On 31 July 2019, Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) organised a workshop centred on Community Health Systems in Uganda. The workshop was organized by the SPEED Project that is housed at MakSPH.

Presenting on Community Health Systems and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) at Piato Restaurant, Prof Freddie Ssengooba from MakSPH said the current health system in Uganda is designed to respond to epidemics rather preventing them. 

Prof. Freddie Ssengooba, from Makerere University School of Public Health, Director SPEED project making a presentation on Community Health Systems.

"We need to build a system of social protection in which Community Health Workers (CHWs) help control diseases,” said Prof. Ssengooba

Citing a historical initiative in Buganda called "bulungi bwansi" literary meaning “for the good of society”, Prof. Ssengooba emphasized the role of local leadership as an effective avenue in promoting Community Health. In her presentation entitled "Multi-Country Costing of Community Health", Dr. Elizabeth Ekirapa Kiracho, the Chair- Department of Health Policy Planning and Management at MakSPH, pointed out three key areas of facilitation, supervision and training as a very important component when promoting Community Health. "Many people who get involved in community health work have passion, what they need is equipment, refresher training and information on how to handle community Health " noted Dr Ekirapa.

Participants at the Seminar listening as one of them makes a contribution.


On the way forward, Prof. Sengooba stressed a multi-cultural approach as a way of promoting good health and wellbeing to prevent diseases. He explained; “We need to orient ourselves by bringing different people on board to understand health concepts if we are to yield results, we need implementers, academia and many more. It's starting point is having an interactive discussion with everyone to understand community health," added Prof Ssengooba.

Present at the high-level discussion was the Commissioner in Charge of Health Promotion at the Health Ministry, Dr. Richard Kabanda. He stressed the need to involve different realms of leadership right from district level to religious and cultural leaders, to promote community. 

SPEED is a consortium of five partners led by the Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) in Uganda, in partnership with the
Economic Policy Research Centre( EPRC), National Planning Authority(NPA), Uganda National Health Consumer’s Organisation (UNHCO),Institute of Tropical Medicine of Antwerp, Belgium, and the Human Science Research Council in South Africa. The project endeavours to strengthen capacity for policy analysis, advice and influence at MakSPH and partner institutions and contribute to accelerating progress towards universal health coverage and health systems resilience in Uganda.


Written by Joseph Odoi 

Dr. Dennis Carroll, Director USAID - Global Health Security and Development Unit. Image:OHCEA

The One Health approach is an innovative strategy that promotes the multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary application of knowledge and skills to address complex challenges at the human, animal and environmental interphase. One Health is a globally recognized strategy to promote the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines, working locally, nationally and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

The One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA), Makerere University, cordially invites you to a public lecture on the theme


23rd July 2019, 1:30 - 4:00PM, Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala Uganda

The Public Lecture will be hosted by Professor Barnabas Nawangwe and delivered by renowned One Health thought-leader; Dr. Dennis Carroll, Director USAID - Global Health Security and Development Unit.

On 28th June 2019, staff at Makerere School of Public Health (MakSPH) gathered to review and exchange ideas on how to improve the Masters in Public Health- Disaster Management (MDM) curriculum. This development is in line with University guidelines that require every academic programme to be reviewed on an annual basis.

The MDM Course is a programme designed   to develop risk reduction and public health disaster managers who have the knowledge and skills to enable effective public health intervention and implementation in Uganda and Africa.

Speaking at the workshop, Prof Rhoda Wanyenze, the Dean of MakSPH commended the stakeholders of this programme for their instrumental role towards the development of the MDM curriculum. Some of the different stakeholders present were, officials from the Ministry of Health, Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The faculty from the College of Health Sciences under which MakSPH is housed were also part of the workshop.

The Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) speaking at the workshop. She encouraged employers to give feedback on how MDM products are performing in their organizations so that the School can know what is being done right and where there is need for improvement.

Prof. Wanyenze urged the stakeholders and other School partners to teach the students using experiences they have acquired as a result of their current work. She also called upon them to give feedback on whether what was being taught in the MDM Curriculum is filling the existing gaps out there depending on the graduates’ performance in these organizations.

Recommendation from Stakeholders 

As part of the MDM review, Jennifer Akumu an alumni of MakSPH currently working with URCS said MakSPH students are equipped with too much knowledge however, most organizations are unaware that the MDM course exists thereby missing out on hands-on skills. She advised the School to take students to various organizations to showcase their potential as that would open up the job market for them.

Olivia Nakisita, an alumni of the MDM course making a contribution during the Stakeholders’ meeting. Alumni attended the meeting to give their perspective on the work they do in the field and how relevant the course is to that effect.

According to Dr. Ekirapa Elizabeth, the Head of Department of Health Policy Planning and Management at MakSPH, there is need for regular field visits and employment of video recording in disaster sites as a way of improving quality of the MDM Curriculum. She explained; "Students who go to the field will also have a clear picture of what is on ground" said Dr Ekirapa. She also requested the course leaders to spread out the course to four years’ time and to offer it online so that it is able to attract the interest of international students who will be able to study at their convenience. Speaking about some course units, Dr. Ekirapa encouraged the merging of some course units to reduce on the completion time.

As a way of bettering the curriculum, Dr. Godfrey Bwire from the Department of Integrated Surveillance and Public Health Emergencies at the Ministry of Health called for a simulation exercise that students and staff can be a part of during major disasters around the country. He also stressed the need for MakSPH to set up an Information Centre on Disasters.

Participants at the MDM Curriculum Review Stakeholders’ Meeting. Front right is Dr. Simon Peter Kibira, a lecturer at MakSPH.

