$500K Medical Missions Award Goes to OB-GYN Nun in Uganda

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Her call to serve the “least of these” led her to maternal care at a rural hospital.

Dr. Priscilla Busingye has a God-given passion to improve maternal health across Uganda, particularly in rural places where women often can’t get specialized care and dignified treatment.

For years, Busingye would wake up before 6 a.m. for morning devotions and mass before heading to work at the maternity ward. As a nun and a physician at a rural hospital, her work was both rewarding and rigorous. She would set alarms on her phone to remind herself to pray for strength and energy throughout the day.

Now, as the president of the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda, Busingye is training up the next generation of specialists in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

When she learned last month she won a $500,000 medical missions prize, she saw God was finally answering her decades-long prayer to expand access to lasting maternal care. Busingye, a consecrated nun with the Catholic Banyatereza Sisters of Uganda, is the first woman and first African physician to win African Mission Healthcare’s annual L’Chaim Prize.

For nearly two decades, Busingye served at the Rwibaale Health Center, about four hours west of Kampala. She had been the hospital’s only OB-GYN specialist, as well as its medical director and administrator. Now, with the prize money, Busingye intends to transform the facility into a dedicated maternal care center.

Busingye’s goal is ambitious yet attainable: She wants to build a place where women have access to safe and affordable gynecological services, including surgical procedures for pregnancy, delivery and birth trauma, or injuries.

Women’s health is often neglected in national budgets for hospitals in Uganda, where the cost of giving birth in a hospital is too high …

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