Invitation to Missionaries
Sekabaka Mutesa 1(King of Buganda) invited Missionaries to come to Uganda.
By the 2nd half of the 19th Century, Christianity and western medical care had not reached Uganda. Ugandans were in “Spiritual darkness”;they believed in and practiced witchcraft. Diseases like Sleeping sickness and Syphilis were occurring at epidemic levels in the country.
Realising that his subjects needed the “light”, the then King of Buganda Sekabaka Mutesa 1 invited men of Good will from England to come and evangelise; to bring the “light” that consisted of three important elements namely: Evangelism, Health care and education.
The Founding of Mengo Hospital
In response to the King’s invitation mentioned above, the Church Missionary Society (CMS) of England sent a team of Missionaries to Uganda. In the team was a Physician, the late Sir Albert Ruskin Cook (RIP), who arrived in Uganda on 15th February 1807. Soon after his arrival, Dr. Cook realized that in order to minister to the spiritual lives of people of Uganda, he had to give attention to their enormous physical problems as well. Consequently on 22nd February 1897, Sir Dr. Cook held his first outpatient clinic under a tree on Namirembe hill. With that single event, the firs seed for the Christian Medical work in Uganda. Ever since, that work has continued to grow and to develop in size and scope uninterrupted for the last 117years.
From a 12-bed Ward to a 300- bed Health Care Complex
Determined to harness the local environment in order to offer whatever was practically possible at the time, in 1897 Sir Dr. Cook mobilised local manpower, other material resources and put up a 12- bed grass thatched ,mud and wattle building at Namirembehill, in which he treated tens of thousands of sick Ugandans for many years.