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Four Innovators Win 2020 Social Innovation in Health Awards

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Four innovations identified by external reviewers as the best, received awards from the Makerere University School of Public Health Social Innovation in Health Initiative –SIHI Uganda project.

This was during the 3rd national stakeholders workshop held on March 17, 2021 at Golf Course Hotel, Kampala to reward and recognize the best community-based health solutions in Uganda.

The workshop aimed at strengthening collaboration with stakeholders in advancement of social innovation in health. It also gave an opportunity for the innovators to showcase their social innovations that have enabled the delivery of more inclusive, effective and affordable health services to Ugandans. The even brought together officials from Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Health, Makerere University and members of the public.

L-R: Dr. Phyllis Awor, Lecturer and PI of the SIHI Uganda project at MakSPH, Dr. Maxwell Otim, Professor Damalie Nakanjako and Dr. Olaro Charles at the 2020 Social Innovations in Health Awards organized by the School of Public Health.
L-R: Dr. Phyllis Awor, Lecturer and PI of the SIHI Uganda project at MakSPH, Dr. Maxwell Otim, Professor Damalie Nakanjako and Dr. Olaro Charles at the 2020 Social Innovations in Health Awards organized by the School of Public Health.

The winners of the 2020 social innovations for solutions that improved access and quality of health care were; Ishaka Health Plan Project (Community based health insurance scheme) that facilitates access to quality and affordable healthcare services to communities in Bushenyi district, My Pregnancy Handbook project, a user-friendly portable short handbook prepared to deliver authentic health information concerning pregnancy to pregnant mothers, midwives, and the general population, SEEK-GSP project, a project aimed at narrowing the treatment gap for depression among people living with HIV using group support psychotherapy delivered by community health workers and the Community Health Insurance, an initiative by the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau.

 Also awarded were students from the School of Public Health for their innovations. They are; Mr. Filimin Niyongabo who showcased the Student’s HIV/AIDs Awareness campaign (SHIVA), and Mathias Amperiize spearheading Youth-led cancer and diabetes awareness campaign (YCADAC).

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze, Professor, and Dean MakSPH hailed the innovators for creativity. She said she was very passionate about social innovations in health and hopped that the Uganda hub of SIHI global can be grown further to enable communities to come with their solutions.

Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze, Professor & Dean MakSPH speaking at the 2020 Social Innovations in Health Awards at Golf Course Hotel.
Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze, Professor & Dean MakSPH speaking at the 2020 Social Innovations in Health Awards at Golf Course Hotel.

“I also look for the opportunity where we can transform the way we teach. We need to transform the way we teach to enable students to be problem solvers. Are we teaching people to solve problems? Are we teaching them to only see problems or to solve problems? We need to actually empower our students to be able to feel that they have the capacity to innovate and solve problems,” Professor Rhoda Wanyenze.

Mr. Filimin Niyongabo, an alumnus receives a certificate of recognition for his innovation Students HIV/AIDs Awareness (SHIVA) Campaign from Professor Damalie Nakanjako, the Principal College of Health Sciences. Alongside his colleagues, at MakSPH have been involved in efforts towards improving HIV awareness among University students.
Mr. Filimin Niyongabo, an alumnus receives a certificate of recognition for his innovation Students HIV/AIDs Awareness (SHIVA) Campaign from Professor Damalie Nakanjako, the Principal College of Health Sciences. Alongside his colleagues, at MakSPH have been involved in efforts towards improving HIV awareness among University students.

Professor Damalie Nakanjako, the Principal College of Health Sciences represented the Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe. She hailed the Uganda hub of SIHI global led by Dr. Phyllis Awor for the good network of identifying and supporting nurture innovations.

“As Makerere University, we want to appreciate Government of Uganda for the big trust that you have put in research and innovation. I think this is an area where we have received support through the Research and Innovations Fund. It has made a difference to impact society. It is our mandate to translate research into policy to benefit the citizens of Uganda. This is very key towards our attainment of Sustainable Development Goals. With support from government, Makerere University has renewed her mandate on intellectual property and working with industry to promote innovators. Our Intellectual Property Office is ready to invest and support innovators to develop further,” said Professor Nakanjako.

