Clinical Officers in Uganda: “The Pearl of Africa”


  • Annet Namugosa


Uganda, Clinical Officers


The Uganda CO profession was crafted by a gentleman named Sir Dr Albert Cook. Cook originally arrived in Uganda as a missionary in 1918, establishing Mengo Hospital, one of the oldest hospitals in East Africa. Cook went through extraordinary lengths to train Africans to become skilled medical workers, training African Medical Assistants (MA) at Mulago during World War I, opening a school for midwives at Mengo, and encouraging the opening of the first medical college. In 1929, the government took over the training of these professionals, which would be renamed in 1996 from the term “MA” to “Medical Clinical Officer” through the Allied Health Professionals Council Act CAP 268. Since then, COs have served on the front lines of multiple national pandemics including but not limited to Ebola, Marburg, Yellow Fever, Measles and Rift Valley Fever. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, COs have been assigned to various border points and surveillance facilities to assist in tracking, testing, and future vaccination of the country’s constituents. Also COs are also working at health center III in-charge of all managerial activities.

Author Biography

Annet Namugosa

A graduate from the Great Lakes University Bachelors of Science in Clinical Medicine and Community Health (BCMCH) program in Kisumu-Kenya; Ms. Namugosa serves her community as a Senior Medical Clinical Officer (CO) managing the Kawanda Health Centre III. She additionally acts as the current Master Trainer in safe practices of adult male and early infant male circumcision at the Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Republic of Uganda. 

As a supplement to her Clinical role, Annet C. Namugosa holds the Secretary General position on the board of the General Medical Clinical Officer’s Professionals Association of Uganda, advocating for the further recognition of the CO role. A founding member of the Global Association of Clinical Officers and Physician Associates (GACOPA), she utilizes her role as the First Deputy, Organizing Secretary to improve health care services and/or delivery throughout the African continent via unification of all mid-level professionals towards a common health goal, and especially in pursuit of universal health coverage. 




How to Cite

Namugosa, A. (2021). Clinical Officers in Uganda: “The Pearl of Africa”. Social Innovations Journal, 8. Retrieved from