Participatory Planning for the Transformation of the Faculty of Medicine into a College of Health Sciences|
Dodge, Cole P.; Sewankambo, Nelson & Kanyesigye, Edward
Background: The Makerere University, Faculty of Medicine was established in 1924, seventy-seven years ago. The year in which the current Dean, Professor Nelson Sewankambo enrolled was 1971. In 1971 the in take was 120 and his graduating class in 1976 was 86. The admissions for medical students in 1999 was 110 in the MBChB degree and 94 doctors were graduated. This represents zero growth between 1971 and 1999 in admissions and less than ten per cent increase in graduates. During this same period, the population of Uganda increased from nine million in 1971 to twenty two million people at the turn of the twenty first century, an increase of one hundred and twenty two per cent. Meanwhile, the disease burden of the country has increased with the HIV-AIDS pandemic, the outbreak of ebola in 2000 and a resurgence of the classic infectious diseases of malaria, complicated by the emergency of highland malaria and tuberculosis. Diabetes, heart disease and cancers are increasingly seen in medical facilities throughout the country. Infant, underfive child as well as maternal mortality rates are unacceptably high and among the highest in the world. Meanwhile medical diagnostic technology has surged forward with the introduction to Uganda of technologies such as the computed axial tomography scan (Cat-scan) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment regimes have become more complicated with the introduction of anti-retroviral therapies, laser surgery and chemo-therapy as well as radiotherapy for treatment of various cancers, as well as other surgical procedures.