By Herbert Ssempogo
AN institute to train people in Radiology and Medical Imaging professions has been established here.
Radiology and Imaging are branches of medicine, which deal with investigating the human body for disease.
Dr. Michael Kawooya Director for the Ernest Cook Ultrasound Research and Education Institute (ECUREI), based in Mengo, Kampala said it was the first of its kind in East Africa.
â€œGraduates of the institute are employable as radiology and imaging professionals in government and private hospitals as well as clinics,â€ he said.
â€œThe unique feature about training at ECUREI is that it is a student-centred learning with applications of Information Communication Technologies and other self learning methods like teaching videos to aid the student in self-learning,â€ Kawooya added.
Named after Dr. Ernest Cook who first brought X-ray imaging services to East Africa (Mengo hospital) in 1910, the institute can effectively scan pregnant mothers in addition to taking X-rays of chest conditions and injured patients.
ECUREI will, in November this year, launch a three-year diploma course in Medical Radiography for high school leavers.
Radiography involves the use of X-ray in investigating diseases, especially bones and chest illnesses.
â€œThis course was introduced to address the shortage of radiographers in Uganda and the African region.
Makerere University has been the only institute offering this course with limited places,â€ Kawooya said.
The institute is affiliated to Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA and is also working jointly with Fontys University of the Netherlands in its ultrasound training programmes.
Ultrasound is a method of investigating diseases in the human body using high frequency sound waves.
These waves are sent into the body by the ultrasound machine and their echo is picked up by the machine and converted into an image shown on a screen.
Kawooya said about 70 health personnel from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia have graduated from ECUREI with internationally recognised Diplomas.
â€œThe instituteâ€™s major strength is its experience in training of ultrasound. This has greatly contributed to Uganda being chosen as a regional WHO Centre of Excellence for training of ultrasound practitioners,â€ he said.
Currently, ECUREI is being sub-contracted by the Government of Uganda and Fontys University of the Netherlands to train over 100 health personnel in diagnostic ultrasound.