Corporate bodies and stakeholders converged at Muni University on Thursday 31st May 2018 to participate in the University’s 6th breakfast meeting held at the University Council Hall.

The breakfast meeting is an annual event organized by Muni University to create partnerships, foster relationships with corporate entities, appraise stakeholders on the current development at Muni University, and to discuss strategic Project initiative from the University by the Stakeholders.
The theme for this year’s breakfast meeting was “strengthening strategic partnership for Institutional sustainability and development”.

The University Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Associate Professor Simon Katrini Anguma welcomed the stakeholders to Muni University and thanked them for honouring the invitation. He stated that their gesture was a manifestation of the importance they had attached to the meeting.

He extended greetings from the Vice Chancellor who was out of the duty station on official duty. He presented a strategic initiative on Muni University’s quest for establishing a Medical school by 2020: Challenges and opportunities.

According to Professor Simon Anguma, the need to establish the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery stems from the establishment objective of the University. He further gave the health sector situation analysis in Uganda, citing that Uganda’s health system is rated as 149th by WHO through a process which considers several factors, including staffing. He reported that most of the health facilities in Uganda are fed by health workers trained in local health institutions and universities. Currently, the universities in Uganda graduate about 320 medical doctors annually. This translates to a Doctor: Patient ration of 1:24,725 (2013) and Nurse: Patient ration is 1:11,000;  yet World Health Organization recommends Physician: Patient ratio of 1:1000. That there are currently 28 Radiologists, six (6) Urologists, and three (3) medical Physicists in Uganda. This picture is mainly due to the low enrollment in medical schools and high attrition rate of trained health workers. Generally, the staffing at all the levels in the health sector stands at about 58% of the established positions. This situation represents a picture that requires universities to respond urgently to fill the gap. Therefore, Muni University aspires to start a medical school that will admit 40 students by 2020. The medical students are expected to graduate with the competencies of critical inquiry and scientific method, Professionalism and ethical practice, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Leadership and Managerial Skills, Population Health, Continuous Improvement of Health Care through Reflective Practice, Health Systems Management, Clinical skills and patient care, and Good Medical Knowledge.

Through this programme, Muni university aspires to train doctors who are available, competent, responsive, and productive.
According to Professor Anguma, opportunities associated with establishing a medical school at Muni University include but not limited to extra training opportunity for Ugandans, closing the Human Resource gap in the Ugandan Health Sector [1: 24,725; 1: 11,000], expansion of Health Research (create new knowledge & support evidence based decision making), Projects (bring a lot of resources-human & equipment), and building Partnerships [locally, regionally, and internationally].

However, the establishment comes with a lot of challenges which includes funding, infrastructural requirements, and the required human resource (Professors, Senior Consultants, especially in pre-clinical science courses). He therefore appealed to the government of Uganda, Partners (Local, regional and International), friends and well-wishers to join hands with the university in whatever way possible to enable this plan to be realized.

The stakeholders recommended Muni University to:

  1. Start business courses to generate income to support the medical courses
  2. Engage in public private partnership arrangements with other institutional hospitals within and outside
  3. Start training staff for the pre-clinical science subjects
  4. Liaise with WHO, UNESCO for Dutch scholarships
  5. Include health services management course to prepare the doctors for management positions in the health sector.

Some of the stake holders present included the Banking sector, National Forestry Authority, OPM, UNHCR Arua, Uganda National Roads Authority Arua, CEFORD, Save the Children Fund, Kampala International University Western Campus, Arua School of Comprehensive Nursing, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, and National Social Security Fund.

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