on Thursday, 02 December 2021.

The ACHEST Executive Director, Prof Francis Omaswa, was one of the speakers at the Uganda UK Health Alliance(UUKHA) symposium hosted virtually on November 30, 2021, under the theme “The role of global health partnerships in ensuring equitable recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” response and recovery efforts.Prof-Francis-OmaswaProf-Francis-Omaswa
Prof. Omaswa was on the panel that discussed health workforce and agenda 2030, Other panelists were the Chair Prof. Nelson Sewankambo, the former Principal of Makerere University College of Health Sciences; Dr. Kit Chalmers the Head of Policy and Learning at Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET); and Mr. Patrick Okello, the Commissioner of Human Resources in the Ministry of Health.
In his message, Prof. Omaswa, who is also the former Director-General Health Services in the Ministry of Health, recalled an occasion in 2004 when Prof. Sewankambo handed him a copy of the Joint Learning Initiative report, which drew attention to the global health workforce crisis characterized by widespread shortages, maldistribution, and poor working conditions.
Before this, there was a period of neglect in the sense that the high-income countries had told the Africa and LMCIs that the health workforce was a country-led agenda that could not be attended to by donors. They argued that it was not sustainable. However, with the HIV crisis which hit countries hard, the donors realized they were not able to achieve their targets without skilled health workers and there was a whole new appreciation of health workers. Recruiters from high-income countries started pitching in hotels, taking away health workers without any discussions with their native countries.


on Wednesday, 24 November 2021.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Despite the COVID-19 imposed lockdowns on education, there has been opportunity for students and faculty members to engage more globally, as well as increased collaboration for research and practice. Dr Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde-ACHEST Director of Health workforce Education and DevelopmentDr Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde-ACHEST Director of Health workforce Education and Development

This was well articulated in the presentation made by the Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde while delivering a presentation on the Impact of COVID-19 on Global Health Education at the BGHEI virtual Conference on November 10, 2021

Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde, the ACHEST Director of Health workforce Education and Development, noted that since March 2020 when WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, education across the world had been greatly disrupted with lockdowns, and global health education exchanges which play a big role were no longer possible due to the inability to travel. For instance, Uganda particularly has had the longest school closure globally, with higher education and health professionals’ education institutions intermittently opened and closed.

However, Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde observed that the pandemic has forced education as a whole to adopt technology and global health education has not been left behind.


on Thursday, 11 November 2021.

NEAPACOH-meeting-flyerNEAPACOH-meeting-flyerThe ACHEST’s Director of Policy and Strategy, Dr. Patrick Kadama gave a keynote address at the 13th meeting of the Network of African Parliamentary Committees of Health (NEAPACOH).
The annual meeting, which took place between 27 – 29 October 2021, was held under the theme “the role of parliamentarians in driving sustained programs for the achievement of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) goals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
In his address, Dr. Kadama highlighted four important messages:
• Decolonize global Health governance
• Building capacities of African institutions
• Tailor African Health Workforce to population needs in Africa
• Strengthening South-South collaboration (A detailed opinion piece has been published in the Africa Health Journal, October 2021 Issue AH-2021-10-07-opinion.pdf (
Dr. Kadama’s full address is also available on this link: (
The NEAPACOH meeting also discussed and shared progress and country experiences regarding the implementation of the 2019 NEAPACOH country commitments and the “2018 Kampala Call to Action” amidst the COVID 19 pandemic. A 2021 Kampala Call to Action was adopted. It commits amongst other actions, to adopting and strengthening South-South Cooperation to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, lessons learned, and good practices in the field of population and development and calls upon Governments, UN agencies and international organizations, donors, the private sectors, and other relevant stakeholders to commit more investments to accelerate the achievement of the unfinished agenda of the ICPD and SDGs on the continent.
(Find all resources from the NEAPACOH – 2021 meeting, on the PPD website:


on Tuesday, 26 October 2021.

The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) celebrated 20 years of accomplishment and service to global health through a virtual conference hosted on October 20-22 2021.

During the 5-day conference, ACHEST’s Director of Health Workforce and Development, Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde was a panelist at a session show casing the projects that some of the fellows had done over the years while the Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa made a presentation on the global health workforce crisis which is characterized by the shortages, maldistribution and poor working conditions.

