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Medical School Class of 1976 Visits Mak, Applauds Progress & Evolution

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On Saturday 12th March 2022, the Medical School class of 1976 visited Makerere University their alma mater and an institution that laid the foundation for them to become successful professionals.

The historic visit took place after 46 years (1976-2022) and comes at a time when Makerere University is celebrating 100 years of existence (1922-2022)!

With beaming smiles, their eyes widened and faces sparkled as they entered the Main Campus through the Makerere University Main Gate. You would tell that our alumni were happy to be back home! Throughout the tour, a wave of home coming, a sense of belonging, attachment and true love filled the spaces!

Prof. Josaphat Byamugisha addressing Makerere University Medical School Class of 1976 during their visit to the University Hospital.
Prof. Josaphat Byamugisha addressing Makerere University Medical School Class of 1976 during their visit to the University Hospital. (Photo by Alex Mugalu)

The alumni led by Dr. Phillipa Musoke, a Professor at the School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences (CHS) and their Chairperson, Dr. Yiga Matovu toured key University spaces and facilities including Makerere University Central Teaching Facility 1 that houses the University Administration and lecture spaces, the Freedom Square, Senate Building, Main Library, Africa Hall, Livingstone Hall, the Dental School and Makerere University Hospital.

According to Dr. Phillipa Musoke, they decided to visit Makerere University to re-ignite the fond memories, to have an experience of Makerere University of the times, and to appreciate the changes and developments.

In line with their desire, the Principal Public Relations Officer of Makerere University, Ms. Ritah Namisango lined up a team of experienced university staff who interacted with the Medical School class of 1976.

Makerere University Medical School Class of 1976 during their tour of the Main University Library.
Makerere University Medical School Class of 1976 during their tour of the Main University Library. (Photo by Alex Mugalu)

Speaking to the writer, Ms. Namisango revealed that she planned the tour focusing on the need for our alumni to see and appreciate the transformation of Makerere University from the time they were at this great institution (1976) to date. “I briefed the Members of staff who were designated to interact with our alumni to gladly share the story of evolution and continued growth,” she remarked.

At the Main Library, the alumni were received by Mr. Patrick Sekikome who briefed them on the shift from manual access of library services to the digital services. The alumni could recall the times (1976) manual catalogues and were pleased to see the new catalogues and technological innovations that are used to access books both online and within the Library.

“Access to Library services has evolved with the times. If you need to get a book from the Main Library, you don’t need to go to those stands as you used to, you only go to the Library website, we have the online catalog and once you get here, you check for any book of your interest. All the guides are uploaded online,” Mr. Sekikome explained.

At Makerere University Hospital, the alumni were welcomed by the Director Makerere University Health Services Prof. Josaphat Byamugisha. He shared with joy the history and journey of the health facility that has evolved from a sick bay to a hospital status.

“I am very happy to receive you at Makerere University Hospital. This Hospital is now under Makerere University College of Health Sciences. This was done to ensure that the hospital is aligned to the health services as well as to improve the services for provision of better health care. I was part of the team that formulated the idea. What we have gotten so far from literature and what is available online is that prior to 1972. The University maintained the health post known as Makerere University Students health service or sick bay, and then it acquired premises formerly known as the Nile Nursing Home that was owned by the Indian community. In 1978, the then President Idi Amin crowned the sick bay, the hospital status. Around 2017, the management of the University hospital was delegated to the College of Health Sciences,” Prof. Byamugisha explained.

Director Makerere University Health Services Prof. Josaphat Byamugisha.
Director Makerere University Health Services Prof. Josaphat Byamugisha. (Photo by Alex Mugalu)

Commenting about the evolution of dental services at Makerere University, he said: “It is true that at one time, the dental school was closed and later re-opened in 2019 after acquiring enough space for construction of the school and hospital. I am glad that you are visiting at a time when the Makerere University Dental School is fully operational. It is one of the best dental hospitals in the region.”

On behalf of the alumni, Dr. Philippa Musoke applauded the University administration for the tremendous work done to ensure that Makerere University continues to grow by adapting to the times.

