“Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a rapidly growing health burden in Uganda, and many other low and middle income countries. I call upon the Government of Uganda to fund research in NCDs. Most people with NCDs do not know that they are suffering from NCDs such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, or heart diseases. For diabetes, about half of the people with diabetes in Uganda do not know that they have it,” said Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze, Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report of 2016, deaths from NCDs were on the rise, with developing countries hit hardest. NCDs are the leading cause of death globally. In 2016, they caused 71% of all deaths (40.5 million) up from 60% in 2000.
Opening the SMART2D Research Dissemination Workshop to various stakeholders held on 21st March 2019, Prof. Wanyenze applauded researchers from Makerere University School of Public Health for teaming up with other partners to undertake a multi-country four year research project aimed at identifying strategies to better prevent and manage Type-2-Diabetes, one of the NCDs.
She commended the research team headed by the Uganda co-Principal Investigator, Prof. David Guwatudde for not only describing problems, but also providing prevention and management strategies for Type-2-Diabetes.
The co-Principal Investigator of SMART2D, Prof. David Guwatudde emphasized that the primary aim of the four year research was to strengthen capacity for both prevention and management of Type-2-Diabetes.
“Health systems in most parts of the world were struggling to diagnose and manage Type-2-Diabetes especially in low and middle income countries. More than 50% of people with diabetes in Uganda are undiagnosed. They are not aware that they have diabetes. Further in Uganda, only about 30% of people with diabetes have ever had their blood tested for high blood sugar,” he said.
Funded by the European Union (EU) and Government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the SMART2D research presents a people-centered approach through Self-Management and Reciprocal Learning for the Prevention and Management of Type-2-Diabetes.
Prof. Guwatudde revealed that Type-2-Diabetes is more of a lifestyle disease, which can be prevented if we modify our lifestyle and behaviour. The nutrition aspect is one of the factors leading people to get diabetes.
According to Dr. Juliet Kiguli, co-Investigator on the SMART2D, some of the factors putting one at the risk of getting diabetes included: consumption of unhealthy foods (eating sweet things, too much oil, alcohol); physical inactivity (not exercising); Worrying; and ignoring the advice from medical personnel.
With Dr. Elizabeth Ekirapa sharing statistics that diabetes wields a tremendous economic burden on society (to patients and the economy at large); and further revelation from Dr. Roy William Mayega that most of the patients the research team interviewed, could not afford the drugs and equipment to monitor their blood sugar, yet often there are stock-outs of these at Government health centers. He emphasized that SMART2D advocates for strategies aimed at prevention and effective management of diabetes. “Prevention is better than cure. Since diabetes can be prevented and the prevalence of pre-diabetes is high, preventive efforts should be stepped up so as to save lives as well as resources that are going to be spent on treatment.”
For those living with diabetes, Prof. David Guwatudde emphasized that if they follow the advice of the medical personnel and take the prescribed medicines; they can live a normal life. “It is not true that when they diagnose you with diabetes you die soon. If you take the prescribed medicines and follow the advice from medical personnel, you will live with diabetes and still live a normal life.”
The SMART2D research team consists of the following researchers: Prof. David Guwatudde, Dr. Juliet Kiguli, Dr. Roy William Mayega, Dr. Barbara Kirunda Tabusibwa, Dr. Elizabeth Ekirapa Kiracho, Dr. Francis Xavier Kasujja, Dr. Anthony Muyingo, Mrs. Max Walusimbi, Ms. Gloria Naggayi, Mr. Edward Ikoona, and Mr. Kusolo Ronald.
Some of the challenges in the prevention and management of NCDs include: Inadequate prevention strategies; a large proportion of people with NCDs are undiagnosed; lack of funds to buy the recommended medicines; and poor retention into care.
To address the four challenges, the SMART2D research team came up with a set of Facility and Community interventions.
Minimal improvements in organization of facility-based care significantly improved the percentage of patients with diabetes that are retained into care by over 30%. It also improved control of the disease in the patients by over 10%, and prevented the development of diabetes among people at high risk by over 50%.
