21st Annual conference

Dear conference delegates,
It is my pleasure on behalf of the board and members of the Uganda Society for Health Scientists
to warmly welcome you to the Society’s 20 th Annual Scientific Conference.
As a member of this society from the early 2000’s I have immensely enjoyed each of the annual
conferences, initially as a participant and later as an organizer.

Dear conference delegates,
It is my pleasure on behalf of the board and members of the Uganda Society for Health Scientists
to warmly welcome you to the Society’s 20 th Annual Scientific Conference.
As a member of this society from the early 2000’s I have immensely enjoyed each of the annual
conferences, initially as a participant and later as an organizer. I have served on the board for the
society, which I joined in 2011 for the past 10 years. Later I assumed the position of
Chairperson for the society, to which I was elected in 2018.
These conferences are none like any other on the Ugandan scene because they bring together
scientists on a platform for different cadres and various institutions all over the country and
beyond. The annual scientific conference remains the society’s flagship research dissemination
meeting and I am pleased to say that we have successfully convened 19 meetings since inception
and only had a break last year due to the Covid–19 pandemic. For the many lives that have been
lost to the pandemic, we commiserate with the bereaved families.
I would like to thank the chairperson of the organizing committee for this year’s meeting, Dr. Ivy
Kasirye, the entire USHS board and the staff for their tireless efforts to convene this meeting.
The committee has put together a compelling conference program for your attention. I urge all
of you to actively participate in the conference proceedings.
The theme for this year’s conference is “THRIVING IN HEALTH RESEARCH AND SERVICE
PROVISION IN A CHANGING WORLD” we hope this ensure our collective commitment to
promote evidence based practices.
I would like to greatly appreciate Prof. Chris Whalen, the USHS technical advisor for his unwavering moral and material support. Special thanks to our partners, the Pulmonary Complications of AIDS Research Training Program (PART) and the University of Georgia. Finally, I would like to thank the USHS board members with whom, I have served for the last two years, our advisory members as well as the administrative staff of USHS for keeping the society vibrant.
Enjoy the meeting.
Assoc. Prof. Noeline Nakasujja
Chairperson USHS

Speech By Minister of Health HON. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng 20TH Annual Conference Of The UGSHS

The Chairperson and Board of the Uganda Society for Health Scientists (USHS), conference delegates, ladies, and gentlemen.
It gives me great pleasure, to join you today at the opening of the 20 the annual conference for the society—as you celebrate 22 years of
existence. It is gratifying to know, that the society has held annual conferences since its inception. Unfortunately, it was not possible to hold the 2020 conference due to the ongoing Global COVID-19 pandemic.

I am glad that this year, despite the prevailing circumstances, the society is now holding the 20 th Annual Scientific
Conference. Opportunities for in-country scientific dissemination are still limited, therefore, I commend you for providing a local platform for the Ugandan research community in the health sector to disseminate their findings. It is important to note that the annual conference is intended to serve as a leading platform for young and mid-level researchers to disseminate their research findings and to network with senior researchers, mentors, and colleagues.
Therefore, I thank you, Madam Chair, and the team at the Uganda Society for Health Scientists for ensuring that the Ugandan health research community retains this platform to discuss their research findings on regular basis. The Ministry of Health appreciates the role of research as a cornerstone to producing evidence-based policies, informing practice, and an

Imperative undertaking in fulfilling our mandate. In particular, we recognize that the dissemination of research findings is a key step to translating evidence into policies that will eventually contribute to the attainment of better health for Ugandans. Dissemination platforms, like
this Conference, allow research to undergo peer-review and debate and enable various researchers to know about ongoing research
activities within the country. It is also important to recognize that conferences like these provide particularly useful feedback to the authors of the work to prepare manuscripts for publication in peer- reviewed journals thus contributing to the local, regional, and global body of evidence. I am informed that several young researchers have submitted abstracts for review and presentation at this conference.
This is very encouraging and it demonstrates that the society is not merely nurturing a continuous pool of researchers but also holding fast to the society’s mantra of “Research for better health”.
The Theme for this year’s conference is “Thriving in Health Research and Service Provision in a Changing World”.
This is particularly relevant given the current global challenges that the Health Sector is experiencing due to the COVID -19 Pandemic. The subthemes: COVID- 19 and the impact on health and the health system, communicable and non-communicable diseases, bioinformatics, and emerging issues, all focus on the key priorities of the Ministry of Health.

