Meet Prof. Dr. Steven Kaddu: a Ugandan Born, Austrian-based Dermatologist, Researcher and Founder of a Global Telehealth Network
It’s late October afternoon as Prof. Dr. Steven Kaddu, the 58-year old Ugandan born Dermatologist walks in his fully packed skin clinic in Graz, Austria’s second largest city for the routine afternoon clinic. The pressures of working full time as professor of dermatology at the Department of Dermatology, Medical University Hospital in Graz and running his private dermatology practice often leaves him emotionally wrung out and tired, but according to him, exhaustion is not on his agenda.
Born in Uganda and having graduated in Medicine at Makerere University, Kampala in 1982, Prof. Dr. Steven Kaddu has been living and working in Austria since 1989. His life journey and experience may partly mirror those of a number of his doctor colleagues who left Uganda in the ‘80s to work abroad elsewhere, however, his challenges have been unique and his accomplishments rather extraordinary.
Following graduation in 1982, he worked as an intern and medical officer in Nairobi Kenya, before leaving for Austria in 1989 to specialize in Dermatology. While in Austria, Prof. Kaddu faced numerous hurdles in his path towards becoming what he is now, including struggles with language, culture, and medicine. Notably, he was required to repeat his basic medical degree entirely since his prior medical training from Uganda was not recognized by the Austrian authorities. Prerequisites for admission to medical school in Austria included a written proof of German fluency and passing a test in advanced Latin, languages he had never spoken before. According to him, despite these challenges, “belief in himself, efforts and capabilities and trust in God” were essential for his success.
Prof. Dr. Kaddu is today affiliated to the Department of Dermatology, Medical University Hospital of Graz in southern Austria. His previous academic achievements include participation in a number of research projects, authorship/co-authorship of over 50 scientific publications in peer reviewed journals as well as book chapters and books, including several contributions to a number standard text books in Dermatology. In 2010, Prof. Kaddu was awarded the honorary title of University Professor by the President of Austria and is the first black African to be awarded this distinguished academic title at this University and in this southern part of Austria. http://www.medunigraz.at/cms/cms.php?pageName=301&year=2010&newsId=12330
Prof. Dr. Steven Kaddu is also a former recipient of the prestigious Fulbright grant which enabled him to attend a fellowship and carry out research in diagnosis of skin tumors at the Harvard Medical School (Brigham and Women Hospital), Boston USA in 2000.
In 2007, Professor Kaddu together with partners from the University of Pennsylvania, USA especially Dr. Carrie Kovarik founded the Africa Teledermatology Project and Website Network http://africa.telederm.org/. The network is aimed at creating a broad dermatologic teleconsultation platform linking medical centers in sub-Saharan Africa involved in treatment of skin diseases, especially Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) – related cutaneous disorders, to specialized dermatology units in Africa, Europe, and USA. Participating African medical centers have so far been are located in Uganda, Botswana, Eritrea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, and Tanzania. Primary collaborating institutions include Departments of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz, Austria, and University of Pennsylvania, USA. Since 2007, over 1300 cases have been processed using the project website. A mobile application has been developed for this site and is used actively in some sites in Africa. There is also support in processing skin biopsies for cases submitted through the site that urgently need a tissue diagnosis. This site has been supported in part by the American Academy of Dermatology and the Commission for Development Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences.
According to Prof. Kaddu, the launching of the Africa Teledermatology Project Network was a fulfillment of a long dream to contribute more broadly to management of skin diseases in Africa.
From an early age, Prof. Kaddu wanted to be a doctor so that he could help to treat people and make them better. As a young child, he and his brothers and sisters were raised especially by their father, who instilled in them a strong work ethic, importance of a good education, and the virtue of faith in God. He also credits the high standards of his alma mater, St. Mary’s College, Kisubi, for his drive to succeed and excel “I think the most profound influence that St. Mary’s had on me relates to hard work and perseverance, and that each individual is special because of what he is. At St. Mary’s, each one of us was taken seriously and talents were nurtured individually. We also learned how to appreciate each other by noting the good in everyone. I think this strengthened my desire to become a doctor and treat people.”