In line with WHO report published in 2002 titled Innovative Care for Chronic Conditions: Building Blocks for Action which noted that a community has a crucial role to play in chronic care, Dr. Francis Xavier Kasujja reiterated that peer groups were instrumental in the ongoing support to diabetes patients in Iganga and Mayuge communities.
Delivering a personal testimony, one of the patients with diabetes said that they significantly benefited from the engagement and trainings received during the SMART2D project.
However, with the end of the project, most of the patients were worried because they cannot afford the cost of treatment for management of diabetes.
Presenting the implications of their findings on policy, Dr. Roy William Mayega highlighted the following recommendations:
• Health Centres from level III+ should be supported to establish diabetes care and prevention services and accredited in a phased way
• Roll-out of a minimum package of equipment, and essential drugs from Health Centre III and above, supported by a regular supply, inclusive of hypertension medicines
• Need to roll out lean clinical guidelines and a care algorithm to all facilities
• Scaled training (pre- and -in-service), supervision and clinical mentorship of nurses and clinical staff on care and prevention
• Strengthen the information system for chronic care including appointments, clinical records and follow-up
• A simple health education and coaching approach and manuals should be rolled out to facilities targeting patients and people at high risk
• A task shifting approach should be scaled up where stable patients are managed by nurses
• Need to strengthen self-care so that patients can manage themselves
Representing the Ministry of Health, Dr. Gerald Mutungi the Senior Medical Officer in Charge on Non-Communicable Diseases shared with workshop participants some of the strategies being undertaken: The Ministry of Health has a technical working group on NCDs; ongoing research aimed at studying the effectiveness of the integration of HIV/AIDS and NCDs into the chronic care clinic; and Government entering into a strategic partnership with Novartis, an NCD drugs manufacturer, to ensure that drugs for NCDs are available at all Government health facilities.
Some of the key stakeholders who attended the SMART2D Research Dissemination workshop include: Dr. Gity Behravan,1st Secretary and Senior Research Advisor, Swedish Embassy- Kampala, Dr. Fred Makumbi-Deputy Dean of Mak School of Public Health, Dr. Esther Buregyeya, Dr. Noah Kiwanuka and officials from the World Health Organisation, Ministry of Health, NCD platforms, diabetic associations, lung and heart institutions, district health workers, patients from Iganga and Mayuge, Makerere University Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, and among others.
Written by: Ritah Namisango, Mak Public Relations Office
Students Disciplinary Committee Sworn In, Urged to Uphold Professionalism, Ethics & Integrity
Members of the Makerere University Students Disciplinary Committee were on Thursday 29th February 2024 sworn in at a ceremony presided over by the Chairperson of Council represented by Mr. Timothy Ssejjoba, the Chairperson Student Affairs Committee of Council. The oaths, administered by Counsel Balondemu Kenneth, were witnessed by the Vice Chancellor represented by Prof. Henry Alinaitwe the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Chairperson of the Students Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Isaac Newton Kyagaba, University Secretary, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Dean of Students, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Ms. Phiona Natukunda, and other officials.
Members of the Committee sworn in included;
- Hon. Beatrice Kiraso,
- Prof. Godfrey Akileng,
- Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nakimera Nannyonga-Tamusuza, and
- Rev. Dr. Lydia Nsaale Kitayimbwa.
Mr. Timothy Ssejjoba on behalf of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Members of Council congratulated the members upon being sworn in and expressed confidence that they are going to exercise their duty and mandate very well. “I am excited to see gallant and very committed members of our community who have decided to take part of their precious time to uphold the values and principles of this esteemed institution.”
Recognizing the paramount role of the Disciplinary Committee in fostering an environment conducive to the conduct of academic affairs, and where respect, integrity and discipline thrive, Mr. Ssejjoba urged newly sworn in members to strive to ensure that Makerere remains a centre of excellence not only in academics but also character formation and social conduct.
