Pan African Medical Journal

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Two decades of post-graduate training in Applied Public Health: The experience and challenges of the Uganda Public Health School Without Walls

Raymond Tweheyo, Christine Nalwadda, Nicholas Ayebazibwe, David Mukanga, Elizeus Rutebemberwa, William Bazeyo


The objective of this work is to describe the experience of the Uganda Public Health School Without Walls (PHSWOW) in training public health professionals at post-graduate level to offer leadership in planning, delivery of health services and research within a decentralized health system. As one of the constituents of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences, the Uganda PHSWOW has the vision of becoming a Centre of Excellence, providing leadership in public health and the mission of promoting the attainment of better health of the people in Uganda and beyond through public health training, research and community service. Key to the successes of the program are the 238 program graduates, most of whom have remained in-country to serve at district and national levels of service delivery. Collaborations have been established with government, private, non-governmental and international institutions leading to increased health service provision and research for the improvement of health status of populations and influence on public policy. There is still a lot to do in diversifying the skills mix of graduates and contributing to an ambitious increment from 0.4 to 4.7 public health professionals per 10,000 population; as is currently the case in high-middle income countries. Currently, the Uganda PHSWOW has exceeded the proposed output for FETPs of training 3 to 5 graduates per 1 million population suggested by some authors, however the output is still inadequate. More also needs to be done to promote a culture of publication in an effort to translate public health evidence into policy and practice.

Pan African Medical Journal 2011; 10(Supp1):11

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