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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.


Alliance for Global Health and Science 2021 Virtual Institute



A male technician in one of the Research Labs at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), Makerere University. Photo credit: Miriam Namutebi, Moses Nsubuga/New Vision

The Alliance for Global Health and Science (the Alliance) is a partnership between the University of California, Berkeley and Makerere University. The Alliance seeks to make a tangible, enduring impact by focusing on locally identified health research needs and strengthening collaborations between faculty at UC Berkeley and Makerere University.

The Alliance Summer Institute is an opportunity for Makerere University students to learn cutting edge, vital skillsets for bioscience researchers from world class scientists from the University of California system, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, SciDIP Global, and Makerere University. This year, the Institute will be held completely virtually, keeping in mind the public health crisis of COVID-19.

If you are interested in participating in the Summer Institute, please fill out this application form which can be found at:

All applications require 1) a letter of interest outlining which course(s) you are interested in participating in, how you will benefit from this coursework, and how you intend on using it to advance your scientific career, and 2) an up-to-date resume listing relevant prerequisites, experience, and coursework with references.

Applications are due by June 30th, 2021 at the latest. The courses being offered this year are as

  • Introduction to Next Generation Sequencing and Genomic Epidemiology (July 19 – 30)
  • Bioentrepreneurship: Small Molecule Therapeutic and Diagnostic Development (July 19 – 23)
  • Bioinformatics: Covid19 Pandemic Genome Sequence Analysis and Phylogenomics (August 2 – 13)
  • Scientific Diplomacy (August 2 – 13)
  • Concepts and techniques in modern vaccine design for global infectious disease (July 26 – August 6)
  • Scientific Grantwriting & Presentation (August 9 – 13)

Please see Downloads for details.

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Call for Applications: MakNCD Non-Degree Research Support



Guest of Honour & Minister of Health-Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng (C), flanked by Chancellor-Prof. Ezra Suruma (4th R), Chairperson Council-Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem (4th L), Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd L), Chairperson BoT, SAIU-H.E. King Caesar Augustus Mulenga (3rd R), Principal CHS-Dr. Charles Ibingira (2nd R), Book Author-Mr. Nelson Twinamasiko with other officials and delegates at the First International NCD Symposium official opening, 12th February 2018, Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala.

The Makerere University Non-Communicable Disease (MAK-NCD) Research Training Program, funded by the United States National Institute of Health-Fogarty international centre is a collaboration between Makerere University College of Health Sciences and Johns Hopkins University. The overall goal of this training program is to develop a comprehensive mentored research-training program in Uganda that will build local capacity to address the challenges of NCD control and management and promote the use of research findings to inform decision-making and policy.

This call for applications is targeting mainly junior researchers and Graduates at Makerere University with interest in building an independent research career in NCD.

A stipend and mentorship support for up to 12 months will be available to the selected candidates

Criteria for selection:

  1. Must have a concept or a research idea proposal in one of the following NCD areas; Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD), Diabetes Mellitus (DM), Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) & Hypertension.
  2. Demonstrated interest in NCD research studies focusing on biomedical sciences, Clinical Research, Epidemiology, Implementation Science research and Policy.
  3. Commitment to develop and maintain a productive career devoted to NCD
  4. Must have two (2) mentors in the proposed area of research.
  5. Must commit 40% of their time (2 working days) to the fellowship. A letter of support from an immediate supervisor stating that you can commit this time is required

The following are the broad NCD Research priority areas (themes). Applicants are encouraged to develop concepts from these themes.

  • (a)   Chronic Respiratory Diseases
  • (b)  Cardiovascular Diseases
  • (c)   Diabetes
  • (d)  Renal diseases


  • Mentorship
  • A monthly stipend will be provided upon development of a full proposal and clearance of the proposed study with appropriate IRB
  • Short courses in Bioethics, Good clinical Practice, Good laboratory Practice, Grant writing, Data Analysis and Manuscript writing.
  • Support to submit at least 1 paper in an indexed peer-reviewed journal as first author for publication
  • Fellows that achieve set targets will be supported to apply for additional grant funding to conduct primary research
  • Platform to develop into an independent Researcher in the NCD field

Application Process:

  • Email to request for the application form and CV template
  • Submit completed application, detailed CV, 2 letters of recommendation, letter of support from immediate supervisor stating that you can commit 40% of your time to the fellowship to, cc to Program Manager. Dr. Charles Batte

Deadline for submission of applications: 9th July,2021.

  “Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted”

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MU-JHU Positions: Locum Midwives/Nurses – WOMANPOWER Study June 2021



Female staff at the Makerere University –Johns Hopkins University (MU-JHU) Research Collaboration Family Care Centre. Photo credit: MU-JHU

The Makerere University-Johns Hopkins (MU-JHU) Research Collaboration – MU-JHU CARE LTD, a Kampala – based equal opportunities Clinical Research and Service Delivery Organisation with more than 350 employees is seeking interested, committed and reliable professionals with the described qualifications to apply for the Locum positions listed below in support of the EDCTP funded studies. The positions are Locum positions on short term contract for 6 months.

1. Locum Midwife/Nurse: multiple positions
    Reports To: Nurse Coordinator
    Duty station: MUJHU, Kisenyi HCIV and Kawempe National Referral Hospital

Required qualifications and profile:

A Diploma in Midwifery/Nursing, with current registration for practice from the Uganda Nurses and Midwives councils (UNMC) with interest in working in a busy labour ward with minimum supervision. The candidates are required to have worked for at least three (3) years in a busy health centre/institution. Previous work experience in a clinical research environment and/or with HIV, TB and/or MCH clinical care would be a strong advantage. Computer literacy is required. The successful candidates should be willing and able to work extended duty shifts i.e. 12 hour day, and 12 hour night shifts, including public holidays and weekends.

The holder of this position will work under the direct supervision of the Nurse Coordinator with guidance from the Head of Nursing Section, and will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Working closely with other health professionals/research staff to obtain consents.
  • Provide midwifery/nursing care to study participants as well as do phlebotomy, cord blood sampling and other sample collection as required.
  • Collect data using tablets and laptops.
  • Participate in study data quality assurance and control.
  • Any other duties reasonably assigned by the relevant authorities.
  • Maintain professional GCP/HSP accreditation and complete study specific training as required.

Applications with complete C.Vs, including 3 referees and their full addresses or contact Telephone numbers, copies of academic certificates and testimonials, should be hand delivered to: MU-JHU Human Resource Manager, through the reception on first floor, MUJHU 1 Building – not later than 25th June, 2021 by 5.30pm.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted. Successful candidates will be expected to start work immediately.

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