John Mark Bwanika is a medical doctor and Global E-health specialist. He is a founding partner of Rocket Health Africa, a digital health and Telemedicine Company in Africa, where he serves as the Chief Operations & Research Officer. He has previously worked as a research medical doctor and coordinator of clinical research at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) Limited, Kampala. John Mark’s work is inspired by his childhood experiences which formed a heightened sense of duty, an ability to recognize societal needs, and a need to figure out solutions through partnership. His mother is a housewife, and his father died when he was 15, so he could get through school only by the grace of his community. This involved financial support from friends of his late father and a scholarship from The Kabaka’s Education Fund.
Trained as a medical doctor, a large part of his voluntary community work has been in the
medical field. While at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), he was active in the school community, running a French club and playing soccer and table tennis. In addition, he deliberately participated in projects that he knew would advance the community, such as reviving the Students’ Medical Journal, where he served as Editor-in-Chief and worked as the Coordinator for ‘Students for Equity in Healthcare (SEHC).’
“I have been a recipient of so much good from the universe, and since I have been very fortunate, I wish that my involvement in people’s lives could be mutually beneficial.”- Dr. John Mark Bwanika.
As he moved up in his career, his schedule got busier. Still, he kept up the good work supporting sports entities like soccer academies and investing time and energy in organizing free medical camps for homeless children in Kampala. These endeavors validated his belief in people’s generosity and taught him that although most people don’t have the privilege and capacity to carry out charitable ideas, they are willing to share their funds and time if a cause resonates with them. This process taught him much about carrying a vision and rallying people to execute it. He says, “In my experience, Ugandans and Africans at large give and inspire each other to give. There is a lot of power in mobilizing ourselves to solve pertinent societal issues.”
“I believe that the work we are doing through the FG Foundation is going to teach us a lot more than we imagine and produce improved versions of ourselves.” – Dr. John Mark Bwanika In the long term, success for the Foundation will involve changing the societal narrative about giving and sharing so that Ugandans and Africans can stop waiting for an “external savior” and instead gain the courage to step forward and lead their change. Success will not only mean we are collaborating with people doing progressive work but also generating knowledge and insight that can eventually be institutionalized as part of policy.
John Mark believes in collaborative ideating, tabling, and refining ideas through dialogue
(however polarizing) to create an improved version of the initial picture.
“However right you think you are; there is potential to be wrong in your thought process and
however wrong you think someone else is; there is always something to learn.”
He also testifies that keeping a finger on the pulse of societal needs has increased his business acumen and made him a kinder, more empathetic person who can appreciate the nuances of society. He adds, “When you understand the genesis of what is going wrong in people’s lives, you become less judgmental and more accommodating of different opinions and worldviews.”
John Mark shares his favorite quote- commonly attributed to Thomas Carlyle,
“In every subject, there is inexhaustible meaning. The eye sees in it what the eye brings means of seeing”