I look forward to listening to the wide range of presentations in the various thematic areas that you will be discussing and to receiving a synthesized report on the proceedings of the conference. The report will be a great resource for our technical teams to identify emerging evidence that can inform our policy review processes. I wish to thank the funders, who have supported the Uganda Society for
Health Scientists financially, including the Fogarty International Centre at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA. I salute the members of the Society who subscribed and therefore contribute to the sustainability of the society.
I wish you very fruitful deliberations over these 2 days, and now declare the 20th annual scientific conference of the Uganda Society for Health Scientists open!

For God and My Country
Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero
Minister for Health, Republic of Uganda.

Study These Courses And Become a Professional Health Scientist

Uganda’s output of health scientists is still low yet the demand for health professionals continues to surge. This deficit is being made worse by the number of health professional practitioners who are leaving the country for green pastures. This means that when you train as a health scientist, the chances of getting a job are high. The government of Uganda and private health centers are recruiting each year.

In Uganda, not many high institutions, especially universities, churn out health scientists enough to meet market demand. To bridge the gap, Victoria University in Kampala lined up a number of courses that meet the demand in the market. The dean of faculty of health science at Victoria University, Dr Krishna N. Sharma in an exclusive interview says the university’s main focus is research and community outreaches. He notes that ‘until you achieve these two things, higher education is useless.’

“We don’t want to do research and keep it in our store and library. If it doesn’t reach people then it is useless. I want my students to do useful research and publish it so that it can be useful to people. Students in the faculty of health sciences undertaking nursing course will next year travel to India to have an experience of India nursing skills. The University also has international placements for students. “We want them to learn from international practices and when they come back, they will come back with those skills.”

Victoria University has nice laboratories, library, equipment, good lecturers from across the world, hospital for training and a rich community outreach program. In this article we look at some degree course taught at the University in the faculty of health sciences.

Bachelor of Midwifery Science

This two year post-diploma midwifery science top-up degree program is designed to enhance the student’s ability to use community-oriented, evidence-based approaches in the provision of midwifery care that is responsive to the needs of the community in both rural and urban settings. Midwives work in a variety of settings such as clinics, hospitals and healthcare centres. In the line of work, a midwife may also be involved in other aspects of women’s health, such as sexual and reproductive health, lactation consultancy, childcare and research and policy development.

Midwives have a highly developed knowledge base and many clinical skills, and may find work nationally, regionally and internationally. To be able to be recruited, one must have a Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education or its equivalent and 2 principal passes and Diploma in Midwifery from a recognised Institution and must be certified by the Uganda Nurses & Midwives Council UNMC).

Bachelor of Nursing Sciences

The four year programme is designed to meet the challenges of healthcare delivery. The students will gain the ability to apply a broad base of knowledge, theory and scientific research to the real life practical context, community educational skills to manage people, leadership and management skills needed to fully manage a variety of healthcare scenarios, professional attitude and commitment and accountability to deliver healthcare to high professional standards and demonstrate ethical, legal and professional accountability in practice.

To be admitted candidate must have Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education or its equivalent and Diploma in Nursing from a recognised Institution and must be certified by the Uganda Nurses & Midwives Council (UNMC).

Bachelor of Science in Public Health

To undertake this course, you need a Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education Or a diploma in a related field. A student can choose to study part time or full time. This evidence-based curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to be able to monitor community health by identifying health needs, implementing policies that promote health, evaluating health services and eliminating health disparities.