“Your commitment to fairness, impartiality and due process will be the cornerstone of your service. As you undertake this duty, I urge you to approach every case with empathy, with understanding and with a commitment to justice” he added.
Mr. Ssejjoba urged the Committee Members to always remember that their decisions will shape the lives of students and impact the future of the institution. “The trust bestowed upon you comes with great responsibility. Uphold the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and integrity in all your endeavours. Let your actions reflect the values that Makerere University stands for.”
The Chairperson, Makerere University Students Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Isaac Newton Kyagaba who was officially sworn in on 18th March 2022 is yet to complete his term and as such, was not required to take oath. Addressing the gathering, he thanked the Chairperson of the Student Affairs Committee, the Vice Chancellor and Members of Management for sparing time to witness the event. He extended gratitude to the newly sworn-in members for sacrificing time to serve Makerere, noting that Committee proceedings sometimes last an entire day.
In the same breath, Mr. Kyagaba thanked the University Management and Directorate of Legal Affairs represented by Ms. Phiona Natukunda for supporting the Committee in the execution of its duties. He nevertheless urged the University Officials to ensure that all the cases brought before the Committee have sufficient supporting evidence to enable them be disposed of quickly and permit the accused to proceed with their academic programmes.
Prof. Henry Alinaitwe in his remarks thanked the Chairperson and Members of the Disciplinary Committee for accepting to serve Makerere, noting that discipline; be it of staff, students or stakeholders, is very important especially for an academic institution. He added that unlike past decades where the student population was smaller, today’s population is bigger and demands more attention.
He decried past disturbances on the campus that led to destruction of property and loss of life and reiterated Management’s zero-tolerance to acts that go against the University’s policies and regulations. “We really ask the Disciplinary Committee to help us in arresting such cases so that they serve as a deterrent.”
Prof. Alinaitwe added his voice to that of the University Secretary who had in the opening remarks appreciated that the precious time Members of the Disciplinary Committee spend rendering pro bono services to the Makerere Community’s cannot be compensated enough. “We don’t take that for granted.”
Mr. Kiranda in his opening remarks stated that the duties performed by Members of the Disciplinary Committee are a true reflection of the spirit of community service, “so we sincerely thank you very much for this sacrifice.” For example, he noted that academic staff who serve on the Committee do not get their workload reduced, and Committee Members who hold jobs elsewhere spend a significant amount of their time handling University business.
This Committee’s service, he nevertheless added, is important for the enforcement of university rules, which must be done transparently, fairly and impartially. The University Secretary noted that students as they go about their academic life might error either unintentionally or as an act of indiscipline, hence the need for a Students Disciplinary Committee to help the University Management determine each case.
“This Committee is a very strong component of the University Governance ecosystem because as an academic institution, we operate under a set of policies, rules and regulations that everybody must obey, for the maintenance of social order, and for us to work collectively in the pursuit of the goals and objectives of this university, and for creating an enabling environment for research and learning” affirmed Mr. Kiranda. He concluded by thanking the Committee Chairperson and Members for contributing to Makerere’s mandate in the overall nation building agenda.
The swearing in ceremony which opened with a word of prayer by the Dean of Students, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer, Ms. Ritah Namisango.
Advert: Admission to Postgraduate Programmes 2024/2025
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications for admission to Graduate Programmes (Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters and Doctoral Degree Programmes) for the 2024/2025 Academic Year. Applicants should have obtained at least a first or second class degree (or its equivalent) from a Chartered University at the time of completion. Applicants should also possess a Uganda Certificate of Education (or its equivalent) and a Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (or its equivalent).
All Graduate Programmes are PRIVATELY-SPONSORED. Therefore applicants seeking sponsorship should have their applications endorsed by their respective sponsors where applicable. Applicants should note that the various fees payable to the University indicated for the various programmes EXCLUDE functional fees, accommodation, books, research and other expenses.
