Ian Clarke (physician)

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Ian Clarke
Born1952 (age 65–66)
ResidenceMakindye, Uganda
NationalityBritish and Ugandan
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom and Uganda
Alma materQueens University Belfast
(Bachelor of Obstetrics)
(Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery)
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
(Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene)
(Master of Science in Public Health)
  • Physician
  • Politician
  • Businessman
  • Philanthropist
  • Entrepreneur
Years active1986 – present
Known for
  • Medicine
  • Business
  • Politics
Home townArmagh
Makindye Division
Spouse(s)Roberta Clarke

Ian Clarke is a physician, missionary, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and politician in Uganda.[1] Since May 2011, he has been mayor of Makindye Division, one of the five administrative units of the Kampala Capital City Authority.[2][3]

Background and education[edit]

Clarke was born in South Armagh, Northern Ireland in 1952 to Thomas and Jean Clarke. He studied human medicine at Queens University Belfast, graduating in 1976 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery and a Bachelor of Obstetrics, as is customary in Irish medical schools. In 1987, he obtained a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). He followed up in 1994 with a Master of Science in Public Health, also from LSTM.[4]

Moved to Uganda[edit]

Clarke read about the AIDS epidemic in Uganda and decided to come see for himself. He was taken to Kiwoko Village in present-day Nakaseke District in the Luweero Triangle. He arrived in 1987, at the tail end of the Ugandan Bush War, which he had been unaware of until he arrived. He subsequently returned with his family under the auspices of the Church Mission Society to work in Kiwoko. Clarke initially treated his patients under a tree before going on to establish Kiwoko Hospital which, as of March 2015, maintained a nurses training school, a laboratory technician training school, a large community health programme, a neonatal ICU, and full general hospital facilities.[5]

Clarke later moved to Kampala, setting up his first clinic (International Medical Centre) within the Kampala Pentecostal Church Building (Watoto Church) on Buganda Road in Central Kampala. His vision continued to grow and he subsequently opened International Hospital Kampala (IHK) in Old Kampala where the first open heart surgery was carried out. IHK subsequently grew and moved to Namuwongo, another Kampala suburb. The 110 bed facility is the only ISO certified hospital in Uganda and strives to continue bridging the gap in private healthcare provision in Uganda through providing quality, affordable healthcare. The hospital has state-of-the-art facilities including specialties such as obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and plastic surgery.[4]

Other responsibilities[edit]

Clarke also writes a weekly column in The New Vision, Uganda's biggest daily, and has penned two books entitled The Man With The Key Has Gone and How Deep Is This Pothole. He has further projects in Juba, South Sudan and in Zanzibar, Tanzania where his family built, owns, and operates a boutique hotel. His wife Roberta Clarke, lives with him in Kampala. Their oldest son Sean oversees the approximately 12 clinics that his father owns in Uganda. Their daughter Lauren is a nurse and lives in Ireland. Their youngest son Michael runs the family hotel in Zanzibar.[2]

Political career[edit]

In November 2010, Clarke entered Ugandan politics by securing nomination, as an independent candidate, to contest for the chairmanship of Makindye Division, one of the five divisions of the Kampala Capital City Authority, the governing body of Uganda's capital city of Kampala. He was motivated to run due to the bad roads and poor living conditions within his community. His three pillars in the election were: "good roads, good health and economic development".[6] He enjoyed a landmark victory and was sworn into office as mayor in May 2011 to serve for a five-year term.[7][8]

Affiliated businesses[edit]

Clarke is chairman and chief executive officer of the International Medical Group. In January 2014, unofficial estimates put the value of Clarke's businesses at US$15 million.[1][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b URI (1 November 2013). "Profile of Ian Clarke MBChB, MSc, DTM&H". Uganda Research Institute (URI). Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b Harrington, Grainne (20 August 2012). "A Man For All Seasons". The Irish Examiner (Cork). Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  3. ^ Ismail Ntege, and Shakirah Nabirye (12 October 2014). "Dr. Ian Clarke On The Ills of Makindye". Sunrise.ug. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b Lubega, Henry (5 January 2014). "Clarke: 'I Have Felt At Home Since Arriving In Uganda'". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  5. ^ KHO (2012). "Background And History of Kiwoko Hospital". Kiwoko Hospital (KHO). Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  6. ^ Josh Kron, and Jeffrey Gettlemanmarch (1 March 2011). "Of Irish Soil And Ugandan Politics". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  7. ^ Newvision Archive (3 August 2011). "Uganda's First White Politician Speaks Out". New Vision (Kampala). Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  8. ^ Macdonell, Andrew (10 August 2011). "From Clinics To Potholes: Dr. Ian Clarke, Ugandan Politician". Caledonian Mercury. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  9. ^ Tacca, Alan (12 January 2014). "NRM War, Corruption And Incompetence Have Helped Dr. Ian Clarke "Busulwa"". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 18 March 2015.

External links[edit]