Ugandan Medical Schools are Wanting; East Africa Medical Board says Will withdraw Recognition of Ugandan Doctors if not Improved

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The East Africa Community Medical and Dental Practitioners Board said the standard of Uganda Medical training institutions needs to be improved or else graduates risk being denied regional recognition.

A technical investigation into the country’s seven medical training universities established that majority have inadequate infrastructure, academic staff and their medical students have limited access to patients for clinical training.

The team said the inadequacies undermine the quality of graduate doctors from those universities. The Board has given universities up to one year to correct the anomalies.

“The university must be ready for inspection within one year. Failure to comply with the recommendations will lead to non-recognition of dental school and graduates from Makerere University by the regional medical board and councils of EAC partner states,” the report reads in part.

The report says Makerere University Medical School was performing better compared to other public institutions in providing adequate training and education for undergraduate doctors.

However, the school’s dental training has stagnated over the years with limited infrastructure and teaching personnel. The investigators observed that it is temporarily hosted at Allied Health Sciences and Management Institute.

The Team recommended that the dental department be upgraded with specialized academic units of oral and maxillofacial surgery, restorative dentistry, community dentistry and periodontology.

Makerere University College of Health Sciences Principal, Prof Charles Ibingira told local media in Kampala that the institution has made progress in fulfilling the report’s recommendations.

“They gave us one year to improve on facilities and staff. The university has allocated us more space and money. We are trying to ensure by November, 80 per cent issues raised will have been addressed,”  Daily Monitor newspaper quoted Prof Ibingira.

The Council also noted that the sanitation at Gulu University Medical School and the teaching hospital (Gulu hospital) in Northern Uganda was appalling.

“Though Gulu University is 12 years old, it has stagnated in infrastructure development, staff development and student enrolment.

“The general cleanliness of Gulu University and Gulu National Referral Hospital is wanting. It should be worked on as a matter of urgency.”

The report found that Kampala International University (KIU) had increased the intake of medical students to 500 annually, far above the capacity of available facilities and the number of teaching staff to handle students was not adequate.

They ordered KIU to immediately stop admission of new students to the medical school and find mechanisms to handle the already enrolled students within three months.

“The patient load and bed occupancy is too low for the students to be trained adequately. Recruit more academic staff to a level that is sufficient to deal with the current student load (clinical 1:7, pre-clinical 1:12,” the report noted.

Credit: Daily Monitor