Ugandan Doctor Shines In Canada

doctor geneva; font-size: small;”>Dr. Abdullah K. Kirumira honestly thought it was better to be a failure at something he loved than to be a success at something he hated.

He chose to read Science books which our youth scorn and ‘fear’ thus going for ‘simpler’ Arts subjects

And now, this is the sweetest and most glorious day that his eyes have ever seen.

Kirumira now stands from the crowd as one of the most educated and inspiring Ugandan scientist world has ever known.

Kirumira has given his fellow countrymen, especially those in Canada and other countries, reason to be proud of being Ugandans.


For starters, Dr. Kirumira is the founder and CEO of Bio Medica Diagnostics Inc. of Windsor, Nova Scotia – a company that specializes in cardiovascular diagnostics as well as affordable diagnostics solutions for resource poor clinical settings.

A Ugandan native, Kirumira migrated to Canada in 1975. He graduated from Reading University in the United Kingdom, and later completed his PhD in Biotechnology at Murdock University in Australia.

Dr. Kirumira started his Medical Biotechnology career as a Senior Research Fellow in Medical Diagnostics at the University of Maryland in the U.S.

He taught Biochemistry at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and was the founding Professor of Medical Biotechnology at Dalhousie University’s College of Pharmacy.


Presently, Kirumira is the Adjunct Professor in the Chemistry Department at Acadia University.

He was worldly renowned for his pioneering work when he developed the world’s first rapid acting HIV test in 1993.

Dr. Kirumira has been recognized by a number of world forums including being chosen by The Economist (London, U.K.) in 2007 to receive their Innovation Award in the area of Bio-science for his work in the development of rapid diagnostic HIV testing.

In 2009, he received the World Economic Forum (Geneva, Switzerland) Technology Pioneer Award in Affordable Medical Diagnostics for Emerging Economics.

He also received the Planet Africa Award for Technology Innovation. He was also awarded with a BBPA Harry Jerome Award for Technology and Innovation.

He is a model to Ugandans interested in science subjects and his rare brilliance and eventual success leaves the nation wondering on what really could be done to persuade such brainy persons to return home.

Researchers led by Edward Mills, Chair of Global Health at the University of Ottawa, recently said Uganda loses over US$13million every year in revenue, as its doctors emigrate to work in foreign countries.

Uganda is one of the sub-Saharan African countries whose doctors have emigrated to Australia, Canada, UK, and US.

The study found that there are over 400 Ugandan doctors working in these countries.


Dr. Kirumira attained his primary education at Kamuli UMEA primary school in Bugerere. He later attended Kibuli SS till 1972.

The school was founded by his father, Hajji Hassan Kibirige and his friends. Other founders included: late Ali Musisi (who donated 5 acres of land); and Hajji Asuman Machie or Hajji Adam (supplied cement and iron sheets on loan).

Hajji Kibirige became its first chairman. He lit the success candle for the family, now boasting of professionals living overseas.

This the rural school where most of Kirumira’s successful brothers and sisters had their primary education from.

As Dale Carnegie put it, flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.

As we speak now, Kirumira’s brothers and sisters include: Dr. Omar Hassan Kasule, MD, PHD Public Health; Businessman Hajji Badru Buwembo; Dr. Ismail Kibirige who is both an aeronautic engineer and colon hygienist and Dr. Ahmed Jingo (physician in USA).

Others are Dr. Mustapha Kibirige (Ophthalmologist and laser surgeon in Texas); Dr.Sawuya Nakakande Lubega(MD); Hajjati Rehema Semuwemba; Hajjati Rhemie Kiggundu(late Dr. Suleiman Kiggundu’s wife) and several others.

Robert Louis Stevenson said don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

By providing education and career guidance to his children and the rest, Kirumira’s father was sowing on a fertile ground.

Hajji Hassan Kibirige Is Dr. Kirumira’s Father

Hajji Hassan Kibirige gave an interview to the Torch Newspaper in 2011 about his son.

“In 2007, I was at my home when I received a call from State house. I was told the President Yoweri Museveni wanted to have a chat with me. He asked me whether I was the biological father of Dr. Kirumira. I laughed before admitting.

Museveni then asked me which schools I took him to. I told Museveni he had gone through my hands at my school in Bugerere.

He hailed me for having provided quality education to my son.

In fact when the Queen of England was coming to Uganda for the Common Wealth Meeting in 2007, the Uganda government sent my son an invitation to fly from Canada so he could be part of a delegation welcoming the her. My son obliged.

Shortly after the function, government asked Kirumira to stay behind so he could give some lectures to doctors at Mulago Hospital.

The president offered to buy some of the medical diagnostics medical machines Dr Kirumira makes.”

The intriguing story leaves reflections on the part of Ugandans interested in science subjects and government regarding the huge exodus of professionals to foreign countries.


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