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Dr. Kakumba Officially Opens HPE Conference 2021



The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)-DVCAA, Dr. Umar Kakumba on Thursday 27th May, 2021 officially opened the two-day Health Profession’s Education Conference based on the theme; “Transforming Health Professions Education (HPE) in the 21st Century: From Theory to Practice”. The Conference was organised by the Eastern Africa Health Professions Educators’ Association (EAHPEA), and the Health Professions Education Partnership Initiative (HEPI) Project co-hosted by the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Makerere University.

The project; Health Professions Education and training for Strengthening the Health System and Services in Uganda(HEPI-SHSSU), is an innovative Education Research NIH-funded program implemented by a partnership between CHS, Busitema University School of Health Sciences, Kabale University School of Medicine, Clarke International University, Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery, The African center for Global health and social transformation (ACHEST), Yale University and John Hopkins University (JHU). Prof. Sarah Kiguli from the School of Medicine, CHS is the project’s Principal Investigator and the Conference’s Chairperson Organising Committee.

The goal of the HEPI program, which started in August 2018 is to improve service delivery of the Ugandan health system through strengthened interdisciplinary health professional education and research training to produce graduates with competencies to address the priority health needs of the population.

Dr. Kakumba in his remarks noted that health is a critical success factor towards sustaining and promoting high levels of human development and it is therefore important that all stakeholders are involved in strengthening education and training systems for Health Professionals.

In this regard, he said that EAHPEA and the HEPI Project both provide opportunities and platforms for stakeholders to collaborate, plan and implement strategies that will improve the competence of educators and ultimately, the quality of graduates and health of communities.

“At institutional level, Makerere is especially aware of the dire need to recruit adequate numbers of well qualified staff, who should be developed in knowledge, and other competencies. Indeed a number of actions continue to be undertaken in the units with most critical need” he shared.

The DVCAA made specific mention of CHS’ proposed; pre-entry exam to improve the process of admitting medical students, and establishment of the Health Professions Education Centre to support faculty development at the college and other Institutions, as interventions that will contribute to the University’s efforts to implement student-centred learning.

“I equally bid to support the establishment of the Health Professions Education Centre” he vouched.

Dr. Kakumba therefore urged the College to strengthen its partnership with Government, particularly the Ministries of Health and Education as well as development partners and the community to ensure that meaningful transformation in Health Professions Education is achieved.

“I extend special thanks to all the Keynote Speakers, Partner Institutions represented, and the National Institutes of Health that has funded the conference through the Makerere University HEPI Project” he concluded.

The Principal CHS, Prof. Damalie Nakanjako thanked Dr. Kakumba for being supportive of the college’s innovations, particularly the proposal to establish the Health Professions Education Centre. She added that CHS had since followed it through to the next level. “The proposal is already under review by the Senate sub-Committee.”

Prof. Nakajanko shared that CHS was proud to have led the transformation of traditional curricular into the student-centred curricular. This curricular is grounded in problem-based learning and community-based education and services. The college has also embraced inter-disciplinary education.

Prof. Nelson Sewankambo (Left) and Prof. Sarah Kiguli (Right) from the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda are winners of 5-Year Fogarty International Center Awards
Prof. Nelson Sewankambo (Left) and Prof. Sarah Kiguli (Right) from the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda are winners of 5-Year Fogarty International Center Awards

“All these innovations would not have been possible without the efforts of; Prof. Nelson Sewankambo, Prof. Sarah Kiguli and Prof. Elsie Kiguli Malwadde” remarked Prof. Kiguli to applause from the audience.

She added that the Professors have since gone beyond CHS to support and work with all other Health Education Programmes in the country. “It is because of you that our Medical Education continues to be the leader in the region and we thank you very much.”

The Principal said her college was able to carry on teaching despite restrictions to institutions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 thanks largely to the pedagogical support provided by the HEPI program. She therefore called for the need to reclassify computers and e-Learning equipment as teaching materials at procurement stage, so as to facilitate increased roll-out of online education.

