"Blood doctor" Christine Sekaggya on breaking barriers

Uganda's female haematologists are breaking barriers and inspiring a new generation of women in a medical field that’s traditionally dominated by men.

As specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders, haematologists play a critical role in any health care system; but few female doctors from Uganda have ventured into the area thus far.

Dr. Christine Sekaggya is the only female haematologist at Mulago National Referral Hospital and one of only three female haematologists in the country.

Dr. Sekaggya is celebrated as one of Uganda’s top haematologists, but her inspiration to specialise in the area was rather prosaic.

“I decided to do haematology because there was a gap in human resource at the time. It is an area where many people remain undiagnosed in the community with their diseases for a long time,” she explains.

Nevertheless, Sekaggya found that she enjoyed working in her chosen field and has since achieved remarkable success in her career.  

Sekaggya believes women bring a unique perspective to the field of haematology and calls on more of them to to join the highly specialised medical fields.

“In haematology, we are probably two or three females. and when I talk about Hema oncology, we are basically five females. We really need to build capacity,” she says. 

To young women aspiring for careers in medicine, Sekaggya says with hard work and determination, anything is possible. 

“Don’t get distracted by what people say; if you want to do it, set your mind to it, work hard and take the small steps you need to get to your goal.”

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