Ambassador Popp's First Visit to Gulu, Northern Uganda

In Summary
  • Lacor Hospital in Gulu, Uganda, welcomed US Ambassador William W. Popp.
  • Ambassador Popp toured hospital units, discussed childhood cancer cases, and praised the hospital's impactful healthcare programs.
  • Lacor Hospital relies on US government funding, showcased successful HIV initiatives, and the visit concluded with respects at the hospital cemetery.
U.S. Ambassador to Uganda H.E William Popp at St. Mary's Hospital Lacor
U.S. Ambassador to Uganda H.E William Popp at St. Mary's Hospital Lacor
Image: Bright Baba

Hospital Lacor, commonly referred to as Lacor Hospital located in Gulu District, Northern Uganda was founded by Comboni Missionaries way back in 1959 and managed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gulu.

The 482 bed facility serves patients from Gulu, Lira, Yumbe Arua and across the country such as South Sudan and beyond.

The hospital institutional director Dr. Martin Ogwal Private says the hospital being a not for profit facility depends much on donor funding, adding that 40% of its donations come from the US government.


“We have had an amazing collaboration with the US govt dating way back in 2000 when the country was hit by Ebola”, he says.

It is against this background that the new US Ambassador to Uganda,His Excellency William W. Popp recently visited the region to see the works on the ground.

Having assumed office on September 20th 2023, the trip to Northern Uganda was an impactful one for him.

At Lacor hospital, he visited different units where funds have been channeled into including the Children’s ward which was constructed in 2003. Here he was notified by Dr. Ogwal about the growing cases of cancers among children especially those under the age of 5 to which he said there could be a need for reassessing the situation for better management.

The hospital has also over the years been able to build a strong PMTC program running under the HIV Clinic thanks to support from PEPFAR.

Dr. Ogwal proudly mentioned that now only 0.98% of positive mothers do transmit HIV/AIDS to their unborn children adding that they have saved many lives that could have been lost along the way.

Here the ambassador mentioned that 1.4 million Ugandans continue to receive support from PEPFAR adding that an estimated 600,000 lives have been saved over the years.

The Ambassador was impressed with the fully stocked pharmacy which had drugs such as ARVs, OI and laboratory equipment, all donations from the US government and others.

We have a program in place where we take medicines especially ARVs to communities for purposes of adherence and continuity, said Dr. Ogwal.

Also some of our patients trek long distances to come to the facility so we   save them the journey by bring the medicines closer to them, he added

Ambassador Popp expressed gratitude to the management and staff of St Mary's hospital Lacor for effectively using the resources given to them.

Here he said the US govt is committed to further supporting Uganda as a nation and its people especially in the health sphere.

After a long day of interaction with patients and health officials at the hospital, the Ambassador and his team visited the hospital cemetery where he prayed for the departed souls.

At the cemetery lays Dr Matthew Lukwiya who died of Ebola and Dr. Lucille Corti who died of HIV among others

Both men contracted the diseases while treating patients at Lacor hospital.