Prof. Nelson Sewankambo is a Professor of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine, CHS. Having served as Associate Dean and Dean of the School of Medicine and thereafter Principal CHS, he has been at the helm of various academic and administrative innovations and dedicated his efforts to improving medical education both in Uganda and internationally. Recently awarded Professor Emeritus of Makerere University, he was therefore the perfect candidate to deliver the opening ceremony’s keynote address on “Transformative Health Professions Education: Owning and Changing Our Future”.

“As we think about transformation of education, we need to link education and health systems. We cannot or should not work with one system and not the other. We as health profession educators should contribute to building the health systems as well” said Prof. Sewankambo as he tackled the need for holistic transformative education.

Reflecting on the three types of learning of health professions education; Transmissional, Transactional and Transformational, Prof. Sewankambo said that the latter; Transformative learning involves experiencing a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feelings and actions.

“Many of you know that young people join health professions training institutions with a lot of vigour and interest to do wonderful things and by the time they leave these institutions they have given up; they are not thinking the way they did when they were coming in” he shared solemnly.

This point then drove him to ask “So, how can we lay the foundation for transformational learning?” and as his audience pondered he answered, “We need to analyse the main opportunities and challenges which are facing the health workforce… and then we need to recognise and accept the need for change.”

Prof. Sewankambo acknowledged that we are in most cases our own barriers because we do not recognise the need for change. “We have therefore, before we talk about transformative education, to transform our own minds, then we can plunge into transformative education.”

Other factors identified by Prof. Sewankambo in laying the foundation for transformative education included; Strategic vision and change management, Balancing the top-down and bottom-up approach and above all, Transformative leadership and a learning system/institution.

He further warned that a failure to re-lay the foundations would most likely result in Uganda and the region risking a “continued deterioration of service provision, worsening health outcomes and a system poorly equipped to respond to future health challenges.”

Prof. Sewankambo in conclusion tasked the delegates who were drawn from various institutions within Uganda and the region to come up with a call to action. This, he opined, would serve as the turning point for ensuring transformative health professions education in the period following the conference.


Digital Mobile Technologies to Study Tuberculosis: A Multi-Discplinary Program



An aerial view of the Makerere University School of Public Health construction site on the Main Campus. To the Right is the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) and in the background are Dag Hammaskjold Hall (Green roof) and University Hall (Brown tiles).



Makerere University School of Public Health under D43 multi-disciplinary training program in digital mobile technologies to study tuberculosis that was recently funded by the NIH, through the University of Georgia (UGA) has an opportunity for funding of a masters’ research thesis. This is available to two (02) first year students of the Graduate programmes offered at Makerere University who have progressed to concept proposal development stage of their graduate program. These should be in good academic standing and have or are about to complete year 1 in Academic Year 2023/24. The support will start at the beginning of Academic Year 2024/25, i.e., end of August 2024 when the students are starting their year 2.  Students of geography and or digital health related courses are encouraged to apply, females too.  Students will be provided with secondary data to address the following, or similar, issues relating to tuberculosis (TB):

  1. Characterizing mobility patterns between urban and rural areas of Uganda using archived cell-phone (CDR) metadata
  2. Correlation between self-reported geolocated mobility patterns of TB patients and CDR data
  3. Differences in mobility patterns of TB patient’s pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis
  4. Gender differences and relationship between IGRA and TST in a prospective cohort
  5. Patterns of change in serial IGRA test results by sex, age, HIV status
  6. Temporal changes in contact, mobility and geographic networks in TB converters and non-converters
  7. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) of social contacts and location patterns of movement by residents at risk for TB infection

Interested students are encouraged to attend an information session on Wednesday 17th July 2024 at MakSPH Annex Kololo where details about the research questions and funding opportunity will be provided to prospective applicants. Prospective applicants will be required to work with their mentors and training grant personnel to develop a 2-5-page concept that will be vetted for possible funding by training faculty of the training program.

Interested students should register their attendance with the training Coordinator, Mr Ivan Mutyaba by sending an email expressing interest in attending the session to by close of business on Thursday, 11th July 2024.

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METS Newsletter June 2024



Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) Dean, Prof Rhoda Wanyenze (Left), MoH Director General, Dr. Henry Mwebesa (Right) and other stakeholders join Dr. Amy Boore (2nd Right) to cut cake at her farewell event. Golden Tulip Hotel, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Support (METS) Program is a 5-year CDC-supported collaboration of Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Health Information Systems Program (HISP Uganda).

