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MakSPH Receives US$100,000 Donation from The Rockefeller Foundation for new building



The Rockefeller Foundation, an American private philanthropy, donated US$100,000, which Makerere University will use towards the construction of a new School of Public Health (MakSPH) building in celebration of the University’s centenary this year.

Following a visit by The Rockefeller Foundation team and a tour of the MakSPH construction site located at Makerere University Main Campus, Mr. William Asiko, Vice President, Africa Region at The Rockefeller Foundation, announced the donation of US$100,000.

“As a Foundation, we are excited to re-engage with Makerere University and the School of Public Health. To that end, we are incredibly proud of the strides the School of Public Health has made since its inception. We look forward to continued collaboration with the School and the University at large,” said Mr. Asiko.

The Rockefeller Foundation has supported MakSPH for many years including its support for the construction of the current home of MakSPH 54 years ago and the establishment of the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program 28 years ago, which was among the first MPH programs on the African continent.

On July 29, 2022, MakSPH received and hosted Andrew Sweet, Vice President, Global Covid-19 Response and Recovery at the Rockefeller Foundation and Wadzanayi Muchenje, the Strategic Partnership & Health Lead for The Rockefeller Foundation's Africa Regional Office. #MakerereAt100
On July 29, 2022, MakSPH received and hosted Andrew Sweet, Vice President, Global Covid-19 Response and Recovery at the Rockefeller Foundation and Wadzanayi Muchenje, the Strategic Partnership & Health Lead for The Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office. #MakerereAt100

MakSPH appreciates The Rockefeller Foundation for its generous support of public health in Africa and continued partnership towards a healthier Africa.

Makerere University School of Public Health is one of the oldest and largest public health training institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past 15 years, the School has significantly increased student enrolment and staff numbers.

The School offers nine (9) Masters programs and PhD training and is a leading player in public health in the African region with several multi-country, multi-institutional research and capacity building initiatives.

To accommodate this growth, MakSPH has initiated construction of a new building on the Makerere University Main Campus with an estimated cost of US$10 million of the fully fitted building. The School has so far raised US$3.5 million from various fundraising drives.

“Given its location within a region prone to infectious disease outbreaks of epidemic and pandemic potential, this building will accommodate a Centre for disease outbreak prevention, preparedness and response research in addition to other Centres of Excellence. We are extremely grateful to The Rockefeller Foundation for their generosity. Your past financial support has been invaluable to the growth of public health in Uganda, in Africa and globally,” Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze, Professor and Dean, MakSPH.

Side view of the Auditorium and the slab for the first floor of the MakSPH Main Building. 
Side view of the Auditorium and the slab for the first floor of the MakSPH Main Building. 

Dr. Lynn Atuyambe, an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Infrastructure Development Committee, MakSPH expresses gratitude to all its partners in Uganda and across the world for their unwavering support.

“We are deeply grateful for the support we have received thus far for the MakSPH building project, which has allowed us to make steady progress. We would like to extend a special thanks to our consultants CNS Inc., led by Arch. Nankya Collins Dolores; the Makerere University Estates and Works Department, and the Makerere University Administration, led by Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe. We would also like to recognize the hard work of the contractor, ROKO Construction Ltd., the Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC), and the MakSPH staff for their personal contributions and encouragement. However, to complete the entire project, the School still needs to raise an additional $6 million, and we appeal to our supporters to continue their generous contributions,” says Prof. Lynn Atuyambe

About us

MakSPH is a leading public health training and research institution in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the schools under the College of Health Sciences, a constituent College of Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. The School conducts research and provides consultation services to the Government of Uganda Ministry of Heath, various national and international health organizations, as well as bilateral and multilateral agencies involved in health. The School provides graduate, undergraduate and in-service training in public health.  MakSPH’s major research and capacity building areas are: infectious and non-infectious diseases, sexual, reproductive, maternal and child health, environmental and sustainable health.

See below for Press Release.

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Mak’s GMI Labs Authorized to Conduct DNA Paternity Testing



Some of the equipment used to store samples at the Makerere University Biomedical Research Centre (MakBRC), College of Health Sciences (CHS). Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Genomics, Molecular, and Immunology Laboratories (GMI Labs), operating under the auspices of the Makerere University Biomedical Research Center (MakBRC), have achieved another significant milestone in their journey of diagnostic excellence. The labs, renowned for their pivotal role in infectious and non-infectious disease research, have received official approval from the Director General Health Services at the Ministry of Health (MoH), Uganda, to conduct DNA Paternity Tests.

Situated at the Dept of Immunology & Molecular Biology under the School of Biomedical Sciences at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, the GMI Labs have been at the forefront of cutting-edge research, diagnostic testing, and training initiatives. Their remarkable contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic, where they conducted nearly a million PCR tests, underscored their unwavering commitment to public health and scientific advancement. The labs’ exemplary performance and reliability were further highlighted by their successful management of two critical COVID-19 prevalence surveys. The findings of these surveys served as foundational data for crucial decisions guiding the country’s lockdown strategies and phased reopening, earning commendation from the President and the Ministry of Health.