With the global shortage of health workers estimated at 18 million, Prof. Omaswa stated that it is important to have a proper mechanism to build and share a global pool of health workers who are well trained using global accreditation mechanisms and ways which the workforce can be ethically shared using the WHO Code of International Recruitment of Health Personnel.
“This is the future. To have a skilled, supported, motivated health worker in for every person in every village anywhere in the world,” he said, quoting JW Lee the former WHO Director General.


on Friday, 22 October 2021.

Rotary Club of Kampala President Henry Rugamba washing his hands at the event in Luweero districtRotary Club of Kampala President Henry Rugamba washing his hands at the event in Luweero districtOn October 15 2021, ACHEST in partnership with JICA Uganda and the Rotary Club of Kampala successfully hosted 5 events to mark the Global Handwashing Day(GHWD), under the theme “The future at Hand. Let us Move Forward Together.”
The colorful events were simultaneously held in the districts that are leading the implementation of Uganda’s Community Engagement Strategy(CES) for COVID-19 Response, namely: Mukono, Ngora, Busia, and Amuru.

The 5th event was held in Luweero district, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Kampala.ACHESTs Dr. David Okello demonstrates how to wash handsACHESTs Dr. David Okello demonstrates how to wash hands Although not part of the CES pilot project, Rotarians have been leading the efforts and provided funding for powered bore holes and rainwater collection in Kalwanga Parish, Bututumula Sub-county to promote household hygiene in the Luweero communities.

All the five GHWD events brought together public health experts and educators, village health teams(VHTs), local leaders and residents of all ages. The highlight of the activities were the step-by-step demonstrations on why and how to properly wash their hands using soap and water to avoid needless diseases and infections such as COVID-19, diarrhea, cholera, dysentery among others.


on Wednesday, 13 October 2021.

Dr. David Okello making a presentation to the CSO platform on RMNCAH NDr. David Okello making a presentation to the CSO platform on RMNCAH NCivil Society Organizations (CSOs) must demonstrate relevance and responsibility in their work in order to survive as well as have a lasting impact on society.
This call to action was made by the ACHEST Director of Health Systems Dr. David Okello, while making a presentation on Accountability to the CSO Platform on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child and Adolescent Health plus Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) on October 12th, 2021.
Dr. Okello started his presentation on accountability as the duty of an organization or individual to be responsible for their actions and accept responsibility for them. He noted that there are different aspects of accountability: Social accountability means that public officials, politicians, and service providers are held responsible to the public and service users for their conduct and performance; while CSO accountability is about knowing how your organization is performing and being able to demonstrate this to stakeholders
He noted that CSOs have come to play an important role in society - through the provision of essential services, watchdog functions, or in advocating and influencing laws and policies. In various ways, CSOs impact on citizens in profound ways.


on Wednesday, 29 September 2021.

World Heart Day is celebrated every year on September 29 to raise awareness, prevention and management of heart disease.
In his message, the ACHEST Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa urged every individual to take responsibility for their health. Prof F. Omaswa, ED-ACHESTProf F. Omaswa, ED-ACHEST

“Heart Health starts with you as the owner of the heart. Eat the right food. Keep your weight right. Be physically active and exercise. Regularly check your blood pressure. Start today. This is simple and doable,” said Prof. Omaswa who is also a renowned cardiovascular surgeon and former founding Director of the Uganda Heart Institute and current Chair of the Uganda Gift of Life Heart Foundation.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions. More than four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, and one third of these deaths occur prematurely in people under 70 years of age.


on Friday, 24 September 2021.

The African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation(ACHEST) is facilitating hands-on training for health workers in the Teso and Bugisu/Sebei Sub regions.
This is part of the work that ACHEST is doing on behalf of the Ministry of Health to implement the Clinical Skills Update and Mentorship in Reproductive, Maternal  New Born, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) in eastern Uganda.

