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Deputy Dean- Faculty of Medicine


Dr. Joseph Ngonzi is a senior lecturer and researcher in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Deputy Dean of Faculty of Medicine at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Uganda. He holds a bachelors degree in Medicine and Surgery, a Master’s degree of Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynecology from MUST, postgraduate training in Epidemiology, Biostatistics and research methodology (EBQ) from University of Antwerp in Belgium. He is due to graduate with a PhD in biomedical Sciences at University of Antwerp, in Belgium. He is a certified gynecologic surgeon majoring on genital tract neoplasms such as cervical, vulvar, uterine and ovarian pathologies.

His research interests include, but not limited to, the following:

1.     Understanding prevalence and causes of postpartum sepsis in resource-limited settings: I have conducted studies in southwestern Uganda documenting the high prevalence of postpartum sepsis as the leading cause of maternal death in this setting. I have further conducted studies in understanding the risk factors for postpartum infections and vaginal colonization with potential bacterial pathogens and antimicrobial resistance patterns in postpartum women. I have performed retrospective chart reviews of Cesarean deliveries at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital and discovered that there is low use of antibiotic guideline-based prescription especially prophylactic antibiotics before Cesarean sections (17% of cases).

a.     Joseph Ngonzi, Yarine Fajardo Tornes, Peter Kivunike Mukasa, Wasswa Salongo, Jerome Kabakyenga, Masembe Sezalio, Kristien Wouters, Yves Jacqueymn and Jean-Pierre Van Geertruyden. Puerperal sepsis, the leading cause of maternal deaths at a tertiary university teaching hospital in Uganda. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2016; 16:207.

b.     Joseph Ngonzi, Bebell L. M, Bazira J, Fajardo Y, Boatin A. A, Siedner M. J, Bassett I. V, Nyehangane D, Nanjebe D, Jacqueymn Y, van Geetruyden J. P, Mwanga-Amumpaire J, Bangsberg D. R, Riley L. E. & Boum Y. Antimicrobial-resistant infections among postpartum women at a Ugandan referral hospital. PLoS One 2017, 12, e0175456.

c.     Abdul Namugongo, Joel Bazira, Yarine Fajardo, Joseph Ngonzi: Group B Streptococcus Colonization among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Care at Tertiary Hospital in Rural Southwestern Uganda: Int J Microbiol 2016; 22;2016:3816184

2.     Prevention and treatment of cervical cancer: I have also conducted studies focused on the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer and human papilloma virus (HPV) in Uganda. One of the areas of my initial research in this field focused on the importance of finding low cost solutions to cervical cancer screening and treatment. This work led to initiatives such as piloting a portable battery driven colposcope for purposes of providing community-based colposcopy screening services.

a.     Joseph Ngonzi, Francis Bajunirwe, Charlotte Wistrand, Ronald Mayanja, Daniel Altman, Malin Thorsell, and Elisabeth Wikstro¨m Shemer. Agreement of Colposcope and Gynocular in Assessment of Cervical Lesions by Swede Score: A Randomized, Crossover Pilot Trial. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Diseases 2013; 17(5).

b.     Mayanja R, Chakura A, Masembe S, Kasujja J, Aheisibwe H, M Kayondo, Kanyesigye H, Wasswa- Ssalongo, P Mukasa, C E Sanchez, Joseph Ngonzi. Cervical Cancer at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital: Magnitude, Trends, Stages at Presentation, Impact of Acetic Acid Screening and the Need for Radiotherapy Services. Journal of Health, Medicine and Nursing 2016; 27.

c.     Mayanja R, Chakura A, Masembe S, Kasujja J, Aheisibwe H, M Kayondo, Kanyesigye H, Wasswa- Ssalongo, P Mukasa, C E Sanchez, Joseph Ngonzi: Cervical Cancer at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital: Magnitude, Trends, Stages at Presentation, Impact of Acetic Acid Screening and the Need for Radiotherapy Services, JHMN, 2422-8419, Vol.27, 2016

d.     A Oryono, Joseph Ngonzi, Damaris Latiffa, Yarine F, Wasswa-Ssalongo, Mayanja R. Prevalence of and Factors Associated with Vulva Intraepithelial Neoplasia (VIN) among HIV Positive Women at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, Uganda, Journal of Health, Medicine and Nursing 2016; 27.

