Health Policy Planning and Management (HPPM) Department

All hospitals in the Busoga sub region have committed to up their game and end preventable maternal, newborn and stillbirths.

This comes in the wake of data showing that in just two years (2013 and 2014), the six hospitals in the sub region, including Jinja Regional Referral registered 2600 stillbirths, 723 neonatal deaths and 145 maternal deaths. The other hospitals are Iganga Hospital, Bugiri Hospital, Kamuli General Hospital, Kamuli Mission Hospital and Buluba Mission Hospital.

Hariet Nambuya

Jinja Regional Referral Hospital Senior Paediatrician Dr Harriet Nambuya attending to a client during a Premature Follow Up Clinic

Meeting under the auspices of Makerere University School of Public Health’s Maternal and Newborn Scale Up (MANeSCALE) project recently, representatives from the six hospitals agreed to form Quality Improvement (QI) teams, among other things to fix the problem.

Other measures agreed on by the hospitals included effective communication mechanisms especially during referral; having clearly documented referrals; working as a network; promoting partograph use; and setting up a blood collection centre at the regional referral hospital in Jinja.

MANeSCALE Principal Investigator Dr Peter Waiswa asked the QI teams at the hospitals to work in collaboration with his team to set targets that would be achieved during specific period of time.

MANeSCALE aims at strengthening a regional referral hospital system in south eastern Uganda through mentorship and leadership capacity building. 

Four MPH/ FETP (Field Epidemiology Training Program) trainees presented their research work at the 8th Global Scientific TEPHINET Conference that was held early this month at Fiesta Americana Hotel in Mexico City.

TEPHINET is composed of regional networks include AFENET (African Field Epidemiology Network); REDSUR/REDCEC(Red de entrenamiento en epidemiologia de camp); SAFETYNET (Western Pacific and Southeast Asian Network); EPIET (European Network) and EMPHNET ( The Eastern Mediterranean Network)

The students who made presentations included Ms Lydia Nakiire, Ms Damalie Nsangi, Mr Gerald Obai and Mr Francis Ocen. The students had earlier on in February 2015 worked with the Resident Mentor (Mr Michael Ediau) to prepare and submit their abstracts to the conference organisers.


Damalie Nsangi giving a poster presentation on a study “Knowledge and Attitudes of Commercial Motorcyclists towards Road Safety Measures in Uganda”




Francis Ocen giving a poster presentation on a study “Time to tuberculosis treatment default and its determinants among adult patients in Jinja District-Uganda: a retrospective cohort study, 2014


With the support from the MPH Program Director (Prof Freddie Ssengooba) the students were able to secure funding and together with him and the Resident Mentor, the students put up a good show at the conference.

The students highlighted that the conference was a great learning experience. “I had an amazing opportunity to interact with FETP trainees and graduate from programs all over the world. This allowed me to share my field epidemiology experiences with them and learn more about the pressing health issues they deal with in their countries. The cultural diversity was also exciting and enlightening” (Damalie Nsangi)

TEPHINET, AFENET and the MakSPH-CDC Fellowship Program funded the travel of the 6 participants from Uganda.

Created in 1997, Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET) is a professional network of 55 field epidemiology training programs (FETPs) around the world. TEPHINET aims to strengthen international public health capacity by training field epidemiologists through an applied apprenticeship program. Trainees of FETPs master a set of core competencies that are vital to the practice of public health, while providing a valuable public health service to their countries and regions. 

Ug Team

 The Uganda team that attended the TEPHINET Conference 2015 in Mexico city

The conference whose theme was Moving from Policy to Practice: Saving Mothers and Newborns at National and local level attracted a diverse audience from researchers, the media to policy makers from within and outside of Uganda.

Delegates at the three day (June 15-17, 2015) conference at the Serena Kampala Hotel urged organisers to make it an annual event!

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Below are links to highlights from the conference:

Conference Bulletin 1

Conference Bulletin 2

The Future Health Systems (FHS) Research Consortium has embarked on planning for the dissemination of key messages that have come out its research over the last ten years.

Discussions on developing key messages took centre stage in the June 08-12, 2015 week at Peking University in Beijing – China where FHS consortium members converged for their annual meeting. The Uganda team of 8 was led by the FHS Uganda Team Leader Dr Elizabeth Ekirapa-Kiracho and MakSPH Dean Prof. William Bazeyo.

Over the last ten years the FHS Uganda team has implemented three studies, in the area of maternal and newborn health, in the districts of Kamuli, Buyende, Pallisa, Kibuku, Luuka and Iganga.

“We have learnt a lot from our research and it is from these lessons that we are going to draw messages that we intend to share,” said Dr Ekirapa-Kiracho.

None-the-less, FHS funding has provided opportunities to build district health systems, research capacity among academics, policy makers and local implementers. 

Beijing 1

What would be your reaction upon receiving an invitation to attend the 100th meeting of your department, company or organization? Would you be curious to know when the first meeting was held? Would you be eager to know who among the current team members attended that meeting? How about the content and venue where the meeting was held? I guess these and many other questions would surely cross your mind!

On Tuesday 5th May 2015, the Health Policy Planning and Management (HPPM) department held its 100th departmental meeting. Welcoming the members to the meeting, Associate Professor Freddie Ssengooba, the Chair HPPM department congratulated members upon this achievement. He thanked all team members for their various contributions and for supporting departmental activities that have enabled HPPM to achieve its mandate.  As part of his communication, the Chair commended Ms. Enid Kemari (Program Administrator-MPH Fulltime) who captured the minutes of the 5th departmental meeting that was held on 26th November 2003 in the former CDC Boardroom on the Grould floor of the MakSPH Building. Since the minutes of the first four meetings could not be readily traced, the minutes of the 5th departmental meeting served as the baseline record for the HPPM departmental meetings.

aReflecting upon these minutes, the chair noted that a lot had evolved with regard to the HPPM departmental meetings. For example, from four members (Dr. G.W Pariyo (Chair), Dr. Olico-Okui, Dr. S.O.Baine and Ms. Enid Kemari (Minutes Secretary),that attended the 5th departmental meeting, attendance of these meetings has since grown.  The Chair also observed that it would be good for members to benchmark the habit of sharing their travel plans in advance as reflected in the deliberations of the 5th departmental meeting. He underscored the importance of minutes in facilitating the successful operations of the department.

The 100th HPPM departmental meeting was not solely dedicated to reflecting about the past. It had other agenda items including; sharing of developments in teaching research and community service, preparations for end of semester examinations, introduction of the High Risk Babies project, contract renewals and procurement requests among others. When these agenda items were thoroughly discussed, it was time to celebrate the 100th HHPM departmental meeting! In case you are asking how the 100th HPPM meeting was celebrated, please visit the photo gallery on our Facebook page.

As you flip through the gallery, it is important to note that it is common practice for HPPM members to serve lunch after the monthly departmental meetings! Additionally, it is an HPPM departmental practice to share chocolates brought by members returning from official travels abroad. Thus sharing these chocolates was neither a special occurrence nor was serving the lunch at the 100th departmental meeting!  However, cutting and partaking of the sumptuous cake crowned the fruitful deliberations and celebrations of the 100th HPPM departmental meeting. Thank you to everybody that made these celebrations possible.

bAs we continue to celebrate this achievement, we invite you to share your opinions (on our facebook page- Health Policy Planning & Management at Mak) as to whether you think meetings are an effective tool to the successful running of a department, organization or company! We also invite comments, experiences of how you would celebrate the 100th meeting of your department, company or organization.


Blog and photos by David Roger Walugembe

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