Nieuwjaarswensen van Ali Kiseka. December 2021. Kampala

23/12/2021 11:35

Mede door jullie steun en via de aankoop van zijn boekje, kreeg Ali de kans om hogere studies medisch laborant te volgen. Graag informeren we jullie hoe het nu met hem gaat.

In 2020 kon hij niet starten, alle scholen werden gesloten omwille van Covid. Pas in maart 2021 mocht hij zich inschrijven aan de Makarere University of Medicine in Kampala. Voor hem was dat een enorme stap en het vergde een ongelooflijke aanpassing maar door zijn grote motivatie verliep de beginperiode prima.

Nog geen 3 maanden later gingen alle scholen opnieuw dicht. Iedereen moest terug naar huis en Ali vertrok ook, naar Lira. Tijdens deze abrupte verplichte ‘vakantie’ kreeg hij de kans om een unieke praktijkervaring op te doen in het ziekenhuis van Aber. Ondertussen moest hij de theorielessen online volgen. Niet evident met het zwakke netwerk.

In september 2021 werden de lessen fysiek hervat voor de laatste 2 maanden van het eerste semester. Hij werkte hard, legde examen af en slaagde met goede resultaten.

Nu is er een korte vakantie tot januari. Hij besloot niet terug te keren naar huis maar te solliciteren naar een stageplaats in een groot ziekenhuislabo in Kampala. Hij leert er veel bij en is super gemotiveerd om het tweede semester aan te vatten.

We meenden dat het sterker was dat hij zelf zijn ervaringen kon verwoorden en zijn impressies met ons te delen.

Zijn ‘nieuwjaarsbrief’ hebben we hier dus integraal bijgevoegd.

Dank voor alle steun! We houden jullie verder op de hoogte.




By God’s grace March 10th. 2021 as a date symbolizes the beginning of my carrier studies. It was my first day of year one semester one at school, the sky had opened up to a soft light blue and it was pleasantly warm with the sunlight soaking the ground.

As I wandered my eyes scanned the school’s yard as I was trying to find someone, I recognized but it seemed impossible. All I could see were ladies and gentlemen observing the area strangely as I was.

I walked a bit more until I notice where all the diploma Medical Laboratory Students would be lining up. There were countless students from all the 21 different schools found within the Major Institutions of Makerere University School of Medicine at the school’s yard dashing and inter-switching lines here and there, missing me by inches since registration of new comer students was being carried out.

After a few more steps of following the line, I had my name being called, and boom it was my turn at the registration desk. I presented all the necessary school requirement needed at the point of registration and I was given a certificate of clearance as a fully cleared student of Medical Laboratory School. I was so glad that I had to get and be with myself as I greatly thank the almighty God for what he has done in life, ideally it was after a period of stay home, to be more specific two years and so I was so able to join not only Makerere University school of Medicine but I also join the best medical school in Uganda.

While at school, normal school activities carried on smoothly at first a lot of things were quite different cause a lot of the similar things had changed for example at my new school, there were new tutors, and are no longer called teachers as I used to call them back then in Secondary school, and also, I would always go to our lecture’s rooms, no longer classes as I used to know and a lot many more that I cannot mention all here but as time went by, I got used and all became familiar.

Time passed by nearing about three months at school, on the 26th May,2021 when the Ministry of health in conjunctions with the National health Task force ordered for closure of all learning institutions all over the country, Uganda so as to curb the spread of the second wave of Covid19. The break off happened and all students left for their different destination homes as for me I went back to Lira.

During holidays by God’s grace, I got myself an opportunity to train at St. John XX111 Hospital Aber in Oyam district where I practiced at the Hospital laboratory for two months. While at the hospital it was like a dream come true, because from school I had attained the various theoretical skills and basic practices in the course and I was looking for a more hands-on experience so that I can be in position to improve on the acquired skills and equip myself for the real-world practices of medical laboratory.

At the esteemed hospital I also made friends with my senior colleagues in the Laboratory whereby they were so friendly and willing to guide me so that I can attain my set goals in medical laboratory journey, best part of it I was also given a role to play at the Laboratory where I executed the following duties as a Laboratory assistant since am a student at diploma levels of studies: Performing daily quality control checks, Preparing test samples/ specimens, Operating laboratory equipment, Conducting various Laboratory tests and experiments, Preparing reports with reliable data, Keeping laboratory records and interpret results basing on the findings and so on

It was just so interesting all along while at Aber Hospital in Oyam but also there were some small challenges that I encountered during my training but these same challenges also taught me what it means to be like in the outside world majorly in the field of Medical Laboratory so I appreciated them and yeah and it also helped to build on my experience work.