Clinical Skills and Mentorship in RMNCAHClinical Skills and Mentorship in RMNCAHIn consultation with regional mentors identified  high-volume, high risk and difficult  to reach facilities, eight teams with skills and experience in CEmONC, BEmONC and anesthesia were formed to conduct onsite mentorship of the of the targeted facilities. This takes place  once a month for a period of five days spending an average of two and a half days in a facility. In order for mentorship to have impact, each facility is visited twice in the remaining four months(August – November) in which this work is expected to be completed. During the visit, the mentors interact with the health workers in the facility using interviews, observations, reviewing registers and reports, working together with the staff and in the process identify strengths and gaps. Some gaps are addressed immediately while for others a work plan is agreed with the mentees on when and how they will be addressed.


on Monday, 30 August 2021.

The African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation(ACHEST) hosted a talk on quality improvement in health care. This is part of the work that ACHEST is doing on behalf of the Ministry of Health to implement the Clinical Skills Update and Mentorship in Reproductive, Maternal New Born, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) in eastern Uganda.
The session held virtually on August 25, 2021, was attended by several participants including specialists, general practitioners, midwives, nurses, district health leaders, and administrative leaders among others.
The ACHEST Director of Medical Education and Development, Elsie Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde told participants that the overall goal of the project is to end the needless maternal and newborn deaths; and improve the quality of life of the children, adolescents, and women in Uganda as stated in the RMNCAH Sharpened Plan.
The general objective is to work with the health professions associations and regional referral hospitals to provide clinical mentorship so as to ensure that health worker's clinical skills are improved. In the end, this will result in improved quality of health care.
The ACHEST Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa gave a detailed presentation on the philosophy and practice of the quality of health care.
He stressed from the onset that that quality is about the pursuit of excellence. “Everything you do can be done even better than you have done today. Make a plan and look at how you will do better today, or next month or next year than you did before,” said Prof. Omaswa
Prof Omaswa who is also the former Head of the Quality Assurance Program and Director General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health Uganda, detailed the history of how the quality assurance programme was established (now a Directorate) and highlighted its achievements.


on Monday, 23 August 2021.

On August 18, 2021, the ACHEST Executive Director, Prof. Francis Omaswa was invited by the Makerere University College of Health Sciences to virtually give a talk on effective leadership. This arrangement was under the Health Professions Education and Training for Strengthening the Health System and Services in Uganda (HEPI-SHSSU) programme at the College.
More than 100 staff members from the university attended the webinar. Prof. Omaswa inspired them on how to be good leaders, with basic principles such as taking care of themselves, discipline and working for the common good.
Below is the summary of his presentation:

What is leadership?
Leadership is about being an agent of change, a positive contributor to society and it is about common good. Already , all of you are leaders- you already got your university degrees as medical students and nurses. You left behind so many people that you started with in Primary One and all those people look at you as a success story. They look at you as someone to imitate and they look up to you as someone from whom they can learn. So, leadership is about being a role model that others can follow.

Take care of yourself
It starts with you being in the right state physically, mentally, and spiritually. Do you wat well, do you sleep enough, are you clean? Are you at peace? What are these other issues disturbing your mind. What is your moral status? Do you have a moral anchor, a beacon? It starts with you being at peace with yourself. I have seen young people ruin their careers by becoming an alcoholic or a social situation that stops them from achieving other things. For example, having extramarital affairs. With that, you can’t do what is expected of you as a leader


on Monday, 23 August 2021.

The ACHEST Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa has called on stakeholders to support and ensure full implementation of the WHO Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.
Adopted in 2010 at the 63rd World Health Assembly, the Code seeks to strengthen the understanding and ethical management of international health personnel recruitment through improved data, information, and international cooperation
Prof. Omaswa, who is also the former Executive Director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance explained that the Code would ensure a shared global pool of health workers, in view of the increasing workforce mobility.
However, in order for countries to benefit from this shared pool of health workers, high-quality medical education is essential, Prof. Omaswa observed.
“The need for health professionals to move from country to country is a given. it cannot be stopped. This Code which took us 6 years to develop is a beautiful document for the welfare of the migrants. It provides support to the source countries and recipient countries to receive the services of well-educated and highly motivated health workers. This code is at the center of everything and I would like to call on all of us to get familiar with it, to support it, and to make sure that it is implemented fully,” said Prof. Omaswa


on Tuesday, 17 August 2021.

