By Violet Nabatanzi
Ministry of health in partnership with Makerere University School of public health (MakSPH) and the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) have launched a public health fellowship programme (PHFP).
The programme is intended to reinforce implementation of priority public health programmes to reduce morbidity and mortality and develop core capacities for international health regulations compliance, the program director Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze said.
PHFP is offered in five tracks including; Field Epidemiology and training, monitoring and Evaluations, Laboratory systems, Health informatics and health Economics.
Speaking at the launch of the new programme in Kampala, health minister Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye said; the program will improve the quality of investigation and response to acute public health procedures and improve the effectiveness of disease prevention efforts.
"Uganda has registered achievements in containment of outbreaks like Ebola, Marburg, Hepatitis and Typhoid. The responses to these outbreaks have shown that we can control epidemics," Tumwesigye explained.
Similar programs exist in about 60 other countries including; Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa among others.
Makerere University Chancellor Prof. Mondo Kagonyera said developing highly skilled and motivated individuals in the chosen fields will play a key role in transforming the public health sector.
"This program is targeting areas that have previously been underfunded and yet it is key to public health," Kagonyera said.
The United States (US) government has so far invested $30m to support capacity building programmes at Makerere University School of public health.
The principal investigator MakSPH Prof David Serwadda said the Country is still faces challenges of new epidemics and non-communicable diseases. He called for more support in training programmes.