Uganda Institute of Allied Health and Management Sciences (UIAHMS) on November 25th passed out a total of 871 students in 22 courses. (Credit: Francis Emukule)
Francis Emukule
Journalist @New Vision

EDUCATION | GRADUATION | UIAHMS

The 14th graduation ceremony of the Uganda Institute of Allied Health and Management Sciences (UIAHMS) on November 25th passed out a total of 871 students in 22 courses. 

Of these, 357 were female, while 514 were male.

While there was exponential growth in the numbers in both genders, UIAHMS principal Rose Nassali, said she was impressed by the increased number of girls who graduated, alluding to the number of girls who graduated in the 13th graduation, where only 242 were females, and 351 male students.

Despite their growing success, Nassali added that they still face the challenge of inadequate teaching and learning facilities and limited accommodation for both the staff and students.

Paul Babiine, the academic registrar, added that the major cause of the lower numbers of girls was a lack of adequate accommodation. 

When asked why accommodation within the school premises was paramount for students, he said that, according to the governing laws of health teaching institutions, all students need to be residing within the school premises.

Babiine, however, said that once the construction of the new girl’s hostel is done, the problem of accommodation will be solved.

Dr. Charles Matsiko, the Chairman Governing Council of UIAHMS, added that the institutions lack well-trained tutors, and as a result, they have resorted to using part-time tutors and mentors in different disciplines. 

Lumumba encouraged graduands to use their newly acquired skills to improve their professional practice as they strive for expertise and leadership in their respective careers. (All Photos by Francis Emukule)

Lumumba encouraged graduands to use their newly acquired skills to improve their professional practice as they strive for expertise and leadership in their respective careers. (All Photos by Francis Emukule)

This, he said, was very difficult to deal with and rather expensive to maintain.

"There is a limited number of well-trained, established tutors for our different programs; all the teaching is done by tutors or part-time mentors," he said

As far as having well-trained tutors is concerned, Matsiko said the institution stands at 30%, a percentage he said was not good.

However, despite the challenges faced, they are confident that their future is bright, as they have strengthened their capacity for carrying out operational research and publishing.

To mitigate the challenge of inadequate sports facilities, they expect to establish a sports complex to enable students to develop their skills.

Matsiko added that their dream is to expand the institution into a much bigger establishment so that they are able to train enough health workers to meet the demand of the health sector, fill the existing gap of trained allied health professionals, and, most importantly, move from just awarding diplomas to awarding degrees.

In the long run, he said, it will augment practical training as well as strengthen research to contribute towards addressing the emerging health challenges in the country.

To the graduands, Nassali encouraged them to serve diligently, and with a caring heart, but also encouraged them to keep upgrading their skills. She also reminded them to employ their soft skills, as they would enhance their performance.

"Medicine is dynamic; ensure you always update your knowledge and skills; it is the only way you remain relevant; and also remember to enhance your soft skills; a smile and some patience cost nothing."

The chief guest, Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba, the minister of general duties, lauded UIAHMS for providing a strategic overview and guiding students through their successful journey despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the current economic times.

Lumumba also assured UIAHMS of the government’s support to help deliver the required human resources for the health sector.

In her message to the graduands, she encouraged them to use their newly acquired skills to improve their professional practice as they strive for expertise and leadership in their respective careers.

"You have acquired practical skills and knowledge in human care, and I now challenge you to go to the next phase of your respective career and most professionally apply these skills so that you can make a meaningful contribution to improving the health statistics in Uganda and beyond."

She also challenges them to never let their parents down, but also to listen to their elders in the same field, and most importantly, to be the health practitioners that have love for the people, which Uganda is proud of by setting an example for the rest of the people to learn from.

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