In her contribution, Dr Eva Kabwongera from UNICEF averred that two years of full time studying for the MDM course is quite long. She suggested that the course is made flexible with breaks whenever possible so that different partners can identify some students who can participate in their activities during disaster outbreaks. This will enable employers to tell the competencies of the students which will increase their prospects of getting employed. The experience that students gather during these activities can also be used when applying for jobs elsewhere.

Commenting about the way the course is delivered, Dr Esther Buregyeya, the Head of Department of Disease Control and Environmental Sciences emphasized the need for faculty to have a face to face interaction with the students as a way of promoting understanding and building a bond between students and their Lecturers. She also recommended that modules on community leadership, policy and governance, be embedded in the course. On logistics, management, Dr Buregyega suggested that students should be taught how to mobilize resources and how to bring stakeholders together.

In his remarks, Dr Julius Kasozi from UNHCR suggested that topics on program planning, design, project planning and management should be incorporated in Monitoring and Evaluation Course.

Dr. Simon Kasasa (right), a lecturer at MakSPH making a contribution during the stakeholders’ meeting. Left is Dr. John Bosco Ddamulira, also a lecturer at the School.

In her presentation of the MDM Curriculum, Dr Catherine Abbo, a Course Coordinator at College of Health Sciences stressed the importance of students understanding their own mental health since it enables them to have psychological first aid. "If a student is in position to understand psychological first aid, this will help them know what is required to go to the field and how to respond to various mental cases" noted Dr Abbo 

Prof Christopher Garimoi Orach, the Department of Community Health and Behavioral Sciences where the MDM course is hosted suggested that programs be blended to include part-time programmes. "Many people are working so they are not willing to study fulltime. This is an area that should be looked at," said Prof. Orach while making closing remarks on the way forward. He also called for the retooling of teachers through short courses to make sure that they speak the language of students so as to help them understand MDM programmes. Prof Orach further suggested that marketing of MDM programmes through branding like putting on University shirts is very critical for student exposure and identity in the field and beyond. Some of the suggestions were adopted

Stakeholders who attended the MDM Curriculum Review Workshop pose for a group picture. The alumni (sitting) at the front. Extreme right is Prof. Lynn Atuyambe who chaired the workshop.


Written by Joseph Odoi

The Deputy Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), Prof. Fredrick Edward Makumbi, has urged PhD graduands and students to brand themselves and build networks if they are to make it in the world of research.

Prof. Makumbi was presiding over a dinner organized by the PhD Forum to celebrate the most recent crop of PhD graduates affiliated to MakSPH. He was representing the Dean of MakSPH, Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze at the function which took place at Piato Restaurant on Friday 21st June 2019.


For the first half of this year, the PhD celebrants were; Dr. Godfrey Bwire, who has completed his PhD in Public Health from Makerere University; Dr. Vincent Michael Kiberu, the Masters’ in Health Informatics Coordinator at MakSPH who obtained a PhD in Telemedicine from the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa; and Dr. Richard Kajjura (staff at MakSPH) who got a PhD in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, also at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.


The Deputy Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health, Prof. Frederick Makumbi (Left) cuts a cake with the PhD graduands and some of their family members at Piato Restaurant.

Speaking at the well-attended event, Prof. Makumbi revealed that many students have Bachelors’ degrees, Masters and PhDs but have failed to make a long lasting impression on society in their respective disciplines because they have nothing distinct to offer as a result of their studies. 

"You must get to a point where you are the only one who can handle a certain task in your discipline. This creates a demand for your services. You also need to brand yourself if you are to stand chances in the research world otherwise you will be ordinary,” said Prof. Makumbi.

He congratulated the fresh graduands upon reaching such a tremendous milestone that is filled with perseverance. He also encouraged them never to give up but to live a life that is focused towards a noble cause. Prof. Makumbi went ahead to advise the School staff who attended the event to embark on pursuing PhDs as this will enable the sustainability of MakSPH. In addition, Prof Makumbi said the Dean has appointed a team to review the PhD training in the School, a move aimed at Improving the quality of the programme.


Dr. Vincent Kiberu (Left) receives a gift organized by the PhD Forum from other staff of Makerere University School of Public Health. Middle is Dr. John Bosco Isunju and Dr. Moses Tetui


Dr. Richard Kajjura, one of the PhD graduates advised those who are planning on pursuing PhDs to prepare enough finances before embarking on the journey. Excited about his achievement, Dr. Kajjura thanked God and those who assisted him in his struggle reeling off names like Prof David Guwatudde, staff and the PhD Forum at MakSPH.

Speaking about this achievement, Dr. Kiberu, admitted that from the time he started on the PhD journey, he stopped attending family gatherings and parties because he would use all his spare time to work on the PhD. “Now that I have completed, I need to apologize to my family for neglecting any social events,” he admitted. 

In his remarks, Prof. Christopher Garimoi Orach, Chair of the Department of Community Health and Behavioural Sciences and also Dr. Bwire’s main supervisor encouraged the celebrants to think through avenues of how they would use their knowledge to impact society. He further emphasized that even with this achievement, they needed to be humble because there is still a lot to learn.

PhD graduands and some of their family members take a group photo with PhD Forum members and some staff of Makerere University School of Public Health.

Awed by the huge attendance of over 45 PhD students and staff, Prof. Orach encouraged everyone on the PhD journey to be part of the PhD Forum and grow it to greater heights.


Rawlance Ndejjo, the PhD Forum President welcoming guests at the dinner. The Forum offers support to students pursuing PhDs at MakSPH students and to staff who might be pursuing PhDs either at MakSPH or at other universities in the world.

In attendance were leaders of the PhD Forum; Mr. Rawlance Ndejjo – President, Mr. Charles Semugabo - Vice President, Mr. Jimmy Osuret - Mobilisation and Welfare Officer and Mrs. Esther Bayiga Zziwa - Secretary.


Written by Joseph Odoi

Edited by Agnes Namaganda


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