With the rise of artificial intelligence and new digital technologies, Health Professions Education(HPE) should be transformed to adapt to innovations in health care delivery.
This call was made by the ACHEST Director of Health Professions Education and Development, Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde while addressing a webinar by the Student Network Organization (SNO-Uganda) on August 11, 2021.
Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde, who is also the Secretary-General of the Network Towards Unity for Health(TUFH) noted that so many things had changed over the years, and this needs to be reflected in the education and training of future health professionals.
“Things are not static. The libraries are becoming obsolete and you can fit a small library in your hands. There is transition and we need to move with it. Some of the changes include the availability of multiple sources of data to use make a diagnosis for patients and the interface between medicine and machines at all levels of health care. For example, in Radiology, we are using so many machines ( MRI, CT scan…etc.) and all manner of ways to enhance making a diagnosis for patients. With the availability of smartphones, computers, and the internet, there is a need to change the way we are doing things in Health Professions Education (HPE), “ said Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde.
She also strongly called for interprofessional training, by explaining that the provision of health care is now driven by health care teams, not just one specialty.

“Medicine is changing. As a physician or doctor, you need a team around you to provide holistic care- nurses, physiotherapists etc..” she said, adding, “We need to develop medical scientists and innovators. We should not just be giving students the information. HPE should be encouraging people to be innovators. We should move beyond health sciences and clinical sciences and embrace interprofessional training that goes beyond disciplines.


on Friday, 23 July 2021.

The ACHEST Executive Director , Prof. Francis Omaswa has urged Rotarians to advocate for Integrated People-Centered Primary Health Care(IPCPHC) as a foundation to achieve Health For All.

He made the remarks on 22 July 2021, while addressing the Rotary Club of Kampala on theProf. Omaswa lobbies Rotarians to support Primary Health CareProf. Omaswa lobbies Rotarians to support Primary Health Care “Role of citizens in fighting the pandemic; towards a healthier new normal for all.”

Prof. Omaswa, who is also the President Elect of the Rotary Club of Kampala, as well as the Chairperson of the National Community Engagement Sub-Committee for COVID-19 Response in Uganda said it is important for individuals to take personal responsibility to maintain and promote good health.

“ Only 6% of the population are born with congenital or birth defects, but most of us are born normal. Good health is inborn. When the body is short of water, we feel thirsty; when we need food we feel hungry, when it is time to sleep we feel sleepy. The challenge is for us to listen and obey our bodies. Our behavior determines our health outcomes. Maintaining inborne health is the responsibility of the individual. It starts with you and is supported by the health system when necessary,” said Prof. Omaswa


on Wednesday, 21 July 2021.

Community based education(CBE) helps young health professionals to appreciate the medical field and at the same time improves access to universal health care, observes Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, the ACHEST Director of Medical Education and Development.

Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde, who is also the Secretary General of The Network Towards UnityCommunity-Based Education, Primary Care and Social AccountabilityCommunity-Based Education, Primary Care and Social Accountability for Health(TUFH) said this while delivering a presentation on the importance on CBE during a virtual conference hosted by TUFH in partnership with the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing - Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia.

The conference, under the theme “Community-Based Education, Primary Care and Social Accountability, was held virtually on July 5.2021. It was attended by about 300 participants from Asia, Africa, America, Australia, and Europe. 


on Friday, 09 July 2021.

Dr. David Okello Director Health Systems-ACHESTDr. David Okello Director Health Systems-ACHESTThe ACHEST Director of Health Systems and Health Promotion, Dr. David Okello has been appointed to the International Advisory Committee of the World Federation for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The committee is tasked with overseeing the functioning of the Center of Excellence for Evidence Based Research on NCDS in low-and-middle income countries; and the utilization of the evidence generated through systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

In the course of its work, the committee is expected to bear in mind the international, regional and national priorities with a focus on local engagement. Dr. Okello was appointed to the committee alongside 16 other global health experts. Commenting on this opportunity, Dr. Okello remarked: the assignment presents excellent opportunity to share knowledge and promote south to south collaboration in promoting the global action needed to stem the silent epidemic of NCDs in low-and middle -income countries”