The 2013 MEPI Annual Symposium to be held in Kampala - Uganda

The third annual Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Symposium will be held in Kampala – Uganda on August 6-8, 2013 at the Serena Hotel. ACHEST, as the African Coordinating Center, alongside George Washington University, will play a vital role on the onsite management.

The symposium themed “Sharing Innovation, Enhancing Sustainability”, will attract health experts, health professional educators, across Africa, the rest of the world and their development partners. The innovations presentations will raise a set of interesting and important issues based on the experience of MEPI schools that will create an impetus for idea sharing, problem solving, and networking. The innovations presentations will also assure that every school in the MEPI Network has an opportunity to present some aspects of their program.

The five MEPI thematic areas for the symposium are increasing the number and quality of HCW's trained; Retaining HCWs over time and in areas where they are most needed; improving regionally relevant research, Sustainability and creating Community of Practice.

MEPI is a collaborative project designed to improve the quality of African Medical Education.
In Uganda, Makerere University won the grant and formed the MESAU Consortium; a country-wide partnership bringing together five academic institutions - Busitema University, Gulu University, Kampala International University, Makerere University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology. The MESAU consortium works together with Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.A. MESAUS aims at building capacity, performance enhancements in medical education and relevant research for excellent nationwide service delivery.

All together there are 13 projects in 12 Sub-Saharan African countries 2 of which are pilots. Two schools in South Africa are involved. The pilot projects are in Malawi and Ghana, while otherprogrammatic projects are in Kenya, Ethiopia,Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe Nigeria, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Mozambique.

ACHEST participates in MEPI 2012 Symposium

The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) annual symposium took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 7th – 9th August 2012. The theme was “Building Partnerships and enhancing Sustainability”.

The symposium attracted over 250 participants including Principal Investigators from the MEPI schools and coordinating centers, team members from the MEPI schools, government and non-governmental  organizations’ representatives, international partners and medical students. The opening ceremony was graced by the USA ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Booth and Ethiopia’s ministry of Education and Health.

 

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Prof. Omaswa adressing symposium delegates

The ACHEST ED, Prof Omaswa who is the PI for the  African MEPI coordinating Centre,  delivered speech that framed the symposium entitled “Framing the conference: where were we; where are we; where do we go next.” The speech detailed the rise and growth of human resources for health agenda noting that the global movement on HRH has gained momentum and is top on the agenda. “African continent is more hopeful today than ever before with increased demand for accountability and gender equality, the environment for MEPI is indeed favorable”, Prof. Omaswa said.

The MEPI schools shared their successes, discussed their challenges and ways to innovate further with focus on how to make the gains from MEPI last beyond the initiative.

ACHEST, in its role as the MEPI African Coordinating Center, took part in the preparation of the symposium. The symposium was organized by the MEPI coordinating center at George Washington University and ACHEST in partnership with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), National Institutes of Health (NHI) and the University of Addis Ababa was the host institution.

The meeting was closed by Ambassador Eric Goosby, the U.S Global AIDS Coordinator.

ACHEST becomes African Coordinating Centre for Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI).

The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI).

The US Government through PEPFAR (Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), HRSA and NIH awarded grants to 13 African Medical Schools (institutions) in 12 countries, forming a network of 30 regional partners, health and education ministries and more than 20 U.S. Collaborators.
These grants were given directly to the African institutions that were given a choice to form partnerships with institutions from the South or the USA. The MEPI grants are aimed at improving and transforming African medical education with three goals: to improve the quality, numbers and retention of graduates, to strengthen research capacity and to innovate. This will be achieved through strengthening collaboration between medical education systems and health systems in the countries with a view to producing a new generation of health professionals who are accountable for the health outcomes of the populations that they serve.
In partnership with the George Washington University, ACHEST is the MEPIAfrican Coordinating Centre (ACC)under the leadership of Francis Omaswa who is the PI of the ACC.
As Coordinating Center, ACHEST plays the following roles:
Establish itself with evaluative and operational capacities in the area of Medical education and research.
Assist the GW MEPI-CC in developing the program of evaluation, technical assistance and communication of the MEPI project
Identify best practices in medical education and training and share information through the development of a web-based platform.
Progressively assume as many functions as possible and in 5 years to be fully responsible for supporting the MEPI Grantees achieve their objectives.
Provide a central point of expertise to assist the grantees in tracking faculty and student training and retention, and providing technical assistance in developing national policies, public-private partnerships, and networks to support the advancement of medical education and health services research in Sub-Saharan Africa.

