Building capacity for surgical care

The primary focus of involvement in Uganda has been through the Duke Global Neurosurgery and Neurology Program (DGNN) to build neurosurgical capacity. Michael Haglund, professor of neurosurgery, neurobiology and global health, regularly leads teams of medical professionals to Mulago National Referral and Teaching Hospital to perform surgeries and train local professionals. Haglund co-developed the East African Neurosurgery Residency Training Program, as well as the Placement of Life-Changing Usable Surplus Program (Global Health PLUS), which facilitates donation of medical equipment to hospitals in Uganda.

DGHI has also provided support in building biomedical engineering capacity at Makerere University to accelerate the development of biomedical engineering in Uganda. Other areas of faculty research include cervical cancer, mhealth, maternal and child health, mental health and health systems strengthening. With such a diverse research portfolio in Uganda, global health students have been able to take advantage of unique fieldwork opportunities to advance their education and training.

Key Faculty


  • Makerere University School of Public Health
  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology
  • Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital
  • Mulago National Referral Hospital
  • Mengo Hospital
  • Naama Millennium Preparatory School

Duke Entities

DGHI centers: 

  • Duke Global Neurosurgery and Neurology Program
  • Global Health Innovation Center
  • DGHI Evidence Lab


  • Pratt School of Engineering 
  • School of Medicine (OB/GYN)

Other units:

  • Duke Center for International Development

Research News

Understanding the Influence of Spiritual Beliefs on Epilepsy Care

In their efforts to expand treatment of epilepsy in Uganda, Duke researchers explore the role of traditional healers, who are often the first stop for Ugandans suffering from seizures.

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Herbal healing in Uganda