An Exceptionally Incredible Person: Dr. Alphonsus Matovu

DSC07325alphonsus in hall

Every now and then you have a chance to meet someone and instantly realize you’re in the presence of an exceptionally incredible person: it’s nearly an indescribable feeling, but you just know that this person is making the world a better place. Last week a group of us had the chance to go and round with Dr. Alphonsus Matovu at Kamuli Mission Hospital, where he works every day, all day as the only surgeon. It would be natural to expect someone who would pop by to say hello and then just as quickly be off to continue his work given the situation, but Dr. Alphonsus did nothing of the sort. He brought all of us to his office to sign the visitors’ book and to tell us a little bit about the hospital. I was struck by the calm, quiet, gentleness that he displayed from the very beginning. As we walked through the wards, he told us about the people he treats both medically and surgically. We continued on to see the operating rooms where he performs cesarean sections, brain surgery for trauma and even small tumors, and all the other general surgical procedures. He described how he lives at the hospital, and whenever a patient arrives in the night he is called, and how during the day there is always a steady flow of patients arriving into the evening, all in a rather matter of fact way, but without even the slightest hint of arrogance. This is a man who has, quite humbly, dedicated his life to medicine and to the people of his community. As a medical student, I have had the chance to learn from physicians and to see how they choose to practice medicine, and in the last 3 years, I have never encountered anyone like Dr. Alphonsus

Caitlin Baran, MD

Blog, ITW AfricaITW Team