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Health Professions Education Conference – 2023 Held

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The Health Professions Education Conference – 2023 themed, ‘Health Professions Education for Improved Health Outcomes’ was held on the 11th to 12th May 2023 with calls from stakeholders for competency-based education, quality assurance in training institutions, partnerships and enhanced supervision. The conference was organised by Health Professional Education Partnership Initiative (HEPI-SHSSU) and the East African Health Professionals Educators Association (EAHPEA).

HEPI-SHSSU is an NIH funded project hosted by Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) working in partnership with Busitema University, Kabale University, Clarke International University, Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery, Yale University, John Hopkins University and African Centre for Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST). The vision of the HEPI-SHSSU partnership is to transform Health Professions Education (HPE).

In her remarks, Professor Sarah Kiguli – Principal Investigator, HEPI-SHSSU welcomed participants to the conference. She expressed the privilege of the initiative in hosting the conference together with EAHPEA. ‘In this initiative, we believe, it is relevant to have all the HPE stakeholders working together to transform the sector which is key in creating strong health systems leading to improved health outcomes. This can only be achieved by engaging and working with all stakeholders present here’ she said.

The keynote address was read by Dr. Sanny Okuruafo, Technical Advisor – WHO Uganda Office who represented Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldermariam – WHO Representative in Uganda. The address gave insights of why the health workforce is a key enabler for achieving the health-related sustainable development goals considering their role in ensuring health and well being of the population;  how Competency-based education is the foundation for training health workers to address the contemporary health needs of populations; and the discourse on competency – based education in recent years and how the Global Competency and Outcomes Framework for Universal Health Coverage was birthed in 2022. The keynote address underlined that:

  • Enhancement of health professions education lies in allowing a comprehensive and more cohesive approach to identifying the needed competencies that enable effective performance. This enables the health workforce to gain competencies that are on demand by the employers.
  • In enhancing health professions education in Uganda, the Framework offers an opportunity to ensure that competency-based curricula from competency-based outcomes are developed based on:
    • the essential service package,
    • legislation, policies, regulations, and guidelines guiding service delivery and health worker practice.
    • Occupational role and scope of practice for health worker category
    • Local epidemiology, mortality, and morbidity, and
    • Emergency risk assessments from All-hazards emergency risk assessments

The address concluded that the aforementioned proposals would ensure that ‘the health workers produced in Uganda will be trained using curricula that is rooted in the health and health system needs towards improved individual and population health, and efficient management and organization of the health sector of the country’.

Dr. Woldermariam implored health professional educators and health training institutions to embrace the WHO Global Competency and Outcomes Framework that will ensure that health workers produced in Uganda have the competencies and behaviors to meet Uganda’s health and population needs in the development and emergency contexts. ‘This will ultimately improve the health and well being of Ugandans, and ensure that Uganda achieves its National development and health sector goals’ he concluded.

Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, Vice Chancellor – Makerere University commended HEPI-SHSSU and MakCHS for convening HPE stakeholders to deliberate on this important issue.

Professor Nawangwe stressed that it is crucial that health training institutions come-up with appropriate innovative methods of training and education of current and future health professionals. He also reiterated the importance of retention of faculty through improvement of terms and conditions of service as well as support of career progress. The Vice Chancellor also called for an evaluation of the contribution of health workers to the economy of a nation and the effect if training institutions do not produce health professionals.

‘I wish to emphasise that HPE is important for national development and call on all training institutions to ensure that our curriculum as well as training matches international standards’, Professor Nawangwe advised.

Some of the issues arising from the plenary discussion included:

  • Large number of students in health training institutions is affecting clinical practice and the teacher to student ratio.
  • Institutions are moving towards student-centred learning where they are encouraged to research and make presentations
  • Soft skills and practicum are embedded in the curriculum
  • Mentors in health centres require payment from training institutions which is a challenge.
  • Competency-based training has been adopted by the training institutions
  • The attitude of students admitted has continued to improve.
  • While curricula have been reviewed, there remains gaps in the instruction/teaching
  • There are staffing gaps at health centres where students are sent for practicum thereby causing supervision gaps.
  • Inter-professional learning (for example training doctors and nurses together because they work together)

Increase number of faculty and refresher training whenever curricula are reviewed to keep abreast with new trends.

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Digital Mobile Technologies to Study Tuberculosis: A Multi-Discplinary Program

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An aerial view of the Makerere University School of Public Health construction site on the Main Campus. To the Right is the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) and in the background are Dag Hammaskjold Hall (Green roof) and University Hall (Brown tiles).

A TRAINING PROGRAM SPONSORED BY FOGARTY INTERNATIONAL CENTER NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, USA

INFORMATIONAL SESSION

Makerere University School of Public Health under D43 multi-disciplinary training program in digital mobile technologies to study tuberculosis that was recently funded by the NIH, through the University of Georgia (UGA) has an opportunity for funding of a masters’ research thesis. This is available to two (02) first year students of the Graduate programmes offered at Makerere University who have progressed to concept proposal development stage of their graduate program. These should be in good academic standing and have or are about to complete year 1 in Academic Year 2023/24. The support will start at the beginning of Academic Year 2024/25, i.e., end of August 2024 when the students are starting their year 2.  Students of geography and or digital health related courses are encouraged to apply, females too.  Students will be provided with secondary data to address the following, or similar, issues relating to tuberculosis (TB):

