This is what donating a doctor looks like — a life saved. Doctor Anthony Batte, right, inserts a catheter so that a child can receive life-saving kidney dialysis.

This child, who is in critical condition, will live thanks to the training that Dr. Batte received in Hamilton, Canada, when he studied here with the International Outreach Program. Dr. Batte spent a year at McMaster University and area hospitals learning pediatric nephrology.

Now, back home in Kampala, Uganda, Dr. Batte is putting his academic knowledge and new clinical skills to work. saving the lives of children who have kidney failure. That’s the power of donating a doctor.

“The IOP is one of the key groups, along with McMaster, that has done a lot of work in training sub-specialists in the different fields of medicine,” said Batte. “Especially in the department of internal medicine, the sub-specialists that we have [in Uganda] are trained by McMaster. Right now I’m being trained to be a pediatric nephrologist and it’s a big achievement that the IOP has given us, for the university and the country.”

Batte is grateful for what the IOP is helping him to accomplish in obtaining his sub-specialty, but also for it helping grow the Ugandan medical system.

“I think we as a country, as Uganda, we need to acknowledge what the IOP has done,” said Batte. “The training that we get is key to the health system and to the government because they could not afford to do what the IOP does. The IOP takes on big ventures and it’s very important and it’s helping our health system.”

The Ugandan doctors who come to Canada train to become sub-specialists, a level of training they cannot obtain back home. Although they are studying and practicing in different fields of medicine, they all arrive in Canada with the goal of making their country’s medical system better when they return home.

“There is a big gap in the field of hematology (compared to Canada) at the Uganda Cancer Institute,” said Okello. “Because of my interest in this discipline I was identified and came to McMaster University to take a course unit on internal medicine. Here I can super-specialize in hematology. They don’t offer this training in Uganda.”
Okello is working hard at his studies, but when he returns home his workload will increase drastically.

“Uganda is a small country with a population of 36-million people,” said Okello. “There is only one cancer institute so once I get home I’ll be teaching students as well as treating people. We get so many people coming to the institute. Our patients back in Uganda are so ill.”

“Kidney diseases are a huge, huge problem in Uganda,” said Bagasha. “In Uganda we not only have diabetes and hypertension, those are [just the] lifestyle illnesses. We have those but we also have a lot of infections like HIV. It’s pandemic in Uganda. The numbers are overwhelming for doctors looking after the kidneys. Kidney disease is like a death sentence for us.”

Despite referring to kidney diseases in Uganda as “death sentences” Dr. Bagasha remains positive that she can make a difference once she gets home with new knowledge she has learned in Canada and through the IOP.

“Many times I ask myself what am I going to take back?” said Dr. Bagasha. “I think most importantly for me, the thing I’m going to take back the most is learning that even if you have limited resources there is still so much more you can do. A lot of things we are doing here can be taken back to Uganda without the worry of resource limitation.”

Dr. Bagasha’s children in Uganda

I want to give special thanks to the IOP for giving me the opportunity to study in Canada at one of the best medical universities by providing amazing accommodation for me. I truly was impressed by the accommodations provided which included a wonderful apartment to stay, very spacious and included all the amenities. I felt like I was home away from home. I was also provided with transportation anywhere around the city and a cafeteria pass. By given me this opportunity I am now able to provide the citizens of my country with not only one specialty care that was lacking but 2. Overall, I cannot express in words my gratitude towards the help received and have definitely made a positive impact not only for my life but for thousands of others who will receive the specialty care from the training I was able to receive.
Thank you!!!

To whom it may concern,

I am Dr Shazeema Shaw a physician from Guyana, South America who had the opportunity to do fellowship in Infectious Disease at McMaster University, Canada with the support of the St. Joseph’s International Outreach Program.

In Guyana the opportunity to do fellowship in country doesn’t exist and can be extremely difficult to organize as well as fund financially abroad. Prior to my training Guyana had no Infectious Disease specialist/ physician. With the help of the St. Joseph’s International Outreach Program, I was able to complete training and return home to offer specialized medical service related to infectious diseases. My expertise has improved patient care and decrease mortality within 9 months of my return. This outcome was made possible by the opportunity given to me by the St. Joseph’s International Outreach Program.

The system was well organized and offered guidance throughout my training which was 18 months long from Jan 2021 to June 2022. I am extremely grateful to the St. Joseph’s International Outreach Program because without their help, efforts and guidance I would no have had this opportunity to expand my knowledge and improve patient care in my country. I know this gratitude is not only extended from myself but also my patients, the only tertiary public referring hospital that I work with (Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation) and the country as a whole.

Again, thank you so much to the St. Joseph’s International Outreach Program.

Shazeema Shaw

“IOP has provided me with a Fellowship in General Internal Medicine, this opportunity has allowed me to enhance my skills and knowledge which will further improve care offered to patients when I return to Guyana.

The support of administrative staff has been amazing, since being accepted, the team has been very efficient in keeping me up to date with registrations, medical licence and providing accommodation. The office has also been very supportive in my making sure we were comfortable and warm during the winter season. I feel lucky and I’m thankful to the entire team at IOP.”


“It has been almost two months since I completed my clinical fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology Oncology at McMaster University. It was a life changing experience which helped me to grow in my clinical skills and ultimately improve the care I can now provide to my patients and their families.

This educational opportunity would not have been possible without the support that I received from the St Joseph’s IOP. It allowed me to focus on my studies and gave me the opportunity to meet other fellows and network with other clinicians who continue to advise me. I would recommend this pathway to knowledge to my colleagues and I thank the hardworking staff of the IOP on a job well done.”


“In 2018 I met with a cardiologist from Canada in Namibia where I was working. Through him I was able to get connected to McMaster for Interventional Cardiology and he served as my supervisor. There was a limiting factor in commencing this because of funding issues. He then connected me to IOP to secure funding. IOP was truly helpful in getting me all I needed: Accommodation, living allowance, transport when I arrived in Canada. I have never met any issue during my stay in Canada as IOP was always there for me. I have now completed my fellowship in International Cardiology. My dreams have been fulfilled thanks to IOP.

I am now about to start Structural Heart fellowship and I am truly thankful to IOP. You are doing a great job to help countries with limited resources in capacity and building of medical personnel.”

–  James