ACHEST HOSTS THE SECOND INTERNS INDUCTION SESSION FOR 2022

on Friday, 20 May 2022.

Over 100 newly qualified medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists participated at this year’s 2nd Interns Induction Course hosted virtually on May 12, 2022, by ACHEST in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Health Professions Education Initiative (HEPI) and Makerere University College of Health Sciences.

This was a follow-up of the face-to-face induction course held earlier on April 29th, 2022 which also highlighted the launch of the Handbook for all Health Professions Interns in Uganda.

Similar induction sessions have been hosted for 4years now with the objective of enabling the young professionals to be conversant with the Ugandan health system and the Ministry of Health Vision and Mission; to understand the structure and requirements of public service and quality assurance in the health care system. Other objectives are to ensure that the new cohorts of interns are prepared to work in the Ugandan health system and understand the referral system, job market, career progression and postgraduate training; and how to take good care of themselves to avoid burn out and stress.

HANDBOOK FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONS INTERNS LAUNCHED

on Tuesday, 03 May 2022.

ACHEST in partnership with the Health Professionals Education Initiative(HEPI) at Makerere University College of Health Sciences and the Ministry of Health has launched a Handbook for Health Professions Interns in Uganda.ACHEST, Ministry of Health and Director Mulago hospital during the launch of the Intern Hand BookACHEST, Ministry of Health and Director Mulago hospital during the launch of the Intern Hand Book

The Handbook will be a guide to newly qualified professionals as they take the one-year mandatory internship at different hospitals and health facilities n Uganda. It addresses the key issues that graduates face as they transition from being students to fully-fledged professionals, from the expectations of internship, to career growth and professional development, the role of professional associations, stress management, and global health perspectives. Other topics covered are: Joining the Public Service in Uganda, The Health System in Uganda, Quality Assurance in the Health Care, Practical experiences and life during the internship, and Nursing Competencies.

This Handbook was officially launched on April 29, 2022, by the Director-General Health ServicesMinistry of Health. Dr. Henry Mwebesa, during the Induction Course for this year’s cohort of interns.

ACHEST RECOGNISED FOR SUPPORTING HEALTH PROFESSIONAL INTERNS

on Friday, 08 April 2022.

After the completion of one year of internship at the various hospitals in Uganda, thePROF OMASWA RECEIVES AWARD FROM THE MEDICAL INTERNS FEDERATION PRESIDENT  DR. MARY LILLIAN NABWIREPROF OMASWA RECEIVES AWARD FROM THE MEDICAL INTERNS FEDERATION PRESIDENT DR. MARY LILLIAN NABWIRE newest batch of Ugandan doctors to complete internship were hosted to a dinner by the Federation of Ugandan Medical Interns (FUMI) on March 25, 2022.

During the dinner, FUMI recognised individuals and institutions that supported them.

The African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) received a Certificate of Appreciation, and the ACHEST Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa received an appreciation Award in plaque.

PROF. OMASWAS PLAQUEPROF. OMASWAS PLAQUEACHEST has for over three years held induction courses for newly qualified health professionals in Uganda including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.

The objective of the course is to enable the young health professionals to be conversant with the Ugandan health system and the Ministry of Health Vision and Mission; to understand the basics of government procedures and rules and quality assurance in the health care system.

It also ensures that interns are prepared to work in the Ugandan health system and understand the referral system, job market, career progression and postgraduate training; and how to take good care of themselves.

In June 2020, the induction course won international recognition during the Health Workforce Resilience awards organized by Human Resources for Health 2030(HRH2030) Program

 

ACHEST MARKS END OF CES PROJECT

on Wednesday, 30 March 2022.

On March 10th 2022, the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) and partners JICA Uganda hosted the stakeholders conference to mark the end of the project on Community Engagement Strategy (CES)for COVID-19 Response.

Launched in October 2020 by the Uganda government, CES has been implemented by ACHEST and JICA in four pilot districts namely, Ngora, Amuru, Busia and Mukono, to strengthen community health system as a key measure to control the pandemic.