“It has been a very big difference. When I was here as a student in 1976, I stayed in Africa Hall and I used to walk through Katanga to go to the Medical School. Today, Saturday 12th March 2022, we have visited the Library, it was a small Library then now it is expanded, also technology is being used. They showed us how you can access books and periodicals online as well as journal articles. Then we went to the University Hospital. We used to call it the sick bay but it’s now a very nicely renovated hospital and we are amazed by what their plans are but also what is being done already. The compound is also expanded and there are many more buildings than when we were here. Many more colleges, Departments have put up buildings such as Computer Science, Economics, Women and Gender Studies,” she noted.

Dr. Bira Migrate (L),  Prof. Josaphat Byamugisha (2nd L),  Prof. Phillipa Musoke (2nd R) and other Members of the Medical School Class of 1976 during their tour of the University Hospital premises.  (Photo by Alex Mugalu)
Dr. Bira Migrate (L), Prof. Josaphat Byamugisha (2nd L), Prof. Phillipa Musoke (2nd R) and other Members of the Medical School Class of 1976 during their tour of the University Hospital premises. (Photo by Alex Mugalu)

Dr. Musoke requested the University Council and Manaement to use the available space to construct more halls for students to stay on campus and also reconstruct the Main Building that was gutted by fire in September 2020.

“We look forward to the restoration of the Main Building. I have observed that there are a lot of buildings, we didn’t see new halls/hostels at the Main Campus. It’s nice if there is space to provide a place where students can stay on campus.”

Dr. Yiga Matovu was pleased to note that in addition to re-connecting with their alma mater, the visit provided new learning experiences especially in the area of health training.

“Our visit will be memorable. It is great that we have learnt about the progress being made in the area of training of health professionals and the plans the University has for training programs. I am really uplifted by the good plans. Let us implement them for the good of the nation,” Dr. Yiga said.

Dr. Bira Ann Migrate, a Lecturer at the Dental School and Clinical Head at the Dental Hospital was humbled and delighted to receive and interact with guests of that caliber. She hailed them for their roles in making Makerere University Dental School great again.

Prof. Josaphat Byamugisha (Centre in White Coat) with Makerere University Hospital Staff and Members of the Medical School Class of 1976 after their tour of the University Hospital premises.  (Photo by Alex Mugalu)
Prof. Josaphat Byamugisha (Centre in White Coat) with Makerere University Hospital Staff and Members of the Medical School Class of 1976 after their tour of the University Hospital premises. (Photo by Alex Mugalu)

“We are happy to show them that we have grown from that small corridor in Mulago to a hospital at the University Campus.  We are really glad to have hosted them and we hope they can come and visit us more often. Most of them have actually supported the development of this Dental Hospital. It may not have been directly, but some of them played a significant role to ensure that the Dental School remained open. They supported us in the background through their networks, so we are happy to receive them here at the Dental School. It is a testimony that we have moved on,” Dr. Bira said.

The Medical Class of 1976 that visited on 12th March 2022

  1. Dr. Deogratius Iga Matovu; Senior Consultant Radiologist, retired private practitioner
  2. Dr. Margret Kasande; retired private practitioner
  3. Dr. Sabastiano Nkakyekorera; Radiologist, retired
  4. Dr. Cephas Mijumbi; Senior Consultant Anesthesiologist, Uganda Heart Institute (UHI)
  5. Prof. Josephine Namuganwa Kasolo; Physiologist, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Makerere University
  6. Dr .V. B. Joseph Tindimwebwa; Anaesthesiologist, Lecturer and Former Head of Anaesthesia, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Makerere University, retired
  7. Dr. Adrigwe Joseph; Internist/Physician, RSA, private practitioner
  8. Prof. Phillipa Musoke; Paediatrician, Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration (MUJHU) and Board Member Mulago Hospital
  9. Prof. Jehu Erapu Iputo, Physiologist, Busitema University
  10. Dr. Jullie Mbisirikire K. N; Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Rubaga Hospital
  11. Dr. Peter Musoke; Psychiatrist, RSA, retired
  12. Dr. Davis Mubeezi; Public Health expert, retired private practitioner
  13. Dr. Buwembo-Kakande M.B.; Lecturer, Islamic University In Uganda (IUIU)
  14. Dr. Jaffer Sadiq Balyejjusa; Senior Consultant Surgeon, Busitema University
  15. Dr. Patrick Byaruhanga; Public Health expert, retired
  16. Dr. Kaguna Amooti; Public Health Expert, private practitioner
  17. Dr. George Unyuthi; private practitioner
  18. Dr. Francis Adatu Engwau; Epidemiologist, retired
  19. Dr. B.D. Mugisa; Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon, Senior Lecturer, Nsambya Hospital

