof. Nambooze went on to make many other achievements. In 1962, after completing her post-graduate studies overseas, she was appointed the first medical officer at Kasangati teaching health centre for the medical school.

“She taught medical students, conducted research and provided health services to the community. She also introduced home visiting for community-based nurses,” said Dr. Sam Okware her former student and currently the director-general, Uganda National Health Research Organisation.

As a lecturer at the medical school, she compiled the slogan of “publish or perish,” which enabled her to move up in the academic hierarchy from lecturer to professor and later to head of the institute of public health, a position she held from1978 to 1988. Professor Joseph Lule Konde acknowledges her for being dedicated to her duty, “though she had a family, she always did her work with dedication. She was a shining example of how dedication to service can pull someone to the top,” he said.


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