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The dawn of a new era of Pharmacy training at Makerere 



Magnificently perched on Cassia Hill Road, Makerere University, it catches your eye instantly with its 21st century modern architectural look.

Magnificently perched on Cassia Hill Road, Makerere University, it catches your eye instantly with its 21st century modern architectural look.

The Magnificent Pharmacy Building, Makerere UniversityHer Excellency the Ambassador of the Royal Danish Embassy Nathalia Feinberg on Tuesday 23rd November 2010 handed over this new Pharmacy Building to Makerere University. This additional infrastructure will enable Makerere increase the number of pharmacy graduates to 320, a dream come true for the department that has only been able to house 10 students annually.

This state of the art structure is also living evidence of the strong relationship between the Government of Uganda and the Government of Denmark and the great support the Government of Denmark has shared with the Uganda and Makerere University, contributing to the development in the Health Education Sector of this country.
Dr. Isaac Okullo-Dean, School of Health Sciences(L) conducts Mrs. Oteba Neville (2nd L) and Amb Nathalia Feinberg on a tour of the building
In 2005, the Government of Uganda obtained funding from DANIDA – Government of Denmark, under the funding framework of the Ministry of Health and the Government of Uganda Health Sector Programme Support Phase III. Part of the support, valued at DKK 15million (approx. 2.8million USD) was earmarked to support the Pharmaceutical Human Resource Management for the Health Sector. It is this support that has brought the Pharmacy building to life, as a foundation for improvement of the capacity to train pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the country.

Prof. Richard Adome Odoi, Department of PharmacyAfter a worthwhile tour of the breathtaking building, the founder and father of the Pharmacy Department, Head Prof. Richard Adome Odoi highlighted that this was a great accomplishment of what started as far back as 1988.
“Makerere University started the Pharmacy Department in 1988 after realizing that the Health cadres in pharmacy were very deficient in the country,” said Prof. Odoi.

In this country, there are currently 390 registered pharmacists and the ratio to population is 1: 82000. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a ratio of 1:2000. Prof. Odoi, in his remarks confidently highlighted that this building will go a long way in training more pharmacists so as to bring the current ratio closer to WHO standards.
Prof. Nelson Sewankambo, Principal College of Health Sciences
Prof. Nelson Sewankambo, the Principal, College of Health Sciences noted with enthusiasm that this was a stepping stone for the department of Pharmacy to grow into a school of its own. He further challenged the department to not only work closely with other academic programmes but also to extend its collaboration to the lower cadres of training so as to reach the farthest places of this country.

Representing the Vice Chancellor, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza not only thanked the Danish Ambassador for the Danish Government’s generous support. She assured Her Excellency that the infrastructure would boost the Department of Pharmacy further in increasing the Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza makes her remarks at the handoversupply of pharmaceutical Human Resource so as to support other universities such as Mbarara University and Kampala International University in Bushenyi, which have set up pharmacy departments, and Gulu University which is yet to set up a pharmacy department.

What is important and significant to note is that the pharmaceutical sector takes up over 45% of the Health Budget annually in Uganda. It is therefore not surprising at all that the Government of Uganda pays significant attention to these health cadres who are necessary to effectively manage the pharmaceutical sector.

Mrs. Oteba Neville, Ministry of Health representativeRepresenting the Minister of Health, Mrs. Oteba Neville confessed that Uganda faces a very low supply of the Human Resource in this sector. “With the establishment of this building, it is my hope that there will be an increase in the number of pharmacists trained in the country, which will play a significant role in increasing the established positions in government pharmaceutical health units by the Government of Uganda.” Mrs. Oteba said.

In a calm and sophisticated manner, the Danish Ambassador Nathalia Feinberg remarked that in as much as Uganda has made a great progress towards fulfilling most of the Millennium Development goals, there is still a challenge in maternal and infant mortality rates and many others.

H.E. Amb Nathalia Feinberg makes her remarks at the handover“Human resource development has been one of the core components of Denmark’s support to the health sector in Uganda for over two decades with the hope that this will go a long way in fulfilling the millennium development goals and the health sector,” highlighted the Ambassador H.E. Feinberg further noted that as long as there was a lack of pharmacists and technicians, the health sector goal of ensuring the availability of adequate essential medicines and health supplies required for delivery of national minimum health care package would not be met.

The Ambassador concluded by confessing that the Danish Government has been working hard to ensure that there are quality and affordable medicines in the Ugandan health sector. This has been done through strengthening the Uganda National Medical Stores’ capacity to procure, store and distribute medicines, alongside initiatives like the construction of the Pharmacy building, to ensure that there is more appropriate manpower to support these efforts.

MDD students entertain guests at the function“I hope we are going to see more pharmacists being trained now that this structure is in place.” Ambassador Feinberg remarked.


Ambassador Nathalia Feinberg's speech MS Word Version, PDF Version, Postscript Version

Minister of Health Remarks at Handover Ceremony MS Word Version, PDF Version, Postscript Version

VC Remarks at Handover ceremony MS Word Version, PDF Version, Postscript Version
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Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise



One of the PWD graduands at the 69th Graduation during the Session held on 17th January 2019.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.

NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.

 Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.

THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.


(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.

(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission



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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution



Left to Right: Prof. Gunnar Köhlin, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Amb. Maria Håkansson, Commissioner Julius Mafumbo and Prof. Edward Bbaale posing for a group photo before the opening ceremony on 22nd September 2022: Photo by EfD-Mak Centre.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative



By Bernard Buteera

Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.  

The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.

“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.

Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.

“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.

[L -R] Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative and Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.

The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.

”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.

Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.   

”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.

Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.

“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.

One of the Champions of e-learning trained by Arizona State University, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda receiving a certificate from Chief Guest.

“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.

Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.

“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.

Members of University Management, staff and students present.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.

The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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