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Alumni Event to Celebrate Makerere & Karolinska Partnership held

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Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) and Karolinska Institutet (KI), Sweden hosted their alumni to celebrate the strategic partnership of the two institutions which began in 2000. The event was held on the 5th May 2022 at the Dean’s Gardens, College of Health Sciences, Mulago Hill, Kampala, Uganda. The collaboration between MakCHS and Karolinska Institutet began in 2000 initially focused on joint research projects.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L) presents an assortment of Mak Souvenirs to the President of KI-Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen (R) after the meeting with Members of Management and the delegation from KI on 5th May 2022, CTF1, Makerere University.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L) presents an assortment of Mak Souvenirs to the President of KI-Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen (R) after the meeting with Members of Management and the delegation from KI on 5th May 2022, CTF1, Makerere University.

Makerere University and KI signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2003 to support doctoral education and the collaboration expanded to include exchange of faculty and students. As a result of the collaboration between the two institutions, an active alumni network was created including health professionals and researchers. More than 300 faculty and students have benefited from the collaboration supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). Over 40 PhDs graduates and 500 peer-reviewed articles have been realized from the strategic partnership. Study programmes covered under the partnership include: Dentistry, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, Public Health Sciences and Speech and Language Pathology.

Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen (L) presents a gift to Prof. Isaac Kajja (R).
Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen (L) presents a gift to Prof. Isaac Kajja (R).

In his welcome remarks the Deputy Principal MakCHS, Prof. Isaac Kajja, who represented the Principal Prof Damalie Nakanjako, welcomed everyone and those attending from outside Uganda to the Pearl of Africa. He thanked the founding fathers of this collaboration, “some are still with us and others have since passed on” he said. Prof. Kajja said, “I thank KI and Sida for what you have done for Makerere and this country’. He noted that ‘Makerere is a prestigious university but the turbulent times of the 70s and 80s had taken us back. Its collaborations like this one with KI that have picked us up making MakCHS the 2nd best medical training college in sub-Saharan Africa”. Prof. Kajja congratulated the alumni more especially this year as Makerere celebrates 100years. He encouraged the alumni to adjust their thinking to leverage the past, and present to deliver the future noting that while previously it was infectious diseases; today it is changing to emerging infections and non-communicable diseases.

Seated: The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (2nd L) and President of KI-Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen (C) with L-R: DVCAA-Prof. Umar Kakumba, Rector Benadir University-Prof. Mohamed Mohamud Bidey, Dean of Students-Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Members of Management and the delegation from KI on 5th May 2022, CTF1, Makerere University.
Seated: The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (2nd L) and President of KI-Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen (C) with L-R: DVCAA-Prof. Umar Kakumba, Rector Benadir University-Prof. Mohamed Mohamud Bidey, Dean of Students-Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Members of Management and the delegation from KI on 5th May 2022, CTF1, Makerere University.

In his remarks, the President of KI – Ole Petter Ottersen congratulated Makerere University as they celebrate 100years this year. It was a pleasure to meet the Vice Chancellor of Makerere earlier today who shared with us the history of the University, he noted. The KI President highlighted that Makerere shares a rich history with KI. He explained that while KI has many international partnerships, the one with Makerere is the flagship collaboration. Ottersen further said, “we look to a further 50years of collaboration and hope to apply a sustainable approach in the new CESH programme. This is not a ‘hit and run’ but we are giving it a long-term perspective”. He expressed his appreciation that following the bad news of September 2020 that the Main Building of Makerere University was burning, he visited the site and happy to see that it is being re-built. He congratulated the alumni from the various nations who have benefited from the collaboration.

