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Seed Global Health to renew partnership with MUST & MRRH to enhance emergency medicine in Western Uganda

Joshua Nahamya

Seed Global Health in partnership with the Ministry of Health has pledged to renew Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) together with Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) to strengthen emergency health care in western Uganda.

This was revealed during a cross-partnership learning meeting in Mbarara that was attended by physicians from Makerere University, Muni University, MUST, and Busitema University which are all partners of Seed Global Health in emergency medicine.

According to Irene Atuhairwe Duhaga, Country Director, Seed Global Health, the five-year MUST partnership will expire in June 2024 and immediately a new collaboration will be signed to extend emergency care education and practice with both the university and the hospital.

“MUST is one of our biggest partners since 2013, and we are happy that we are continuing to work with you in the next 6 years” Atuhairwe said

She added that “one of the objectives for the courtesy visit is to introduce to you Martin from Malawi who is our new director in charge of impact and innovation, and secondly it is to shade more light on what the next phase of the partnership will be as we are coming to the end of the current strategy plan for this year”.

Unlike the previous 5 year strategy, Atuhairwe stipulated that the new collaboration will be increased to 6 years to enable the two entities to conclude some of the projects that were interrupted by Covid19 pandemic.

The initial plan was for a 5 year development plan but now we are going to do a 6 year partnership strategy which will be launched in June 2024. And the reason for a 6 year is that internally we want to use the bridging year to take stock of what happened but also develop ourselves internally in terms of capacity building to be able to support partnerships not only here in Uganda but across the 4 countries we are working in” she explained

According to Atuhairwe, the new strategy will focus on emergency care and maternal health to save mothers’ lives during labor.

“We want to focus on a new strategy than the initial component where we have done a lot on academia and putting up a faculty department that is running now we want to see it ringing an impact,” she said

Martin Nsukwa, Managing Director of Impact, and Innovation, at Seed Global Health, retaliated that Seed Global Health will emphasize the three pillars of education, practice, and policy for the next 6 years.

“Much as we want to ensure clinical practice, but we are still going to focus on three pillars that is education, practice and policies and we shall use the bottom-up approach where I am happy that Uganda is leading.” Nsukwa said

He emphasized that trainers in emergency medicine will have to be absorbed in the system to be able to directly support the health sector strategic plans and human resource strategic plans in developing countries rather than going on the streets to look for jobs.

“We really want to make sure that people who are getting trained and improving in clinical practice are absorbed in the system whether with the government or even those in private practice. And it is not only in Uganda but in other countries that we are supporting such as Malawi and Zambia” Nsukwa explained

He added, “We are making a deliberate move to make sure that for the coming 5 years, our partners should be country-led and also be able to give us guidance on what to work on”.

“As seed global we are also moving forward to make sure that whatever we are doing is country led. We want to make sure that our partners we work with should drive the agenda.” Nsukwa said

Dr. Prisca Mary Kizito, Head of the department, Emergency Medicine Physician and Lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology appealed to Seed Global to continue supporting clinical medicine as a future investment to reverse avoidable maternal deaths that arise due to lack of skills.

“Seed global started collaborating with MUST in 2013 and we are happy that the vision that we started 5 years ago we are now registering progress in emergency medicine specialty, training in clinical care and advocacy, adding that, for example we started the emergency specialty in 2017 with only 5 residents, but today we are having 14 living and very functional residents who have all graduated over the past four years because of the continuous from seed global health” Kizito explained

She added, “For years MUST has always struggled with space but today at least we have enough space, and thanks to seed global”.

“We started from a small tea room in 2017 which was also a lecture room but seed suggested that emergency medicine deserves better attention and better care whereby they supplied us with computers, tables and chairs thus shifting from that small room to a bigger space where we are currently operating from” Kizito implored

Prof. Joseph Ngonzi, Dean of Faculty Medicine, MUST, appreciated the seed global partnership that has changed the face of medicine as a core course at Mbarara University.

“We don’t take our engagement with you for granted, you have made great strides towards emergency medicine and even in other areas regarding training, clinical care, and staff support because most initially did not have any physician in emergency medicine,” Ngonzi said

He confirmed that together with MRRH, they will be excited to co-sign the MOU with Seed Global Health to help strengthen the support to amplify emergency medicine both in the university and the hospital.

“Of course without the referral, we would not be having a primary teaching hospital unless we search elsewhere so we shall continue working together in signing the new deal to co-exist,” Ngonzi said

He further asked Seed Global Health to support the university in other areas that are instrumental such as neonatal component and clinical care in terms of education, mentorship, and research.

“Seed global picked us from somewhere and I can now see that the journey is well defined. We pray that the next 6 years’ journey will be with a clear roadmap.” Ngonzi said

Prof. Nickson Kamukama, Acting Vice Chancellor, MUST, urged Ugandans to embrace internationalization to help solve societal challenges.

“Internationalisation is the way to go that is why we are now registering results in emergency medicine,” he said adding that, we tend to promote inbreeding which is not helping us. Let’s go beyond the boundaries of Uganda and Africa to work together to get solutions for our societal challenges” Kamukama explained

Seed Global Health Uganda is a non-government organization that partners to train nurses, midwives, and physicians, building complete health teams that can provide high-quality care and save lives.

The MUST-MRRH-SEED interdisciplinary collaboration started in 2013 where they have so far received ultrasound equipment, training, and capacity building as part of life-saving intervention on trauma, maternal health, and emergency cases.



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