BSc. Public Health graduates can work in a number of areas in all sectors which include the private sector, public sector as well as civil society. In the public sector they may work within a relevant ministry, a government health organisation, hospital or within the community. In the private sector they may work as researchers, policy analysts or practitioners for medical, pharmaceutical or health insurance companies.

In civil society there is a huge need for public health graduates to work as managers and implementers of NGO health programs, health information analysts, health educators, policy analysts and links to the other sectors. Within the educational field there is a need for public health educators and researchers to join the universities, professional bodies and other educational institutions.

Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics (BHND)

Dietetics is a profession which applies the science of nutrition in the maintenance of health in each of the life cycle stages as well as to the dietary management of various disease conditions.  This four year dietetics degree program equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to practice in any of the 3 key focus areas of the profession, i.e. Therapeutic Nutrition, Community Nutrition and Food Service Management.

Ugandan doctor to head new global health centre

A Ugandan doctor has been appointed to head a new global health center in the United States of America.

Dr Deus Bazira, an expert in health systems strengthening and a public health practitioner, will not only establish but also co-direct the new Centre for Global Health Practice and Impact (CGHPI) based at the Georgetown University Medical Centre (GUMC).

GUMC is an internationally recognized academic health and science center with a four-part mission of research, teaching, service and patient care.

The CGHPI aims at advancing the use of evidence through a human-centred approach and support countries to improve the health of their populations, safeguard their communities against health-related threats and ultimately achieve health equity.

They will particularly focus on alleviating major causes of illness for millions of people around the world, with a particular emphasis on marginalized groups.

The center will support countries in engagement from the community to international levels to optimize the use of evidence to inform public health programming and to narrow the gap between research, policy and practice.

The center will also include institutionalizing the use of data and evidence to increase access to quality health interventions, modeling health service delivery for priority infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria) and non-communicable diseases.

Describing his appointment as the best birthday gift ever, Bazira who turned 50 early this year, said he will use his new role to amplify and attain better results in global health, adding that the problems faced in global health require a multi-stakeholder approach.

“We are all in this world for a purpose and when you have been blessed, it is your responsibility to make an impact and give back to society. I thank God who has enabled me to improve the conditions of the people,” he said.

Asked about his immediate task, Bazira said his team was finalising a five-year strategic plan.

“We are building and establishing partnerships with key countries to ensure all health policies are informed by good evidence. We shall also make sure that we get this evidence in the right form and put it in the hands of people that need it, such as policymakers and politicians to help the common person get the best health care system,” he said.

Listing Uganda as one of the priority countries, Bazira said they have already started the process of identifying areas of collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau and some academic institutions.

Who is Bazira?

Having worked in more than 15 countries, Bazira has since gathered vast experience in global health, spanning more than 20 years.

His expertise draws on a variety of technical areas, including health policy development, health care financing, health sector regulation, public health programming, quality improvement, data use and evidence uptake, pharmaceutical policy, and implementation science research.

Bazira who previously worked at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), also managed programs in multiple countries, which, collectively, provided care and support to more than one million people living with HIV and other related illnesses over the last decade.

He also served as managing director for global health under the University of Maryland cross-campus Office for Global Initiatives from 2010 to 2013, and from 2010 to 2018 was vice president for the Maryland Global Initiatives Corporation, a non-profit affiliate of the UMB that implements the university’s programs outside the United States.

Prior to joining the UMB, Bazira was a program director for Oliver Tambo Health Leadership Fellowship Program and senior lecturer in Health Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Bazira obtained his doctorate from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; obtained his Masters in Public Health in health economics from University of Cape Town, South Africa.

He completed post-MBA executive training at Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands; and completed his pharmacy degree at Makerere University in Uganda.

John J. DeGioia, the president of Georgetown University, said Bazira’s knowledge and leadership will help the university leverage its resources to contribute to the global response to HIV/AIDS and urgent global health challenges.

“His extraordinary knowledge and experience will enable our university Global Health Initiative to deepen its impact and our ability to address some of the most pervasive and persistent health challenges facing our world today,” DeGioia said.