Also, during the course of the abrupt holiday, there was online lectures being conducted to help cope with the time lost so that we can catch up with the syllabus’s coverage for this semester being my first time to attend lessons online it was so unique and I feel it so difficult. I never thought some time like this could even happen but considering the situations that all students were to learn in such way and the amount of knowledge – it’s hard to learn somethings that I could not understand by myself and in these forms, there were quite a lot of challenges as for examples;

In the lecture rooms Tutors could monitor the students and adjust their pace to accommodate anyone who needs extra time. Where as in online learning, its more difficult to do so. Since it is harder to read body virtually, instead just decide to stay silent then it makes me more frustrated and having learnt nothing

The was also serious problems of poor network that could hinder turn ups for online classes in most times leading to failure to attend lectures. Actually, I was a bit luckier I did not encountered challenge of data for attending online lectures because while in the hospital Laboratory there was a free WIFI connections. Yeah, the feeling was mutual and clear along side with my practice at the hospital.

When we reported back to school on 15th Sept 2021, for the continuation of semester one year one that lasted for two months, within these time our respective Tutors had to repolish all the lessons that we had been having from online in order to clear up the uneven understandings of students in all the different course units where there was a lot of serious studying within the period and involvements in serious physical practical conducted and these was really so helpful in preparations for the final examinations for the end of semester. We did the final examination on the first week of December and it was really good and went on well. Perhaps am glad and quite convinced that I have scored well and passed as I await to join next year for semester two that would immediately on the 10th January, 2022. We shall be picking up our reports in January as well. This is happening because we had been joining schools in cohorts, whereby, when year one students were at school the year two students were staying home and now as the year one students have broken for holidays the year two have as well reported back to school to finish their continuing semester as they will break off their holiday on 17th Dec, and of course these practice was put in place so as to observe the populations of students at school and Standard Operating Procedures as of the ministry of Health.

So, year two students just began their examination of late and examination board had been waiting for them to finish their exams so that the marking can be done at the same time. Meaning that all our results shall come out at the same time in January.

I got holidays from school on Friday 3rd Dec, but the holiday is for a very short period of time, so I decided to look for a health facility here around Kampala where I can practice for these during of time such that I can keeps hands-on practice because as far as I know the course of Medical Laboratory is 75 percent more of practical aspect and only 25 percent of it is theoretical.

I applied for a vacancy for an opportunity to practice at Central Medical Hub Kampala and these comprise of four different health facilities under one roof of the Medical Hub and these include Roswell Woman and Children’s Hospital, Wellington Diabetes and Heart Centre, Unity Skin Clinic and Roswell Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic.

By God’s grace fortunately enough with experience I got from Aber Hospital in Oyam district I was granted a chance and now here comes. The Central Medical Hub is quite more of a modern laboratory whereby they do have very advanced machines, to site but a few: the modern chemistry machine, immunology machine, complex machines for microbiology and the PCR (Polymerized Chain Reaction) for analysis of molecular structures of the body such as the DNA, RNA and quantifying detections of infections that are difficult to detect by other methods involved.

And with all these I feel it so much different and pretty unique outside here in the same field of Medical Laboratory and every day as I wake up, I know that at least there is always somethings new for me to learn and without any hesitating I feel am always ready to learn them as these has kept me moving on and on.

I started in my practice at the Medical Hub, way immediately on the same day that I went for my interview because I was prepared and eager at the same time to practice at the Hub.

The Central Medical Hub like about 5km from my place of abode. So, every morning for the past two weeks I wake knowing that there is a lot task to complete when I reach at the Medical Hub that begins in the morning with cleaning of all the working benches and performing all the daily maintenance of all the machines, of which I remember being taught on my first day of work at the Hub. And after wards I wait for what the day brings, whereby of time lots of different tests are performed on different test samples or specimens that are presented in the Laboratory as the samples are worked up on with a minimal time required and the results given back to the patient based on the sample received.

With these, I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year celebration, may these festive seasons come along with love of family, friends bring us joy and the feeling of togetherness and laughter in all our smiling faces that unites us with each other both in body and in soul. Though most importantly we continue protecting ourselves by observing all SOPs to help us curb the spread of the deadly virus that has conquered and weaken some parts of the world majorly in some sectors of Entertainment, Market, tourism, educations and health at worst even though of late they were gaining and healing for the challenges.

It’s my privilege to propose my appreciation. My heart fills with gratitude and respect to my sponsor Gregory and Lieve and Bernard for your wonderful love that you always show me and kind support to ensure that I am the person who I am today, without your presence in my life, I would have neither gone to school nor have come this far in life, I always run short of words to express my humble of thanks.

And furthermore, my special appreciations go to Dr. Jan, Els, Carmen and not forgetting Dr. Filip thanks for always your powerful words they meant a lot in my life. Thank you again. All of you

Thanks so much kind regards






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