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Two Professors Battle for Mak College of Health Sciences Principal's Job

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Professor Jojoba explains that Makerere College of Health Sciences is ranked second in Africa and number 250 globally whose integrity in producing quality medical practioners remains unrivalled. He says there is need for more dialogue with the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council to harmonise their differences.
Dr Isaac Kajja, Professor Damalie Nakanjako and Professor Moses Joloba of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences

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Two Professors are battling it out for the top leadership of Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS).  They are Damalie Nakanjako, a Professor of Medicine and Dean of the School of Medicine, Moses Joloba, a Professor of Molecular Biology, Immunology and Microbiology and Dean of the School of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Isaac Kajja, an associate professor of Orthopedics and transfusion specialist is unopposed candidate for the position of deputy principal. Prof. Nakanjako and Prof. Jalob are vying to replace Charles Ibingira, whose term as Principal College of Health Sciences has ended.  

 

They are coming at the time when the College is experiencing challenges of examination malpractices and being highlighted by professional bodies as a non-compliant. This compelled professional bodies to sanction the college including having their graduates subjected to special examinations.  

The contenders expressed their desire to improve the relations of the College and the professional bodies as the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC) in an interview with URN. Last year, the East African Community Medical and Dental Practitioners' Council said students graduating from Makerere University Dental School will have to sit an exam before they are allowed to practice dentistry in any East African Community (EAC) Member State.  

The decision came after the school decided to reopen against the recommendation of the Medical and Dental Practitioners' Council that the school remains closed until it fulfills all staff and equipment requirements pointed out by the regional council. 

The communication caused uproar from across the country including various stakeholders such the Education and Health Ministries and Parliament. However, Professor Jojoba says there are market forces trying to influence the professional body against the college.   

Professor Jojoba explains that Makerere College of Health Sciences is ranked second in Africa and number 250 globally whose integrity in producing quality medical practioners remains unrivalled. He says there is need for more dialogue with the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council to harmonise their differences.  

 

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According to Dr. Kajja, there is need for a better working relationship between the institution and the professional bodies. He emphasises the need for timely engagements with various partners to avoid such over shots.  Dr. Kajja discloses that once these relations are not mended; there is a likelihood of continued deterioration of the public confidence in the institution that is at the helm of training medics in the country.  

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Professor Nakanjako says the professional bodies provide regulation and certification of an out of training service and that their work needs to be applauded and supported.  

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She says they are confident that even if the medical and dental practitioners’ bodies provide exams for accreditation, their students would pass them highly since they have done so elsewhere in Europe, the US and South Africa where Makerere medical graduates are currently serving.  

 

“Examinations for accreditation do not mean that we have poor quality and we cannot antagonize professional exams but our trainees are able to pass these exams highly. Because out trainees go and do professional exams in the UK, the US in South Africa and they pass them so we are not worried,” Professor Nakanjako says.  

All candidates expressed support for the university’s zero tolerance to sexual harassment and offered to resign if any of them was implicated and was in a position of authority.  The College of Health Sciences is a flagship college for Makerere University with a total of 2,891 students, 31 undergraduate programs and 13 graduate programmes.  

The search Committee led by Counsel Kiryowa Kiwanuka is expected to deliver its report to senate and council for approval by February. Other members of the search committee include Associate Professor Tumps Ireeta, Doreen Nyanjura and Dr S.P. Kagoda. 

Kiryowa said the search committee selected another team of professionals external to Makerere University who include Micheal Mabonga Wambi, Dr. Edgar Kateshumbwa and Hilda Twongyeire. 

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