Dr. Monika Berge-Thelander (L) and Prof. Noeline Nakasujja, practising psychiatrist and departmental head at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University at the celebrations.
Dr. Monika Berge-Thelander (L) and Prof. Noeline Nakasujja (R) at the celebrations. Prof. Nakasujja is a beneficiary of the partnership and a practising Psychiatrist and Department Head at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University

Prof. Umar Kakumba, Deputy Vice Chancellor/Academic Affairs represented the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe at the event. Prof. Kakumba in his remarks delivered warm greetings from the Vice Chancellor and Makerere leadership. “I am privileged this evening to welcome KI delegation which is a showcase of the fruits of collaboration. Our universities have enjoyed a fruitful collaboration; it began with research collaboration which grew into capacity building among others, 300 beneficiaries have been aided to-date”.

L-R: The CESH Lead at KI, Associate Professor Tobias Alfvén, Rector Benadir University, Professor Mohamed Mohamud Bidey and another official listen to proceedings during the celebrations.
L-R: The CESH Lead at KI, Associate Professor Tobias Alfvén, Rector Benadir University, Professor Mohamed Mohamud Bidey and another official listen to proceedings during the celebrations.

He appreciated the Government of Sweden which has supported these initiatives noting that on the 9th to 10th May 2022, an international conference showcasing the impactful works supported through Sida over the last 20years will be hosted by Makerere University at Munyonyo Speke Resort.  The current strategic direction for Makerere University as an institution is research-led and evidence-based decision making with fostering research training as our niche, Prof. Kakumba said. He reiterated that more than peer-reviewed publications, our research should be translated into products, technologies and policies to inform better livelihoods for our population. Prof. Kakumba thanked MakCHS for the leadership and flagship programmes to support Makerere University’ strategic direction.

KI Alumni Coordinator, Peter Bergman (C) and other guests during the celebrations.
KI Alumni Coordinator, Peter Bergman (C) and other guests during the celebrations.

Health

Makerere University Research shows challenges facing Forcibly Displaced Persons (FDPs) with Chronic Disease in Northern Uganda

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Left to Right: Dr. Esther Nanfuka Kalule, a postdoc fellow on this study; Emma Ikwara, a researcher at CHDC; PhD student Onesmus Kamacooko at CHDC and Dr. Ritah Nakanjako interacting after the colloquium.

By Agnes Namaganda

Preliminary findings from a study by Child Health and Development Centre (CHDC) -Makerere University have revealed several challenges faced by Forcibly Displaced Persons (FDPs) with chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. This study is specifically looking at FDPs in northern Uganda. Accessing food, water, medicine, clothing, toilet facilities, privacy and support is a challenge for healthy FDPs but for those with chronic diseases, these provisions may mean the difference between life and death.

According to Drs, Ritah Nakanjako and Esther Nanfuka Kalule, who are post-doc fellows at Makerere University, FDPs with chronic diseases are unable to access facilities with medicines. Speaking at the February monthly colloquium of CHDC, Dr. Nanfuka said, “Medicines and medical forms are sometimes forgotten by these patients yet some do not know the names of their medicines. For others, these medicines get finished along the way due to the abrupt movements.” These disturbances in the continuity of care affects their health and wellbeing.

Left to Right: Dr. Esther Nanfuka, Dr. Ritah Nakanjako, Dr. Godfrey Siu who is giving the presenters feedback about their presentation and Dr. Aggrey Dhabangi.
Left to Right: Dr. Esther Nanfuka, Dr. Ritah Nakanjako, Dr. Godfrey Siu who is giving the presenters feedback about their presentation and Dr. Aggrey Dhabangi.

As an example, she referred to the constant need to monitor blood pressure or blood sugar for these FDPs. “Even when facilities are available, you may not have the money to refill medicines or you may not remember the name of the medicine.” She added that the stress and trauma of this kind of situation usually exacerbates these conditions.

Speaking about the rationale for doing this research, Dr. Nakanjako said that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are largely unrecognized and inadequately addressed in humanitarian settings, something which the Red Cross calls ‘a neglected crisis’.  Yet, studies conducted among refugees and asylum seekers across the world report a high burden of NCDs. Uganda hosts over 1.5m refugees, the highest proportion in sub-Saharan Africa with the majority comeing from South Sydan.