Dr. Olaro Charles, Director Clinical Services at Ministry of Health said the ministry looks forward to more partnerships and that they we are ready to support such innovations that help improve the quality of health of Ugandans.

Dr. Maxwell Otim Onapa, the Director of Science, Research and Innovation at Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation said his Ministry certainly is very positioned to work with SIHI Uganda hub because ideally, these social innovations in health bring a whole different perspective hence a need to integrate such innovations.

The winners of the 2020 Social Innovations in Health Awards organized by the School of Public Health pose for group photo.
The winners pose with their awards at the Social Innovation in Health Awards held on 17th March 2021, Golf Course Hotel, Kampala.

“Sometimes we focus too much on issues related to the business you look at the big picture and yet there very low hanging fruits that require low input but with immense impact. I believe this is one of them,” said Dr. Maxwell Otim.

He adds that his ministry is already working with Ministry of Health to establish an innovation cluster program, particularly in health. He advances that the Health Information Innovation and Research program under the health ministry is a very strategic one that can enable to support these initiatives.

“We also pick interest in areas where there is a lot of intellectual input. And we shall support in the area of intellectual property,” Dr. Otim.

Mr. Lubega Martin, the author of a 48-paged, A4 portable short My Pregnancy handbook receives an award from Dr. Maxwell Otim Onapa, the Director of Science, Research and Innovation at Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Mr. Lubega Martin, the author of a 48-paged, A4 portable short My Pregnancy handbook receives an award from Dr. Maxwell Otim Onapa, the Director of Science, Research and Innovation at Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

During the workshop, the SIHI Uganda Hub Director, Dr. Phyllis Awor briefed the participants on SIHI and SIHI Uganda hub activities. She emphasized the need for supporting social innovations to ensure equitable and affordable health services. Since its establishment in 2017, more than 12 innovations have been recognized.

Dr. Awor further noted that the identified innovations could be translated into policy and scaled to improve the well-being of Ugandans.

Dr. Olaro Charles, Director Clinical Services at Ministry of Health hands over a plaque to Dr. Patrick Kerchan, the head of programs at Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau - UPMB and his colleagues for their innovation on Saving lives through community health insurance. They are among the winners of the 2020 Social Innovations in Health Awards organized by the School of Public Health.
Dr. Olaro Charles, Director Clinical Services at Ministry of Health hands over a plaque to Dr. Patrick Kerchan, the head of programs at Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau – UPMB and his colleagues for their innovation on Saving lives through community health insurance. They are among the winners of the 2020 Social Innovations in Health Awards organized by the School of Public Health.

SIHI Uganda is part of a global collaboration of partners passionate about advancing community-based health solutions. The SIHI network is supported by TDR, the special programme for research and training in tropical disease, co-sponsored by UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank and WHO. TDR receives core funding from SIDA, the Swedish International Development Agency, used to support SIHI.

Dr. Olaro Charles, Director Clinical Services at Ministry of Health hands over a plaque to Dr. Manasseh Tumuhimbise and colleagues from Ishaka Health Plan, the winners of the 2020 Social Innovations in Health Awards organized by the School of Public Health.
Dr. Olaro Charles, Director Clinical Services at Ministry of Health hands over a plaque to Dr. Manasseh Tumuhimbise and colleagues from Ishaka Health Plan, the winners of the 2020 Social Innovations in Health Awards organized by the School of Public Health.

Article originally Published on MakSPH website

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Fostering Continuous Improvement of Public Health Laboratory Services In Uganda: IDI’s Contribution (2018-2020)

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One of the staff uses the Abbott m2000 RealTime System in the Core Laboratory (CL), IDI, Makerere University.

The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), Makerere University houses a state of the art laboratory – the Core Laboratory (CL) – certified by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and accredited by the Uganda Ministry of Health (MoH) as a lead partner in strengthening laboratory systems.

In line with its 5-year (2018-2023) goal of ‘providing high-quality lab services at IDI to meet both clinical and research demands, to support the sustained improvement of lab capacity across Uganda with systems of assured and consistent quality’ to conduct routine testing, specialized clinical research trials, and detection of virulent pathogens of epidemic outbreak nature.

