Dr. John Mugamba


Many people make mid-career adjustments. Already an accomplished surgeon in Uganda, John dreamt of becoming a pilot or a Formula 1 driver. However, through the counsel and support of his family, he completed a 5-year neurosurgery residency program in Cape Town, South Africa, returning to Uganda in his early 50’s. After several months of working in the public sector, a mutual friend connected John with an American neurosurgeon in the far-eastern town of Mbale who was seeing a lot of cases of hydrocephalus. John met Dr. Benjamin Warf in 2005 and the rest, as they say, is history.

John (center) with Prof. Graham Fieggen (2nd from right), Head of Neurosurgery at the University of Cape Town

For several years, John was the sole neurosurgeon at the CURE Children’s Hospital, doubling the outpatient and surgical volumes during his tenure. He served as the Medical Director at the hospital in Uganda and played a lead role in transforming CURE’s neurosurgical service in Zambia. John has trained dozens of neurosurgeons from around the world in the Warf method (ETV/CPC) and traveled extensively to mentor and support others.

John with Derek, Julie & Nathan Johnson, Mbale, Uganda 2015

After nearly twenty years of service, John retired from the hospital in Uganda and joined his wife and son in Cape Town, South Africa. Along with the several thousand brain surgeries he performed for children, John transformed neurosurgery in Uganda, his impact rippling throughout much of the continent. His commitment to the people of Uganda, especially its children, and his conviction to “do the best he can and let God do the rest” puts him in the rarest of air.

One of the many babies treated by John

NeuroKids must assemble a best-in-class team in our race to protect the world’s children from the complications of hydrocephalus and spina bifida. There is a very short list of people with this kind of experience and expertise. John is at the top of that list. He has surgically treated more children with hydrocephalus than anyone in the world. Ever. Not bad for someone who dreamt of flying airplanes and driving race cars.

John joins the NeuroKids team as a Senior Trainer, a role that utilizes his vast experience and unique skill sets to mentor neurosurgeons throughout Africa and around the world.