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FAIMER Regional Institute Launched at MakCHS



On 10th May 2023, the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER)[1], East Africa FAIMER Regional Institute (EAFRI) was launched at a colourful ceremony held at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS). The EAFRI will operate a multilateral partnership model, with MakCHS, serving as a host institution and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Faculty of Medicine, serving as MakCHS’s regional partner. Professor Sarah Kiguli from MakCHS will serve as Director of EAFRI assisted by Professor Samuel Maling from MUST as Associate Director.

MakCHS was competitively awarded to host the EAFRI making it the 10th regional FAIMER institute established across the world alongside the ones in Chile, China, Egypt, India and Indonesia. Since its establishment in 2000, FAIMER has to-date trained 2000 Fellows in 55 Countries world-wide. It is expected that the EAFRI will expand FAIMER’s reach to promote health professions education and workforce development in additional areas of interest and bring service closer to participants in the region.

The first cohort of 12-15 fellows for the EAFRI is expected in August 2023 selected through a competitive application process and the tuition for will be free.

The new institute will serve health professions educators in East Africa including Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, the Comoros, the Seychelles, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Mauritius. EAFRI will also consider applicants from other regions of Africa. The core curriculum of EAFRI will be based on that of the International FAIMER Institute based in Philadelphia, U.S.A, which teaches education methods, leadership & management, education scholarship & research, and project management and evaluation.

Prof. Damalie Nakanjako (L) presents the EAFRI Director-Prof. Sarah Kiguli a the launch, Davies Lecture Theatre, CHS, Makerere University, Mulago Hill, Kampala Uganda.
Prof. Damalie Nakanjako (L) presents the EAFRI Director-Prof. Sarah Kiguli a the launch.

Professor Annette Nakimuli, Dean-School of Medicine, MakCHS who was the Master of Ceremony at the launch welcomed guests to the event, more especially the FAIMER team that travelled from the USA. Guests in attendance physically and virtually included staff from Makerere University, MUST, FAIMER Fellows and partners.

In their remarks, the Intealth/FAIMER team: Dr. William Pinsky, Dr. Ron Blanck and Dr. Rashmi Vyas shared the strategy for the organisation. They congratulated Makerere University and MUST for being selected to host the EAFRI and look forward to having more FAIMER Fellows on board through the EAFRI.

In her remarks, Professor Damalie Nakanjako – Principal MakCHS welcomed guests to MakCHS, noting that this is a memorable event for the College and Makerere University.  ‘Warm welcome to the FAIMER team that travelled from USA to witness this important occasion and the FAIMER fellows attending physically and virtually’, Professor Nakanjako added. She reiterated that hosting the EAFRI is an honor for MakCHS because it matches the College’s core mandate of training and research; and brings a service closer to African participants as opposed to travelling to other institutions where costs are incurred.

In his remarks delivered virtually, Professor Celestino Obua, Vice Chancellor – MUST welcomed guests to the launch. He said, ‘as MUST we are very proud to be part of the consortium. There are multiple benefits not only for Uganda but other sub-Saharan nations, communities and health professions’.

Dr. Ngonzi Joseph, Dean-Faculty of Medicine, MUST reiterated the message of Professor Obua and said, ‘MUST is committed and looking forward to a fruitful relationship as the partners work to produce FAIMER fellows who will support health professions education’. He pledged on behalf of MUST, strong unwavering support to EAFRI.

Associate Director EAFRI, Prof. Samuel Maling makes his remarks, Davies Lecture Theatre, CHS, Makerere University, Mulago Hill, Kampala Uganda.
Associate Director EAFRI, Prof. Samuel Maling makes his remarks.

The new Director, Professor Sarah Kiguli and Associate Director, Professor Samuel Maling were presented to the members present.

Professor Kiguli said, ‘I have to believe that when one wishes for something to happen, it eventually does’. She noted that MakCHS has been working to have the EAFRI since 2007, which has been a long journey and engagement with FAIMER and therefore a dream is realized.

Prof. Maling said, ‘the quality of health services and life are as good as the educators and the products they produce. It is the plan of EAFRI to deliver the good educators who will contribute to the health services and quality of life’.

The Directors acknowledged the support of FAIMER in agreeing to establish EAFRI. They also expressed the appreciation of the leadership at Makerere University and MUST. The directors pledged to do their best in delivering the dream of the EAFRI.

[1] FAIMER was established in 2000 as a non-profit foundation of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). FAIMER and ECFMG now are members of Intealth, which brings together the expertise and resources of the two non-profit organizations to advance quality in health care education worldwide to improve health care for all. Intealth unites FAIMER and ECFMG under a common vision: to be the trusted global authority on health care education.


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

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