To match internationally standards for clinical laboratory methodologies and clinical applications, the CL has maintained a 25-year record of conducting at least 01 internal audit, 04 external audits annually, besides bi-annual inspections by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), to incorporate the latest best practices. Further, the CL continuously improves its technology and automation to increase productivity and enhance testing turnaround time (TAT).

The CL operates in a One IDI approach, where sister Technical Programs source its support, besides the Ministry of Health of Uganda, local and international academic research institutions and individual research fellows. The outbreak of COVID-19 in December 2019 was an opportunity for growth and expansion for the CL, to support national and global preparedness and response to infection prevention and control (IPC). To date, the CL has registered several milestones in enhancing disease laboratory TAT for COVID-19 testing, strengthening human capacity at the forefront on COVID-19 IPC, sustaining laboratory services for other communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as answering research questions.

Please see Downloads for the full technical brief.

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UniCare App: 24/7 Access to Counselling

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UniCare App: 24/7 Access to Professional Counselling Services. Available on Google Play Store.

The Counselling and Guidance Centre (CGC) has developed UniCare, a counselling App for the Makerere University community members (Staff and Students).

Do you have personal concerns that need addressing?

Do you need to improve your life skills?

Are you struggling with something and need to talk to someone professional in confidence?

Then download UniCare from the Play Store and use it at any time of your convenience.

You can access counselling services through instant messaging, phone calls and other forms.

Enquiries:

Tel: +256-751-700897
Email: rbaguma[at]cit.ac.ug, henry.nsubuga[at]mak.ac.ug

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Call for Applications: PhD Fellowships in Bioethics (4th Cohort)

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The Davies Lecture Theatre (Right), School of Biomedical Sciences (Blue) and other buildings at the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Mulago Campus, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

Applications are invited for PhD fellowships in bioethics from Makerere University College of Health Sciences (CHS) faculty and individuals who participate in the academic activities of the college who are interested and COMMITTED to becoming bioethics scholars.

Successful applicants should be willing to become bioethics scholars as they work within the structured and mentored training programme with a focus on any aspect of international research bioethics related to Health Sciences. Funding will be available to support 2 successful doctoral candidates up to 3 years of accelerated training leading to the award of the Makerere University doctoral degree.

Eligibility

This training is open to faculty including people who contribute to teaching and research at Makerere University or one of its partner institutions in Uganda, who meet any of the following criteria:

a. Able to articulate a clear research bioethics problem of interest to them.
b. Demonstrate prior participation in bioethics, beyond having submitted research proposals to an IRB.
c. Demonstrate a basic understanding of bioethics in order to know that this is an appropriate next step for the applicant.
d. Demonstrate past active participation in bioethics in health service delivery or at the interface of health related ethical-legal issues
e. Provide evidence of experience in research in bioethics and or authorship in this field
f. Prior master’s level or fellowship level training in bioethics or related fields.

Criteria for Selection

  1. Demonstrated interest in doctoral research training and conducting research with a focus on
    research bioethics.
  2. Potential to handle rigorous academic requirements of the doctoral program.
  3. Having a plan for career development
  4. Capacity towards attaining research leadership and international recognition in bioethics.
  5. Female candidates and medical doctors are especially encouraged to apply

Application Process

Applications must be submitted to makbioethics[at]gmail.com and should consist of a cover letter (1 page only), a resume (not more than 3 pages), a personal statement (Maximum 1 page), a Makerere University formatted PhD research concept (Maximum 10 pages) and two letters of recommendation (sent separately by the referees to makbioethics[at]gmail.com). The personal statement should include your contribution to the academic and research life of a department at Makerere University College of Health Sciences, your aspirations for career progression in the next 5-7 years, research interests and any information you consider relevant.

Closing date for the receipt of applications is 8th October 2021.

Enquiries can be forwarded to the PI, of the PhD bioethics research training Program on makbioethics[at]gmail.com

Timelines:

  • Application deadline: October 8, 2021
  • Interviews: October 15, 2021
  • Notification date: October 22, 2021
  • Proposed start date: November 1, 2021

Part of this training will take place at Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics in the USA in Year 1 for a total of 2-3 months. Successful candidates will receive a monthly stipend based on USA National Institutes of Health regulations, tuition, research funds and travel to the USA. Applicants should demonstrate excellent communications skills and will be expected to work as part of a highly motivated, result oriented bioethics group.

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