Code Red

Watching Uganda grow over the last nine years has certainly been an interesting journey. Highways that were non-existent before, seem to resemble those that most expatriates are accustomed to.  It might even be possible to reach wonderful, far out places like Kidepo Valley National Park in a few hours, rather than days. There is a small issue though. Being accustomed to relying on 911 or a similar short dial code that would connect you to exactly the help you require tends to result in a natural belief that things will always be okay, that we can always deal with events as they come.

Sitting in his home, just off Ggaba Road, listening to the accounts Eric Walford the CEO of UGAMBULA has to offer, I realised that this is not always the case. I now see that in a life and death situation, far away from the nearest hospital, there is certainly only one place you can call UGAMBULA.( Uganda Ambulance Service)

After serving in the military, Walford continued to build a career in law enforcement, serving the people of the United Kingdom 25 years, before retiring to Uganda in 2004 where Walford spent the next 4 years building UGAMBULA to where it is today. An emergency management center that can assist in getting you medical care anywhere you might find yourself in Uganda.  In less threatening circumstances UGAMBULA can connect you with any one of the 52 medical centers and 49 ambulances spread out over Uganda. In more strenuous conditions UGAMBULA has access to 12 winged aircraft and two rotary aircraft in Uganda and can land on any of the 20 available airstrips throughout the country.

If you are within Kampala your options widen out a little bit in terms of whom you can contact. In Naguru there is The Surgery, a widely know medical facility that has been operating in Uganda since around 1990 as well as being internationally listed medical facility for travelers coming to Uganda. They offer ambulance, emergency room as well as consultation facilities for just about everything you will encounter.

Another suitable option in the Kampala area would be City Ambulance. While being largely focused on ambulance services they have some of the most well trained staff and will send out no less than a qualified nurse most often accompanied by a clinical officer (one year shy of a doctor) and will then take the necessary steps to take you to the hospital you prefer.  If the situation does not allow you to be able to inform them they will then use their training and expertise to make and informed decision as to where you should be taken.

Having been around for a while now, I guarantee you that when all is said and done, having any  or all but preferably all of the contact details listed below close at hand could be the difference between life and death. My personal suggestion would be to even go as far as printing out and laminating a little card to keep on your person at all times.

UGAMBULA:( Uganda Ambulance Service)

+256 792 112 999 (Eric Walford)

+256 705 112 999 (Eric Walford)

+256 712 112 999 (Eric Walford)

The Surgery:

+256 312 256 008 (Land Line)

+256 772 756 003 (Emergency/Ambulance)


+256 312 200 400 (International Hospital Kampala)

City Ambulance:

+256 800 111 044

Uganda Police:   

112 (Mobile user)

999 (Landline)