This latest authorization from the Ministry of Health marks a significant expansion of the GMI Labs’ diagnostic capabilities. With the approval to conduct DNA Paternity Tests, the labs are now equipped to offer a crucial service addressing the need for accurate and reliable genetic testing for determining biological parentage. In a letter dated 22nd November 2023, the Director General Health Services emphasized the laboratory’s rigorous adherence to international standards, proficiency in molecular biology techniques, and their proven track record in delivering precise and credible results. This approval further solidifies the labs’ position as a trusted institution for advanced genetic diagnostics in Uganda.

Prof. Moses L Joloba, the Director of the GMI Labs, expressed immense pride in the team’s dedication and expertise that led to this authorization. He highlighted the labs’ commitment to upholding the highest standards of ethical practice, confidentiality, and accuracy in DNA paternity testing, ensuring the delivery of dependable results crucial for legal, personal, and familial purposes.

The inclusion of DNA Paternity Testing within the GMI Labs’ list of services aligns with their overarching goal of advancing healthcare through state-of-the-art diagnostics, research, and education. This milestone represents not only a significant achievement for the labs but also a valuable resource for individuals seeking reliable and comprehensive genetic testing services. As the GMI Labs continue their unwavering commitment to excellence in healthcare and research, this new capability reaffirms their pivotal role in advancing the frontiers of molecular diagnostics and genetic testing in Uganda, working closely with reputable institutions such as Makerere University Hospital and other top-notch health facilities.

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MNCH e-Post Issue 121: Learning from Nsambya Hospital Human Milk Bank to inform national scale-up & save preterm babies



A Screenshot of Prof. Peter Waiswa during his interview with NTV. MNCH e-Post Issue No. 121, MakSPH, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Welcome to this exclusive interview with Prof. Peter Waiswa, lead expert from the Makerere University Centre of Excellence for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health. Dr. Victoria Nakibuuka from St. Francis Nsambya Hospital, and Dr. Jesca Nsungwa from Ministry of Health Uganda. In this video, they discuss a groundbreaking innovation in Uganda’s healthcare landscape: the country’s first-ever human milk bank at St. Francis Hospital Nsambya. This initiative represents a significant stride towards improving the survival rates of premature and vulnerable infants by ensuring access to essential breast milk, even when mothers are unable to produce enough. Watch Video

Click here to View the full MNCH e-Post Issue 121

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METS Newsletter October 2023



Front Row (Left to Right): The hosts - Dr. Alice Namale and Ms. Evelyn Akello with Commissioner Allan Muruta and representatives from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) enjoy a photo moment on 5th October 2023. Photo: METS. Plot 20A Kawalya Kaggwa Close, Kololo 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 October 2023 Newsletter

  • Strategies for Enhanced Disease Surveillance and Public Health Response in Uganda
    • The MoH Department of Integrated Epidemiology Surveillance & Public Health Emergencies (IES&PHE) Head, Commissioner Allan Muruta (Dr) visited METS to acquaint himself with the various surveillance activities supported by the Program.
    • Commissioner Muruta emphasized the need to build the capacity of districts and regions to conduct surveillance activities by training the relevant staff and establishing surveillance focal points at health facility levels.
    • He further emphasized the importance of linking laboratory data to the District Health Information System (DHIS2) and ensuring that different systems are interoperable.
  • Improving quality of data for HIV testing services (HTS) through regular assessments
    • MoH has been conducting Data Quality Assessments and Improvement (DQAI) activities to inform program planning, monitoring, and performance management. HIV testing services (HTS) inter was conducted in 16 regions, 81 districts, and 111 health facilities in partnership with 26 Implementing partners.
    • The HTS DQA has improved data management, infrastructure, and understanding of indicators. Specific staff assignment at each HTS entry point has proven effective, and use of the UgandaEMR system for reporting has yielded positive results.
  • Shaping Uganda’s Healthcare Data Landscape
    • METS has maintained a strong collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) providing invaluable technical support in developing various strategic guidelines for the country. These guidelines include the Uganda Health Information Exchange and Interoperability (HIE) Guidelines, the Uganda Health Data Protection and Confidentiality (HDPC) Guidelines, and the Uganda Health Data Sharing, Access, and Use Guidelines.
    • HIE and HDPC guidelines have received the endorsement of the Health Information, Innovation and Research (HIIRE) Technical Working Group (TWG), awaiting presentation to the senior management team at the MoH for final approval.
  • Empowering Health Professionals: PrEP Training in Hoima District
    • MakSPH-METS has taken a proactive stance in supporting Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) for key populations through the development, management, and conducting trainings on the use of the PrEP tracker system across various agencies.
    • METS conducted a 5-day training on the KP/PrEP Tracker system in Hoima district. Moving forward, facility staff will be able to enter data on PrEP services into the system in a timely manner, analyze the data, and use it for program improvement.
  • Gallery
    • HIV testing services (HTS) Data Quality Assessments and Improvement DQAIs
    • Interagency cervical cancer on-site mentorships
    • Orientation in KP tracker-Soroti
    • TDY from CDC headquarters visit to METS
    • M&E orientation meetings for new Implementing Partners
    • Planning meeting for Cross Border Data Sharing-Busia

View on METS

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