To help promote accreditation and certification of initiatives in the region.

As a Coordinating Center, ACHEST in conjunction with a team from George Washington University Coordinating Center, works with all the MEPI program and linked award grantees inimproving medical education and research in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our vision is to see MEPI as an entry point for catalysing the transformation of health workforce education and training in Africa resulting in a new generation of health professionals who are accountable for the health outcomes of their populations. Our strategy is to evolve over the five year period of the grant into an expert institution that can contribute to improvement of medical education, research and health services in the region. This will be done by using the first year to plan develop, recruit appropriate human resource with expertise in African Medical Education evaluation and communications. Year two and three will be focused on building capacity in Medical Education evaluation and technical support. Year four and five will see us consolidating, stabilizing and sustaining these capabilities.

The added value that we bring

The African Coordinating Centre has constituted a team of seven African leaders in Medical Education who bring with them a wealth of experience from the sub-Saharan Africa. The team members and advisors have all worked in Sub-Saharan Africa for a long time and specifically in the area of Medical Education and Research. They were members of the Sub-Saharan African Medical Education Study Advisory Committee which experience enhanced their understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and challenges in the region. The team is based in the region and the advisors are from all regions of the continent with vast knowledge about the systems in medicine and education and how they work. They also bring in cultural diversity and understanding which is vital when working in this region.
Francis Omaswa who is the PI for the ACC and the Executive Director for ACHEST, has a unique experience combining having worked as a high tech Cardiothoracic surgeon and a rural general duty physician in Uganda during very difficult times. He has also worked as a university professor in Africa, Director General of Ministry of Health and internationally as the founding Executive Director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance. He has valuable contacts in the entire region and globally and was Co Chair on the Sub Saharan African Medical Schools Study SAMSS.
Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde who is the Director of the ACC has until December 2010 been an associate professor and head of department of Radiology at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University. She has worked with Makerere University for 14 years rising through the ranks and understands very well the challenges of Medical Education in sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from her radiology training she is a fellow of the Foundation for the Advancement of Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). She also holds a Masters in Health Professions Education from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She brings with her the experience of hands on educator and special interest in innovative education.
The Advisory Team comprises of renown professors from the region including;

Professor Jehu Iputo; Director, School of Medicine Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu, University, Republic of South Africa.
Dr. MwapatsaMipando; Dean of Students & Head of Physiology Department, University of Malawi College of Medicine.
Dr. E. OluwabunmiOlapadeOlaopa; Senior Lecturer, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Professor Paschalis Rugarabamu; Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Hubert Kairuki Memorial University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Professor Karim Abdel Koumare; Prof. of Anatomy & Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Mali.
DrHaliemalak Abraham, Vice President for Health Services and Local Training Facilities, Jimma University, Ethiopia.
Professor DiaaElDin ElgaliAbubakr; Director Education, Development, and Research Centre, Professor of Psychiatry, Head, Department of Mental Health Faculty of Medicine University of Gezira Sudan.
These are all experienced medical educators who have worked hard to ensure that medical education in the region flourishes against all odds. They bring with them a regional and yet global experience in medical Education. They are committed to ensure high standards of medical education with the aim of retaining the health professions they train to improve health in the region.
How we relate with GW-CC

The principles governing the relationship with GW-CC and the ACC will be
Active collaborative participation
Mutual respect, sharing of ideas, knowledge and experience

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