In Graz, Prof. Dr. Kaddu participates in several initiatives aimed especially at improving skin health care in African immigrants and people with skin of color. In 2006, he started a special clinic at the Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz aimed to caring for dark skin individuals, especially African immigrants with skin problems and tropical skin conditions. He proposed the idea of establishing this special clinic after noticing that many of these patients living in Graz needed skin specialists who were knowledgeable about their particular health issues. He especially found that African dermatological patients wanted to see a doctor who is knowledgeable about not only their particular medical needs, but their various customs and habits.
As a role model, Prof. Kaddu has also recently been the focus of a documentary film project (“who dares, wins”) aimed at promoting integration of African immigrants in Austria:
In his leisure time, Prof. Kaddu paints and has so far held 8 solo exhibitions in Austria and Slovenia. The money raised from selling the paintings has mainly been donated to Sanyu Babies Home – an orphanage near Kampala.
Prof. Dr. Kaddu is married and a father of two boys. According to him, “success often carries expenses especially in family life. I am very thankful for my family and especially grateful to my wife Olga for her constant support and encouragement in my activities”.
The Uganda Diaspora Network is a forum aimed at bringing together Ugandans who live and work abroad by celebrating their contributions overseas and also encouraging them to give of their time, talents, ideas and expertise whilst inspiring the next generation of Ugandan leaders.
Every year the Ugandan Diaspora Network will organize an annual Social Networking Gala and will also produce a quarterly publication highlighting the successes of the various Ugandans residing overseas. Please send us those inspirational stories and philanthropic work involving Ugandans abroad. We shall share these stories using this platform that is rapidly growing and expanding. The Next Diaspora Social Networking Gala will be Held on 30th December 2016 at The Kampala Serena Hotel.
We are all very proud of you Prof. You are a Royal Model for all Africa people in Europe and all over the World. God bless you and your family
Way to go Doctor. #256
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Well done Dr.Kaddu, May God reward you for supporting the Sanyu Babies Home family and creating a positive change for the African people and all your patients.
We @TehecaUg,www.tenderheartscareug.com applaud you for your contribution to the Austrian and African community
Dear prof. Kaddu am prossy but am suffering from an understandable skin disease now its 17years,I need your help pliz,am from Uganda.thanks hope to here from you,my phone number is 0782060847.
Will be a pleasure to assist. Please contact per mail: http://www.stevenkaddu-med.at/
Dear Dr kaddu, am moreen from uganda. I need your help. Am 29years of age and I have lived with a dermatological condition since I was 15 years. I get lesions at my butts.they are on and off. These swellings are on and off. They come in number. One or two or three swellings. They are painful. When I Pierce them small push come out of them then followed by blood.they normally develope.at the medial aspect of the butts and almost at the lower side of the butts. They leave ugly scars on my butts in that I can’t undress my self before my colleges. I have tried several anti fungals andimwibo antibiotics. I have received many injections of syphilis but even if the issue have tested negative for both hiv and syphilis. I have visited doctor kambugu but he has given me several medicines but treatment helps for small months then they re occur again. Things that precipitate these lesions include sitting on rough surfaces, putting on tight geans and also sitting on leather materials.so doctor what should I do. I don’t have too much money. So help me. I will be great full if my request is put into consideration. May God bless you.
Hi Steven. Its great reading your achievements here. Its a long time budd! From Namirembe Infant school, Mengo Primary, St. marys College Kisubu, and Member of Namirembe Cathedral choir under your late Dad, Kalule, I relate your achievement to the discipline instilled in you by your late father, Kalule. Kalule was our organist and choir master at Namirembe Cathedral. I too, learned alot from him. May his soul RIP.
from Northwest Territories, Canada.
Thanks James for the nice comments.
Wonderful to hear from you after so long. Please contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org