3.     Research in maternal vital sign and fetal heart rate monitoring: I have done research in understanding how best to ensure fetal heart monitoring and maternal vital sign monitoring are performed in the low-resource settings, where the human resource challenge is immense. In this work, we found high levels of feasibility and acceptability using wireless monitors.

a.     Joseph Ngonzi, Adeline Boatin, Godfrey Mugyenyi, Blair J. Wylie, Jessica E. Haberer: A Functionality and Acceptability Study of Wireless Maternal Vital Sign Monitor in a Tertiary University Teaching Hospital in Rural Uganda. J Womens Health Gyn 2017, 1:1-8.

b.     Godfrey R Mugyenyi, Esther C Atukunda, Joseph Ngonzi, Adeline Boatin, Blair J. Wylie, Jessica E. Haberer: Functionality and acceptability of a wireless fetal heart rate monitoring device in term pregnant women in rural Southwestern Uganda. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (2017) 17:178 DOI 10.1186/s12884-017-1361-1

4.     Understanding pregnancy-related complications: I have performed studies that assess risk factors for high risk pregnancies such as breech deliveries, pre-eclamptic gestations and adolescent pregnancies. I have also participated in studies looking at abortion complications and unmet need for family planning. Understanding these gaps is key in trying to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with adverse maternal pregnancy outcomes.

a.     Mayanja Ronald, Masembe Sezalio, Nanzira Rachael, Njagi Joseph, Chakura Andrew, Joseph Ngonzi. Factors associated with poor delivery outcomes among women delivering by breech in South Western Uganda: Unmatched case control study. Journal of Health, Medicine and Nursing 2016; 23.

b.    Mayanja R, Masembe S, Chakura A, Joseph Ngonzi. Time Interval between onset of Symptoms of Severe Preeclampsia to Delivery: Effect on Pregnancy Outcomes at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, South Western Uganda, Journal of Health, Medicine and Nursing 2016; 26: 2422-8419.

c.     Joseph B. Babigumira, Joseph Ngonzi, Andy Stergachis, David L. VeenstraJacqueline S. Gardner, Peter Mukasa-Kivunike, and Louis P. Garrison. Potential Cost-Effectiveness of Universal Access to Modern Contraceptives in Uganda. PLoS One 2012; 7(2): e30735.

d.    Lubinga SJ, Levine GA, Jenny A, Joseph Ngonzi, Mukasa-Kivunike P, Stergachis A, Babigumira JB. Health-related quality-of-life and social support among women treated for abortion complications in western Uganda. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes Journal 2013

e.     Celia L Culley, Tasha D Ramsey, Godfrey Mugyenyi, Gertrude N Kiwanuka, Joseph Ngonzi, Stuart MacLeod, Gideon Koren, Brian E Grunau, Matthew O Wiens:  alcohol exposure among pregnant women in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review. J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol Vol 20(3): e32; October 18, 2013

Dr. Joseph Ngonzi is a contributing author on the following academic publications.

  1. Structured Operative Obstetrics (SOO), 3rd Edition 2012 published by the Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS). ISBN: 978-1-927446-00-3
  2.  Uganda Ministry of Health Maternal Peri-natal Death Review Manual:  “Why did they die?” Reviewing the evidence to save tomorrow's mothers and babies. Ministry of Health, Uganda 2012/2013
  3.  ‘Building Academic Partnerships to Reduce Maternal Morbidity and Mortality. A Call to Action and Way’. Proceedings of the Public Health Impact of Training Physicians to Become Obstetricians Conference Held during the meeting of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Rome, Italy November 2012. ISBN:978-1-60785-322-0

Professional Memberships

2005 - present                    Uganda Medical Association (UMA)  

2006 - present                    Uganda Dental and Medical Practitioners Association (UDMPA)                

2009 - present                    Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda (AOGU)     

2009 - present                    International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FIGO)                  


2017                      United Nations General Assembly panel of discussants on “Team-based Approaches to Newborn Survival: Lessons from Africa and South Asia”.

2016                      Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO), International Scholar award recipient

2015                      Second best junior researcher at Mbarara University at the Annual Research Dissemination Conference



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