  1. Characterizing mobility patterns between urban and rural areas of Uganda using archived cell-phone (CDR) metadata
  2. Correlation between self-reported geolocated mobility patterns of TB patients and CDR data
  3. Differences in mobility patterns of TB patient’s pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis
  4. Gender differences and relationship between IGRA and TST in a prospective cohort
  5. Patterns of change in serial IGRA test results by sex, age, HIV status
  6. Temporal changes in contact, mobility and geographic networks in TB converters and non-converters
  7. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) of social contacts and location patterns of movement by residents at risk for TB infection

Interested students are encouraged to attend an information session on Wednesday 17th July 2024 at MakSPH Annex Kololo where details about the research questions and funding opportunity will be provided to prospective applicants. Prospective applicants will be required to work with their mentors and training grant personnel to develop a 2-5-page concept that will be vetted for possible funding by training faculty of the training program.

Interested students should register their attendance with the training Coordinator, Mr Ivan Mutyaba by sending an email expressing interest in attending the session to imutyaba@musph.ac.ug by close of business on Thursday, 11th July 2024.

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METS Newsletter June 2024

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Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) Dean, Prof Rhoda Wanyenze (Left), MoH Director General, Dr. Henry Mwebesa (Right) and other stakeholders join Dr. Amy Boore (2nd Right) to cut cake at her farewell event. Golden Tulip Hotel, 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 June 2024 Newsletter

  • Tracking Trends in HIV Outcomes: The Implementation of HIV Case-Based Surveillance
    • METS in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and various implementing partners, is spearheading the HIV Case-Based Surveillance (CBS) initiative across Uganda. By February 2024, CBS had been activated in 504 health facilities, with 349 sites (69%) actively transmitting data.
    • Trends of New HIV Diagnosis: An analysis trends over a 20-year period (2000-2022) revealed an increase in new HIV diagnosis over time, peaking in 2014 and 2018, before starting to decline. Diagnoses among females consistently exceeded those among males each year.
    • Case-Based Surveillance (CBS) complimenting other HIV surveillance programs: CBS provides valuable insights into infection patterns and highlights the need for targeted interventions, particularly among females. Next steps include continued scale up of CBS implementation to reach 80% of ART sites; improving data transmission from facility to the national repository to achieve at least 90% of the CBS activated sites; and strengthening data analytics and use of the data for program improvement.
  • Enhancing HIV Prevention Data Collection Through Bootcamps
    • METS in collaboration with HISP Uganda held a workshop in Mbarara to update the Health Management Information System (HMIS) tools for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) in the HIV Prevention Tracker. The workshop focused on digitizing paper forms to efficiently collect data on key and priority populations.
  • Electronic Medical Records (EMR) upgrades in Eastern Uganda
    • The two-week activity kicked off with a week-long training session at Northeast Villa in Kumi focused on the enhancements of UgandaEMR+, including improved point-of-care (POC) functionalities and data visualization techniques.
    • The initiative successfully trained over 15 AIDS Information Centre (AIC) staff members, including M&E leads, IT personnel, data officers, and M&E managers, in the practical use of UgandaEMR+. Additionally, the two facilities, Ochero HCIII and Kapelebyong HCIV, were upgraded and their staff trained on the new system.
  • Tribute to Dr. Joshua Musinguzi (9/09/1963 – 7/06/2024)
    • Dr. Joshua Musinguzi’s efforts to minimize HIV incidence and death strategically focused on translating knowledge into policies and actions, which has helped Uganda manage the HIV epidemic.
  • Gallery
    • Bidding farewell to Dr. Amy Boore, Program Director, Division of Global Health Protection – CDC
    • Analysing the UgandaEMR Clinical Laboratory Module
    • UgandaEMR+ training for USAID SITES
    • Training for clinicians at Ruharo Mission Hospital on SARI and ILI
    • HIV Treatment Services (HTS) Implementers Meeting

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Job Opportunity at MakSBSREC: Assistant Administrative Officer

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The Davies Lecture Theatre (Right), School of Biomedical Sciences (Blue) and other buildings at the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Mulago Campus, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University is pleased to announce a vacancy for the position of Assistant Administrative Officer (REC Administrator) within the School of Biomedical Sciences Research Ethics Committee (MakSBSREC). This is an excellent opportunity for qualified individuals to contribute to the ethical oversight of research involving human participants.

Position Details:

  • Job Title: Assistant Administrative Officer (REC Administrator) – MakSBSREC
  • Reports to: Chairperson MakSBSREC
  • Engagement: Full-time
  • Duration: 1 Year, renewable upon satisfactory performance
  • Duty Station: Kampala

Qualifications, Desired Skills, and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and Humanities, Medicine and Surgery, Ethics and Human Rights, or any related field.
  • Master’s degree in Bioethics (an added advantage).
  • Up-to-date training in Human Subject Protection or Good Clinical Practice.
  • Proficiency in English (both spoken and written).
  • Prior experience in regulatory work in research studies or projects.
  • Excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and meet deadlines.

How to Apply:

Qualified and interested candidates are invited to submit a soft copy of their application documents and a motivation letter to deansbs.chs@mak.ac.ug with the subject line “Application for the position of Assistant Administrative Officer (REC Administrator)”. Address your application to the Dean, School of Biomedical Sciences.

Deadline for submission: July 2, 2024, by 5:00 pm Ugandan time.

Please provide a reliable 24-hour phone contact. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.

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