Mission to Strengthen East African Schools of Medicine

Prof. Okullo signs the visitors book at the VC’s office. Looking on is Prof. Ngumi (left) and Principal COHES, Prof. Haroun Mengech

The East African Community Medical and Dental Board is on a mission to facilitate the development of competent human resource personnel in the health sector that could practice their craft in any country in the region.

According to Prof. Joel Okullo, Chair of the Board, who led a team of inspectors to JKUAT, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, the board strives to enhance the curriculum, infrastructure, staffing and students being produced from the 27 medical and 5 dental schools in the East African region.

“As much as we are here to inspect the preparedness of JKUAT’s School of Medicine for regional accreditation, we are also here to share experiences of our various Schools of Medicine in a bid to enhance our curriculum, infrastructure, staffing and students produced from these schools,” said Prof. Okullo, who is also Chair of the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council.

Welcoming the officials to the University, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, lauded the team and expressed optimism that the exercise will be useful in strengthening the capacity of JKUAT’s School of Medicine to be the region’s centre of excellence in health science related training and research.

Dean, School of Medicine, Dr. Reuben Thuo (in a striped tie), explains how DHARC works to the Board

“We are indeed pleased to work with the regulatory body as a strategy of sustaining quality teaching and research in our University,” said Prof. Ngumi.

She informed the team that JKUAT researchers have also maintained closer collaboration with industry players citing the Digital Health Applied Research Center (DHARC) established in JKUAT as a benefit of such collaborations.

“The School of Medicine in collaboration with the Health Informatics, Governance, and Data Analytics (HIGDA), a United States of America International Development (USAID) project, for instance, established DHARC to provide real time health information for effective decision making and effective resource allocation,” qualified Prof. Ngumi.

The Inspection team is composed of the chairmen of all the Medical and Dentists Councils, their CEOs or registrars, representatives from the Commissions for University Education and the ministry responsible for East African Affairs and Health of the respective countries. The countries are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The Board visits one of the labs at COHES

The board’s main trust is to evaluate the teaching facilities in terms of lecture halls and laboratories, lecturer-student ratio and patient load in the teaching hospitals. The purpose is to ascertain whether the University complies with the developed regional guidelines that were approved by the Ministers of health from the East African Community.

The team visited a few labs and classrooms at the College of Health Sciences (COHES) and Gatundu Level V hospital, one of the teaching hospital, where the School of Medicine students undertake their clinical rotation.

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