Written by: Alex Mugalu (Finalist-Journalism and Communication), Makerere University

Health

METS Newsletter May 2024

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The newly appointed CDC Uganda Country Director, Dr. Adetinuke Mary Boyd (7th from left) met with country implementing partner Executive Directors to get insights on ongoing projects, discussed leveraging of partnerships as well as strategizing for how best to strengthen health systems. Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI)-McKinnell Knowledge Centre, Makerere University, 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 May 2024 Newsletter

  • Enhancing Response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
    • Responding to and preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Violence Against Children (VAC) are critical components of Uganda’s national HIV prevention program. METS developed a new app designed to improve support for SGBV survivors. This followed an assessment in December 2022, that revealed gaps in service access and coordination in Fort Portal and Kampala Regions.
    • The METS team, in collaboration with regional implementing partners, is scaling up the app’s use in pilot districts such as Masaka, Kiryandongo, Fort Portal, and Mubende. The team visited facilities and police stations to install the app and train selected focal persons on its use.
  • Assessing Readiness for Integrated HIV and NCD Care Services
    • METS supported the Ministry of Health to conduct a site readiness assessment for integrated delivery of HIV and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) services from 22nd to 26th April 2024, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and various implementing partners. The activity was conducted in selected health facilities in Acholi, Mubende, Kayunga, and Rwenzori regions to determine their feasibility for participating in a comprehensive NCD evaluation.
    • The 48 facilities visited have already integrated NCD services (mental Health, diabetes, and hypertension). Of these, 78% have integrated mental health services in their PMTCT clinics. 40% of the facilities have a dedicated NCD services physicians /doctor in the ART Clinic, 29% have doc have dedicated physicians in the PMTCT clinics. 90%. Most of the facilities have clinical and nurses in the ART than PMTCT facilities but more nurses offering NCD services in PMTCT sites.
  • Digitalizing the health sector through strategic partnerships
    • In collaboration with CDC and METS, the MoH organized a national Electronic Medical Records (EMR) stakeholders meeting to orient stakeholders on the national EMR agenda and transition towards a comprehensive digital health facility package. Key actions discussed included expanding the rollout of the EMR and Community Health Information System (eCHIS) and urging development partners to support prioritized health information and digital health investments.
    • The introduction of electronic medical records (EMRs) in health facilities aims to improve the quality of health service delivery by providing real-time accountability transparency, and traceability of medical supplies, monitoring health worker absenteeism, enhancing patient satisfaction through efficient care provision, reducing unnecessary or duplicate diagnostic tests, and offering easy access to management reports for decision-making. Additionally, EMRs will lay the foundation for the implementation of national health insurance.
  • UgandaEMR+ Implementation Showcased at Kisenyi HCIV
    • METS and Reach Out Mbuya (ROM) showcased the implementation of UgandaEMR+ to representatives from the USG and the Ministry of Health (MoH) at Kisenyi HCIV. The visit was aimed at providing a clear understanding of the system’s functionality at the health facility, which serves over 1,200 outpatients daily and supports over 1600 clients on ART.
    • Dr. Peter Akonyera, the ART Clinic In Charge shared positive end-user experiences, noting simplified data use and analysis, efficient data retrieval, and the system’s popularity among users despite existing challenges. He appreciated METS’ support in maintaining system synchronization. The data visualization tools have been particularly useful for clinicians to manage patient schedules and workload distribution effectively, ensuring timely and efficient healthcare delivery.
  • METS Showcases Research at INTEREST 2024 Conference in Benin
    • The International Conference on HIV Treatment, Pathogenesis, and Prevention Research (INTEREST) brought together global scientists to share cutting-edge knowledge in HIV diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The conference also aimed to build a community of African physicians and scientists to develop local solutions for managing HIV and preventing its transmission.
    • METS submitted an abstract titled “Enhancing HIV Case Identification through a National HIV Testing Services (HTS) Continuous Quality Improvement” based on support to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in designing, implementing, and evaluating initiatives to increase the identification of HIV-positive clients, crucial for achieving the global target of 95% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) knowing their status.
  • Gallery
    • New CDC Director meets Country implementing partner Executive Directors
    • UgandaEMR+ support supervision at Kisenyi HCIV visit
    • EMR Stakeholders meeting
    • CBS guidelines meeting
    • INTEREST 2024 conference – Benin
    • Key Populations assessment – Ishaka district

