Growing up in a small village in Uganda, Mariam Ndagire was interested in science and nursing as a young girl. Ndagire’s mother left nursing school to raise her children but dreamed of returning to finish her training. That did not happen, but her dream became her daughter’s. Motivated by her belief that nurses are at the centre of patient care, Ndagire turned down the opportunity for a university degree to pursue a nursing diploma in 2006.
In 2017 Ndagire earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from The Aga Khan University in Kampala, Uganda. In 2020 she earned a post graduate diploma in Hospital and Healthcare Management from the Uganda Management Institute Kampala.
Her first hospital placement as a student was in the children’s ward of Uganda Cancer Institute. It was her first encounter with patients and sparked her love for paediatric nursing. She joined the Uganda Cancer Institute as a volunteer nurse after completing her training.
Her interest in research started in 2012 when she worked as a case manager for children with Burkitt’s lymphoma. As an undergraduate, Ndagire studied factors that influence treatment adherence among patients at the Uganda Cancer Institute. Her research interest now focuses on reducing the time lag between presentation, cancer diagnosis and initiation of treatment.
Currently Ndagire is a senior pediatric oncology nurse and deputy patient manager at the Uganda Cancer Institute. She has led and supported nursing education and training initiatives at the institutional, national and international level.
“My motivation for pursuing a Master’s of Science in Global Child Health at St Jude is to gain skills and knowledge to improve pediatric cancer treatment through community advocacy, awareness building and making the most of existing community nursing and health center resources and infrastructure,” she says. “By focusing on building capacity among community level nurses and community leaders, including traditional healers and spiritual leaders, we can reduce the time lag in diagnosis and improve outcomes. I am excited to meet and learn from St Jude faculty and resources.”
Hometown: Seeta, Mukono Uganda
Post Graduate Diploma Hospital and Healthcare Management: Uganda Management Institute (2020)
BSc Nursing: The Aga Khan University, Uganda (2017)
Diploma Nursing: Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery, Uganda (2011)