In 2010, GPAS organized the First Annual Conference on Global Surgery Collaboration in Uganda. The purpose of this conference and those held subsequently has been to bring together key stakeholders and discuss strategies that increase access to surgical and perioperative services in Uganda. The themes for each conference have varied, though a focus of each conference has been the harmonization of efforts by international collaborators.

Harmonization is the coordination of efforts and sharing of information to avoid duplication that is one of the fundamental principals of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

Lack of harmonization among parallel health care-related efforts in Uganda poses a significant obstacle to optimizing limited resources, as it does in similar settings worldwide.

An estimated 11,000 NGOs are registered in Uganda, and upto 1,000 visiting trainees and faculty from foreign institutions visit Mulago alone each year. Projects are sometimes redundant and can disrupt teaching and clinical workflows.

To improve communication, GPAS partners collectively maintain a coordination calendar and utilize team members whose dedicated role it is to help harmonize our work with that of other efforts.

We are also working to compile a list of other efforts working to address the surgical disease burden in Uganda. Please help us build this database of international surgical efforts in Uganda.


  • 2010 Conference | San Francisco, California:
    The conference was hosted GPAS at UCSF through partnership with the Ugandan North American Medical Society. Over 70 participants from 12 Universities and organizations working in surgery or anesthesia at Mulago attended the conference. As a direct result of this conference, GPAS partnered with Medical Teams International, UNAMS, and the University of British Columbia’s Uganda Sustainable Trauma Orthopeadic Program.
  • 2011 Conference | Vancouver, British Columbia:
    This second-annual conference on collaboration in Uganda was hosted by the University of British Columbia and was attended over 100 participants from 15 universities and organizations, including the former Director of Health Services of Uganda. A webcast for the event is available here.  After this 2011 meeting, a list of priority areas for international partners supporting surgery and anesthesia in Uganda was drafted and adopted.
  • 2012 Conference | Hamilton, Ontario:
    A Third Annual Conference on Collaboration in Uganda was held October 2012 in Hamilton, Ontario. For the 2012 conference, the conference agenda was expanded to promote harmonization among additional initiatives including maternal health, mental health, technology (biomed), and internal medicine.
  • 2015 Conference | Kampala, Uganda:
    After a brief hiatus, a Fourth Annual Conference on Global Surgery Collaboration in Uganda is being held October 2015 in Kampala, Uganda. For the 2015 conference, the conference agenda will be refocused on harmonization among global surgery efforts with specific emphasis on promoting public policy change to improve surgical infrastructure and care provision.