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SIMCS-Trial Vacancy Announcement: Twenty-Five (25) Research Assistants

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An elevated shot of the School of Health Sciences and School of Medicine Building, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Makerere University. Mulago Campus, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University College of Health Sciences School of Medicine in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine received funding from US National Institutes of Health – Fogarty International Center to carry out a study on “Development and evaluation of an information management and communication system for population-wide point of-care infant sickle cell disease screening (SIMCS-Trial)”. The program seeks to recruit 25 research assistants at its study sites. 

Roles and responsibilities  

  • Identify and screen participants for possible enrolment into the study according to the Study Protocol.
  • Obtain informed consent from caregivers of eligible participants as per protocol accordance with GCP and HSP principles.
  • Counsel and explain study procedures to the caregivers of study participants using the mobile app.
  • Enrol eligible participants into the study to meet the study accrual targets.
  • Complete study CRFs, correctly and accurately in compliance with trial procedures/ SOPs and GCP standards.
  • Ensure study participants’ safety and privacy, data integrity and confidentiality.
  • Participate in collection of appropriate study samples/specimens from the participants as per protocol and SOPs as well as performing the test.
  • Carry out any other duties as assigned by superiors in line with your work.

Required Qualification and experience 

  • A degree in any health-related discipline, and registered with the relevant national bodies.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with Microsoft word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access as well as basic internet applications 
  • Skills in using common relevant computer packages and mobile technology for data collection
  • Previous work in a research environment is added advantage.
  • Basic knowledge of clinical research regulatory procedures. 
  • Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training and Research Ethics training skills and knowledge
  • Excellent command of English (written and oral) as well as the local languages (Luganda or Lusoga)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to develop relationships with participants.
  • Experience of living and or working both in urban and rural environment.
  • Team-working skills to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team 
  • Time management skills and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented and self-motivated/driven. 
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. 
  • Ability to professionally communicate in writing, verbally or other means deemed appropriate. 

Reports to: The SIMCS Co-Investigator/SIMCS Trial Coordinator 

Expected start date: July 2024

How to apply: 1-page type written application letter addressed to the Principal Investigator SIMCS Trial MakCHS SOM together with current CV, copies of academic certificates, and recommendation letters from two past employers should be e-mailed as ONE PDF DOCUMENT to makimpact22@gmail.com

Deadline for receiving applications: Friday 20th June 2024 at 5:00 pm

Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to the interview. 

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CTCA Call for Proposals: Enhance Tobacco Control Institutional Capacity in Africa

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Call for Proposals - Project Title: Enhance Tobacco Control Institutional Capacity in Africa; Grant #339. Deadline 30th June 2024, by 5pm EAT. The Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA), School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Project Title: Enhance Tobacco Control Institutional Capacity in Africa; Grant #339

Introduction:

The Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA) received funding from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for the 2024-2026 to implement a project on institutional capacity. The project investments are geared towards sustaining human resource capacity and knowledge generation to reduce use of all forms of tobacco products in Africa. Specifically, the project aims to:

  1. Enhance training opportunities for African governments and relevant actors in tobacco control in
    the continent
  2. Increase access to knowledge for guiding tobacco use prevention and control in Africa
  3. Reinforce the institutional development of CTCA for an optimal performance of its functions
    and processes.