“The objective of this study is to examine the experiences of FDPs- which will contribute to knowledge on innovative ways of chronic disease care. This will also contribute to the management of NCDs in humanitarian, low resource settings,” Dr. Nakanjako explained.

Dr. Godfrey Siu (Left) and Dr. David Kyaddondo who is the Principal Investigator of this project interacting with other members of CHDC after the CHDC monthly colloquium which takes place every last Wednesday of the month.
Dr. Godfrey Siu (Left) and Dr. David Kyaddondo who is the Principal Investigator of this project interacting with other members of CHDC after the CHDC monthly colloquium which takes place every last Wednesday of the month.

This 5-year study that started in 2022 will run till 2026 and is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation under the Mobility-Global Medicine and Research Fund. It is a collaboration between three institutions; Makerere University, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and the Sudan Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies in South Sudan. This research is taking place in Nyumanzi Reception Center in Adjumani district; Nyumanzi Refugee Settlement also in Adjumani district; IDP Settlements in South Sudan; and the Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in Yumbe District.

Other challenges revealed by the FDPs with chronic diseases include the fear of drinking recommended amounts of water before or during travel to manage urine and to avoid stop-overs for security reasons.

After arrival at Nyumanzi Reception Centre in Uganda, these FDPs with chronic diseases do not receive any special care. It is only those with communicable diseases like TB. Cholera or Covid19 that get special care. Other challenges include; “a limited range of drugs, maintenance of cold chains for insulin, rationed water, lack of drinking water, lack of sanitary facilities and the congestion.

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Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Short Course 2024

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Some of the 22 participants that successfully completed the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) certificate course joined by course facilitators and administrators show off their certificates in July 2022 at MakSPH. Makerere University School of Public Health, New Mulago Hospital Complex, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Did you know that with just a Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) or its equivalent, along with at least 1 year of working experience in WASH, you qualify to join our Short Course in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene?

The Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health at Makerere University School of Public Health brings you yet another opportunity to enhance your skills and knowledge in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene from for the 2024 intake, scheduled to run from 20th May to 12th July 2024.

Designed to equip practicing individuals with the necessary attitudes, skills, and scientific knowledge for effective WASH management, this course is open to officers with limited training in WASH and Environmental Health Practitioners seeking continuous professional development. For more details and application instructions, please refer to the attached course poster or visit the course website at https://sph.mak.ac.ug/academics/water-sanitation-and-hygiene-wash.

Apply before Thursday, 28th March 2024 for a rewarding learning experience!

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Call for Abstracts: Annual Health Professions Education Scientific Conference

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The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Centre Mak tie) with participants at the Health Professions Education Conference held 11th to 12th May 2023 at Hotel Africana, Kampala Uganda.

The Health Professions Education and Training for Strengthening the Health System and Services in Uganda Project (HEPI-SHSSU) at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) is organizing the Annual Health Professions Education Scientific Conference.

Venue: Hotel Africana, Kampala, Uganda

Conference Dates: 10th, 11th and 12th April 2024

Theme: Advances in Health Professions Education:  Research, Innovations in Teaching and Learning, Quality Assurance

Sub-Themes

  1. Quality Assurance and Accreditation
  2. Health Professions Education Research
  3. E-Learning 
  4. Innovations in teaching and learning
  5. Graduate Education
  6. Simulation-based Learning

Abstracts are welcome in any of the above areas for oral presentations, mini-workshops, thematic poster sessions, and didactic sessions.

We welcome abstracts from all people involved in the education and training of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, students, health providers, and other stakeholders.

Abstract Submission:

Abstracts should be structured into:

Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, Conclusion

For Education innovations: What was the problem, What was done, Results, and Conclusion (300-word limit).

Include the details of the corresponding author, the author(s), their contacts, and Affiliation.

Send your abstract to: hepishssu@gmail.com

Deadline for Submission of abstracts: Saturday 23rd March 2024

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