BY FRANCIS EMUKULE
The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has commended Uganda Christian University for meeting most of the prerequisites for a medical school.
While inspecting the site of the school in Mengo, a team from NCHE noted that UCU had progressed well in trying to achieve its goal.
Dr Innocent Besigye, a lecturer at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences who was part of the team, noted that there was progress in almost all the aspects in terms of infrastructure, human resources and ICT. “I think we are almost there,” he said.
Three years ago UCU hatched a plan to start a medical school and kicked off with preparations. Not long after kicking off with the preparation, a team from NCHE set in to conduct the first inspection.
But the findings of the first inspection were not very positive as NCHE noted that the university had not done well in terms of infrastructure, human resource and medical equipment.
Now the January 15 inspection has given a different positive story. Besigye commended UCU for the idea of the project, arguing that a medical school is very important for a country like Uganda.
Currently, there are only seven registered medical schools in Uganda excluding UCU’s. They include Mbarara University Medical School, Makerere and Kampala International University.
The Director of Medical Services at Mengo Hospital, Dr Rose Mutumba, said she was quite positive that the school would start in May.
“I am sure that we shall be given go-ahead because we are almost 95% complete,” she said.
UCU has patthered with Mengo Hospital to start the Medical School.
It is one of the most important requirements for a medical school to have a good teaching hospital such as Mengo.
During the first inspection, it had been noted that the Dentistry department lacked facilities like the phantom room–where students practice before they can actually practice on human beings. However, this was achieved on the second inspection.
The university has also hired four lecturers on both permanent and temporary basis. The Head of the Department of Dentistry, Dr Arabat Kasangaki from Mengo Hospital, has been appointed to join the school.
A total of 24 computers have been installed on Katherine Block and the library has been equipped with the required books and enough ventilation has been provided to create enough light in the reading room.
Some four cadavers and fume extractors have been provided for the Department of Anatomy as required and also a well-planned oganogram has been put in place to direct students and other users about the school.
In the Department of Physiology, benches and water and sinks have been installed, let alone an MoU signed between UCU and Mengo Hospital spelling out the terms and conditions under which the two institutions will share the laboratories. A name for the school has been propagated as UCU Medical School.
Dr Edward Kanyesigye, the dean of the Faculty of Heath Sciences, noted that they were not in a hurry to raise the hopes about the school until the Quality Assurance Committee of NCHE grants them the licence. “We have been advised to stay quiet and be ready for both good and bad news from the committee,” he said.
It should be noted that once the medical school has been approved, the nursing course will now shift from Public Health to go under the school.
(Photo by Francis Emukule)[/caption]