The goal of CES is that all people are aware, empowered and are participating actively in the prevention and control of COVID-19, both as a duty and a right.

A group photo of some of the participants at the conferenceA group photo of some of the participants at the conference

PROF. OMASWA’S MESSAGE ON THE STATE OF UHC IN AFRICA

on Tuesday, 01 February 2022.

Prof. omaswa FProf. omaswa FOn December 14, 2021, the ACHEST ED Prof. Francis Omaswa, who is also a Commissioner on the Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) Commission participated in a webinar on the “State of UHC in Africa”
The webinar was held on the sidelines of the virtual Conference of Public Health in Africa which took place from December 14-16, 2021 .
Below are the key messages from Prof. Omaswa:
• Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a journey punctuated by many events. To us in Africa, the significant event has been the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a wake-up call. The fact that we could not access vaccines when we needed them and other people had them – is something that our political leaders have noticed and there is a new way of looking at the health of the African people. Previously people who had resources would fall sick and get on to the plane to seek treatment abroad. However, with lockdowns, that was not possible. We now know that we must do better at home so that all of us can access the best possible health services.

ACHEST ED NAMED AMONG UGANDA’S “GIANTS OF MEDICINE”

on Tuesday, 01 February 2022.

Book cover of the publication titled Giants of Medicine in UgandaBook cover of the publication titled Giants of Medicine in UgandaThe ACHEST Executive Director, Prof. Francis Omaswa, is one of the 26 medical doctors that has been recognized by the Uganda Medical Association(UMA), for their dedication and service to humanity and health care.
The doctors were recognized in UMA’s 2021 publication titled “The giants of Medicine in Uganda.” It features inspirational real-life stories of each of these 26 doctors, most of them from humble backgrounds, and how they rose to become exceptional specialists nationally, regionally, and globally.
Their stories are a good example of how rewarding it is when one works hard and selflessly serves for the common good.
Prof. Omaswa is particularly hailed as the father of rural surgery. In 1983, he was the coordinator of the project on Cost-Effective Rural Surgery in his hometown in Ngora, eastern Uganda. What is outstanding about this is that hospitals such as Mulago would refer and transfer patients for surgery to Ngora! It was headed to be a center for rural Surgery for rural Africa, had it not been for the war that later engulfed the country. Prof. Omaswa also founded the Uganda Heart Institute and served as Chief Surgeon and Director-General MOH, among his numerous achievements.
Prof. Omaswa, who now has this to say about his recognition by UMA: “ I appreciate the UMA leadership for publishing this book which will inspire other people to serve the country. There are many other deserving “Giants” who should have their stories told in the next edition of this book”

 

ACHEST ED PARTICIPATES AT THE UGANDA UK HEALTH ALLIANCE SYMPOSIUM

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.

ACHEST’S DR. KIGULI-MALWADDE ADDRESSES BELLAGIO GLOBAL HEALTH EDUCATION INITIATIVE (BGHEI) CONFERENCE

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.

ACHEST’s DR. KADAMA ADDRESSES AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY HEALTH COMMITTEES

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 (africa-health.com)
Dr. Kadama’s full address is also available on this link: (http://www.partners-popdev.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/KeyNote-Accelerating-the-achievement-of-the-unfinished-agenda-of-the-ICPD-goals-and-SDGs-during-and-post-COVID-19-Pandemic-through-South-South-Cooperation-Dr.-Kadama-ACHEST.pdf
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: http://www.partners-popdev.org/aro-news-and-events/the-13th-network-of-african-parliamentary-committees-of-health-neapacoh-2021-meeting-28-29-october-2021/

ACHEST PARTICIPATES AT THE “20 YEARS OF FAIMER” CONFERENCE

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.

ACHEST PARTICIPATES IN THE GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY CAMPAIGN

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.

ACHEST’S DR. OKELLO URGES CSOs TO BE ACCOUNTABLE

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.

ACHEST ED’s MESSAGE ON WORLD HEART DAY 2021

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.

CLINICAL SKILLS UPDATE AND MENTORSHIP IN RMNCAH

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.

QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IN HEALTH CARE

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.