PhD Degrees by Research Only:
All Colleges offer PhD degrees by Research. Applicants for PhD by research should have a Master’s degree in a field relevant to their area of fmther studies and should have obtained at least a first or second class degree (or its equivalent) from a Chartered University at the time of completion. Applicants for the PhDs by Research will be required to submit on-line applications and also submit four copies of the concept note in Office No. 410, Level 4, Senate Building.
How to Apply:
- Visit the Makerere University’s Admissions URL https://apply.mak.ac. ug
- Sign up using full name, e-mail and Mobile No. Please note that your name must be similar to the one on your suppmting academic documents for your application to be considered valid.
- A password will be sent to both your e-mail and mobile number.
- The system will prompt you to change the password to the one you can easily remember.
- To fill a form (all form sections must be filled) the applicant clicks on the APPLY NOW button (for first time applicants) or MY PORTAL button (for renewal of application) displayed on the appropriate scheme i.e. Taught PhDs, Masters & Postgrad Diplomas OR PhD by Research.
- All academic transcripts/certificates and passport photos should be scanned and uploaded on the system.
- You can access the referees’ form by following the following link:
https: //rgt. mak.ac. ug/sites/default/files/file-attachments/Referee-Letter-of-Recommendation-forAdmission-to-Graduate-Programme.pdf. These should be filled, scanned and uploaded.
- Obtain a payment Reference No. by clicking on “Pay for Form” button
- Make payments at any of the banks used by Uganda Revenue Authority. Application fee is UGX 50,000 (East African applicants) or UGX 151,500 (International Applicants). For International applicants, application fees can be transferred either by EFT or any other means in UGX to a designated URA collection account in Bank of Uganda as follows:
Account Name: UGANDA REVENUE AUTHORITY COLLECTIONS
Account No: 003410158000002
Swift Code: UGBAUGKAU
Bank Name: BANK OF UGANDA
Bank Address: KAMPALA, UGANDA
Currency: UGANDA SHILLINGS
- Strictly observe the closing date of Friday, 31st May, 2024.
- All Applicants for Master of Laws (LLM) will do a Graduate Admission Test (GAT) consisting of an oral Interview and written test on dates and other requirements to be conm1Unicated by the School.
- All Applicants for Master of Business Administration (College of Business and Management Sciences and Makerere University Business School) will do a GMAT test on dates to be communicated by College of Business and Management Sciences and Makerere University Business School respectively.
- In addition to the general admission requirements, applicants for Master of Public Infrastructure Management (MPIM) must have “Proven professional experience of at least 2 years at managerial/supervisory level or policy-decision making position in a government, parastatal organ, international organisation or non-governmental organisation” Applicants should attach a 2- page short CV and referee recommendations.
Further details of tuition fees and the available programmes open for admission can be accessed from the document below:
Scholars converge at Makerere University to review the 40 years of Neoliberalization in Uganda
Scholars met at Makerere University to review four decades of neoliberal transformation of Uganda, the role of universities as agents and the transformative character of the process.
The ’what to do’ question was one of the central points of discussion at the conference titled Uganda’s Neoliberalism at 40: Taking stock of the operation of an exemplary market society in East Africa held on 18th to 19th January, 2024. The conference, a collaborative effort among Makerere University, International University of Rabat, Morocco and the University of Leeds, United Kingdom was organised and steered by Dr Giuliano Martiniello (Rabat), Dr Sarah Ssali (Makerere), Dr Jörg Wiegratz (Leeds), Dr Rose Nakayi (Makerere) and Professor Godfrey Asiimwe (Makerere, Mountains of the Moon University). The conference organisers had previously collaborated as part of the work on the edited collection ‘Uganda: The Dynamics of Neoliberal Transformation’ which was published in 2018.
