The Supporting Policy Engagement for Evidence-based Decisions (SPEED); a five-year European Union-supported initiative implemented by six partners in Africa and Europe project has been launched at Makerere University. Focusing on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Makerere University will be the centre of action for the implementation.
With funding to a tune of about 3.2 million Euros from the EU and close to 800,000 Euros to be contributed by partners, SPEED aims to strengthen capacity of policy analysis, advice and influence at Makerere University School of Public Health and contribute to accelerating progress towards UHC and health systems resilience in Uganda.
Launching the initiative on 19th March 2015 at Makerere University College of Health Sciences’ Davis Lecture Theatre, the Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Uganda, Ambassador Kristian Schmidt said that public health is about “making informed decisions. Decisions that are based on evidence. Decisions that are taken by those who are responsible and accountable for the results and impact. Decisions that are informed by the local reality; and decisions that can be implemented with available resources”.
Ambassador Schmidt said that SPEED will provide national health authorities and stakeholders with evidence-based and locally adapted policy advice, training and support for policy that is rooted in reality rather than the ideal. He added that although there are positive developments in achievements registered under the MDGs, other issues like rapid population growth and new health hazards put all that has been achieved at risk. He however cautioned the implementation team against moving too fast on Universal Health Coverage, saying the trend is that with universal health services, the quality normally goes down.
The Director General of Health Services, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng in her remarks noted that policy analysis and policy advice are key ingredients of sound people-centred development and was happy to note that the SPEED initiative will be focusing its efforts in this area.
Dr. Aceng pointed out that the Ministry of Health and broadly government of Uganda have been involved in several interventions aimed at improving health outcomes for all. These include; instituting a process for coordination to and work as ne, to among other things increase coverage of effective interventions, reduce wastage through duplication of activities and roles; recruit more health workers, increase mobilization and allocation of resources for improvement of infrastructure, equip health managers with leadership skills and provide bursaries and scholarships to essential cadres of health workers. She added however, that there are still challenges related to financial constraints, lack of coordination of the relevant sectors and poverty which is still a major contributor to ill-health and access to services.
The Acting Principal, College of Health Sciences Dr. Isaac Okullo let it be known that SPEED as an initiative will be building on past and current efforts focused on policy advice and policy influence.
The SPEED Principal Investigator/Team Lead, Associate Professor Freddie Ssengooba said the initiative will support the building of capacity for policy analysis, advice and influence at the School of Public Health as well as grow a culture of collaborative planning and implementation of health-related policies across sectors.
In his vote of thanks, the Director, Mulago National Referral and Teaching Hospital, Dr. Baterana Byarugaba, pointed out that the SPEED initiative is very important for improved delivery of services.
Article by Milly Nattimba, College of Health Sciences
Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education
When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.
But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.
He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.
He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.
So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.
Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.
Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022
The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.
About the JADS program
The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline. The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.
The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.
Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.
- Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
- Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
- University evaluates and selects applicants.
- University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
- AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
- AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.
WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update
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