Highlights of the METS June 2024 Newsletter

  • Tracking Trends in HIV Outcomes: The Implementation of HIV Case-Based Surveillance
    • METS in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and various implementing partners, is spearheading the HIV Case-Based Surveillance (CBS) initiative across Uganda. By February 2024, CBS had been activated in 504 health facilities, with 349 sites (69%) actively transmitting data.
    • Trends of New HIV Diagnosis: An analysis trends over a 20-year period (2000-2022) revealed an increase in new HIV diagnosis over time, peaking in 2014 and 2018, before starting to decline. Diagnoses among females consistently exceeded those among males each year.
    • Case-Based Surveillance (CBS) complimenting other HIV surveillance programs: CBS provides valuable insights into infection patterns and highlights the need for targeted interventions, particularly among females. Next steps include continued scale up of CBS implementation to reach 80% of ART sites; improving data transmission from facility to the national repository to achieve at least 90% of the CBS activated sites; and strengthening data analytics and use of the data for program improvement.
  • Enhancing HIV Prevention Data Collection Through Bootcamps
    • METS in collaboration with HISP Uganda held a workshop in Mbarara to update the Health Management Information System (HMIS) tools for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) in the HIV Prevention Tracker. The workshop focused on digitizing paper forms to efficiently collect data on key and priority populations.
  • Electronic Medical Records (EMR) upgrades in Eastern Uganda
    • The two-week activity kicked off with a week-long training session at Northeast Villa in Kumi focused on the enhancements of UgandaEMR+, including improved point-of-care (POC) functionalities and data visualization techniques.
    • The initiative successfully trained over 15 AIDS Information Centre (AIC) staff members, including M&E leads, IT personnel, data officers, and M&E managers, in the practical use of UgandaEMR+. Additionally, the two facilities, Ochero HCIII and Kapelebyong HCIV, were upgraded and their staff trained on the new system.
  • Tribute to Dr. Joshua Musinguzi (9/09/1963 – 7/06/2024)
    • Dr. Joshua Musinguzi’s efforts to minimize HIV incidence and death strategically focused on translating knowledge into policies and actions, which has helped Uganda manage the HIV epidemic.
  • Gallery
    • Bidding farewell to Dr. Amy Boore, Program Director, Division of Global Health Protection – CDC
    • Analysing the UgandaEMR Clinical Laboratory Module
    • UgandaEMR+ training for USAID SITES
    • Training for clinicians at Ruharo Mission Hospital on SARI and ILI
    • HIV Treatment Services (HTS) Implementers Meeting

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Job Opportunity at MakSBSREC: Assistant Administrative Officer



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, East Africa.

Makerere University is pleased to announce a vacancy for the position of Assistant Administrative Officer (REC Administrator) within the School of Biomedical Sciences Research Ethics Committee (MakSBSREC). This is an excellent opportunity for qualified individuals to contribute to the ethical oversight of research involving human participants.

Position Details:

  • Job Title: Assistant Administrative Officer (REC Administrator) – MakSBSREC
  • Reports to: Chairperson MakSBSREC
  • Engagement: Full-time
  • Duration: 1 Year, renewable upon satisfactory performance
  • Duty Station: Kampala

Qualifications, Desired Skills, and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and Humanities, Medicine and Surgery, Ethics and Human Rights, or any related field.
  • Master’s degree in Bioethics (an added advantage).
  • Up-to-date training in Human Subject Protection or Good Clinical Practice.
  • Proficiency in English (both spoken and written).
  • Prior experience in regulatory work in research studies or projects.
  • Excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and meet deadlines.

How to Apply:

Qualified and interested candidates are invited to submit a soft copy of their application documents and a motivation letter to with the subject line “Application for the position of Assistant Administrative Officer (REC Administrator)”. Address your application to the Dean, School of Biomedical Sciences.

Deadline for submission: July 2, 2024, by 5:00 pm Ugandan time.

Please provide a reliable 24-hour phone contact. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.

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