The conference gave particular focus to relevant developments in matters of political economy, politics, society and culture in Uganda’s market society since 2018. Speakers and participants were drawn from Uganda, UK, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Colombia, Egypt, South Africa, Denmark, Morocco, Canada and USA; across disciplines; including civil society leaders, journalists, intellectuals, grassroots activists, citizen researchers, as well as scholars and PhD students. More participants followed the discussions online on both conference days. The large gathering allowed for broad discussions and cross fertilisation of ideas on the various themes, connecting theory and practice within the Ugandan context.
The keynote was given by Professor Yash Tandon, a major figure in political and intellectual life in Uganda and beyond. Tandon positioned the conference in the historical context of Uganda and highlighted the imperialist roots of the neoliberal policies that are driving the restructuring agenda in Uganda today. The keynote panel brought together interventions by Professor John Jean Barya, Dr Martiniello and the public intellectual, writer and activist Kalundi Serumaga.
Papers were presented under panels on various themes such as labour, agricultural and environmental change, oil and energy transition, socio-cultural change, education, social policy state, elections and political agency. Several papers interrogated the pertinent neoliberal policies as drivers of problematic changes in various sectors such as oil and gas, education, health and housing, and in matters such as labour and labour unions. This stimulated debates on a key question: whether indeed there could be alternatives to the ongoing neoliberalisation of Uganda that seems to be unstoppable, across all realms of society.
Commentators on the papers included Dr Yusuf Serunkuma (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg), journalist and activist Agatha Atuhaire. They reflected on the everyday life aspects and the deep politics of neoliberalism in Uganda and highlighted various forms of existing resistance and push back vis-à-vis neoliberal political economy. Winnie Byanyima (UNAIDS Executive Director) enriched the conference with her comments about global and local neoliberalism, and the importance of activism in the struggle for change in today’s Uganda: she raised the ‘what should we do?’ question on conference day one; which was picked up by subsequent speakers including in the conference’s closing speeches and discussions.
Issues arising from the conference included:
- Four decades into the neoliberal transformation of Uganda, the all-encompassing and transformative character of this process is evident. It was also noted that scholars have grappled with the analysis of some of these changes; mostly focusing on issues of governance, policy-making, military conflict, and state-building.
- Relatively little analytical attention has been given to major topics concerning the making and operation of today’s neoliberal Uganda, this exemplary market society in East Africa and the continent at large: this includes the political economy of neoliberal restructuring (including the roll-out of commercialisation across sectors and the rise to dominance of foreign TNCs), the political sociology of the formation of hegemonic and counter-hegemonic movements, and the political ecology of extractivism.
- The existence of significant gaps in the academic literature about the interlinkages among economic, political, sociological, ecological, legal and cultural processes in this highly consequential round of capitalist restructuring of the country: the phase that has locked-in a distinct capitalist institutional architecture for the foreseeable future.
- The question of how to contest, resist and change the existing neoliberal polity, economy and culture – i.e., the fundamentals of Uganda’s capitalism – is also not often analysed in much of the scholarship. And yet, the ‘what to do?’ question is prominent in the public debate in the country, given the manifold crises – across economic and social sectors – brought about by neoliberalisation.
The conference took place in a wider context in which universities have been recognized as agents of change in many societal spheres. They are moving away from the ‘ivory tower’ concept, where they are seen as occupying special places in terms of knowledge generation without much concrete connection to society and its everyday challenges. Instead, the change-oriented agency of today’s University is evident also in the offering of a platform to debate and generate ideas that can inform policy for change, and involvement in change-oriented projects with other stakeholders, public and private.
The conference thus aimed at providing a platform for analysing and debating various developments of Uganda’s neoliberalism since the early 1980s.
It is hoped that many papers presented at the conference will be developed further, subjected to peer review, and published to inform research and policy making in Uganda and beyond. The conference participants continue their networking and collaborations beyond the end of the conference.
The next conference on contemporary capitalism in Uganda is expected to be held in 2026. The conference was supported by the POLIS Strategic Investment Fund (SRIF) 2023/24 (University of Leeds). This grant also helped citizen researchers from northern Uganda to participate in the conference and present their research findings.
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