In 2020, CTCA developed a Tobacco Control Research Agenda (TCRA) with the aim of providing a guide for generating local evidence to drive tobacco control policy formulation and implementation in Africa.

Therefore, CTCA with support from ACBF is seeking researchers across the African continent to be awarded 6 small grants of USD 5000 to implement research that aligns with the TCRA thematic areas below:

  1. Patterns and trends of tobacco use and exposure for all tobacco products including the new
    products at country and regional levels (sex, age, region, types of products, new products).
  2. Effects of tobacco use and exposure on sustainable development (poverty, education, culture, food security, environment, HIV, TB, reproductive health, NCDs).
  3. Tobacco use and populations at risk (youth, young adults, women/gender, elderly, residents
    of urban areas, miltary, prisoners, mental health patients, populations in low socio-economic
    dwellings like slums).
  4. Tobacco control policy research and analysis (smoke free, TAPS, GHWs, ceasation) of cost
    effectiveness, impact, drivers, enablers, innovation, challenges, communication and advocacy
    for tobacco control.
  5. Sociocultural context of tobacco use
  6. Tobacco industry and tobacco control policy
  7. Tobacco production, alternative livelihoods and environment (distribution, value chain,
    environmental impact, historical and determinants of tobacco production)
  8. The economics of tobacco and tobacco control (product, pricing, illicit tobacco trade,
    taxation)

The full research Agenda can be accessed in English and in French.

Submissions

We are pleased to invite submissions from researchers based in Africa. Successful proposals should align with any of the 8 thematic areas of the CTCA Research Agenda. Innovative proposals that address critical issues and contribute to evidence-based policy and practice in the respective areas to inform Tobacco control in Africa are particularly encouraged.

Requirements

These grants will fund work that relates to the CTCA Research Agenda. Activities will include
proposal development, data collection and analysis, report writing and dissemination. All research to be implemented will be approved by the institutional review board and published in peer reviewed journals. These grants are intended for; 1) Researchers based in Tobacco Control Programs/Response; 2) post graduate students who would like to complete their research projects aligned to this call and 3) early and middle career researchers. It is required that this research is executed, and the report completed within 12 months. The applicant should have a mentor in an established institution.

Eligibility

Eligibility is restricted to Africa-based researchers. This refers to individuals who are (a) currently studying at a university or research institute in Africa, and/or b) currently working within a university, research institute, or in tobacco control in Africa. All persons associated with tobacco industry will not be funded and therefore should not apply. Successful applicants will be required to sign a declaration of interest that they do not have any relationship with tobacco industry.

Evaluation criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by a group of experts and researchers. Projects will be assessed against six, equally weighted evaluation criteria:

  • Knowledge contribution in respect to policy, strategy, and evidence to answer local
    challenges:
    Does the study articulate the research gap? Does study make a significant
    contribution toward advancing knowledge in the tobacco control field? Does it answer
    new questions or introduce novel methods, measures, or tobacco control interventions? Is
    it aligned to the WHO FCTC and tobacco control local context requirements? Does the
    study add to the existing body of research?
  • Policy relevance: Will results from the research have generalizable implications? How,
    if at all, will the “lessons learned” have relevance beyond the study? Will the study
    outcomes influence decisions in tobacco control?
  • Technical design: Do the methods appropriately answer the objectives and the questions
    outlined in the proposal? Is the proposed study feasible in one year?
  • Project viability: Are there any other logistical or political obstacles that might threaten
    the completion of the study, for example, government authorization or Human Subjects
    review, civil strife, social cultural sensitivity?
  • Value of research: Is the cost of the study commensurate with the value of expected
    contributions to policy? Are the planned activities justified and coherent?
  • Ethics: Reviewers will consider whether there are any risks of harm to research
    participants, what the proposed risk mitigation strategies are, and how the possible
    benefits of the research compare to the possible harms.

Application Process

Apply HERE not later than 30th June 2024, by 5pm EAT. Applicants are required to provide a
recommendation/support letter from their supervisors or heads of department.

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