By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/Umoja Standard.
Mulago, Uganda: The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), a member of Intealth has launched Institute for health professions educators in East Africa through Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) in Kampala, Uganda and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Faculty of Medicine in Mbarara, Uganda as a regional partner.
This initiative will look at expanding FAIMER’s influence in promoting health professions education and workforce development and areas of interest.
FAIMER was established in 2000 as a non-profit foundation of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) all of which are members of Intealth that brings together the expertise and resources of the two non-profit organizations to advance quality in health care education worldwide to improve health care for all.
Under this, the core curriculum of EAFRI will be based on that of the International FAIMER Institute, which teaches education methods, leadership and management, education scholarship and research, and project management and evaluation.
The new institute will serve health professions educators in East Africa including Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, the Comoros, the Seychelles, and Mauritius. It will also include East African Community member states of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda.
It will also consider applicants from other regions of Africa.
Partnering with FAIMER will enable us to develop leaders in health professions education, research, and community services who will transform the health care system and address the needs of the community in East Africa,” said Dr. Annettee Nakimuli, Dean at the MakCHS School of Medicine.
“Mbarara University’s collaboration with FAIMER provides a monumental opportunity to benefit from globally pooled expertise and resources in order to enhance excellent health professions education and ensure equitable access to health care for everyone,” said Dr. Joseph Ngonzi, Dean for the Mbarara University of Science and Technology Faculty of Medicine.
“With the establishment of EAFRI, we are delighted to provide these faculty development opportunities to educators in the East Africa region.” said Dr. Ronald Blanck, President of FAIMER.
“The shared strength of both MakCHS and MUST will allow EAFRI to advance the health workforce in East Africa, benefiting faculty, students, and the communities in which these healthcare workers serve.” He added.
Dr. Damalie Nakanjako, Professor and Principal Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) expressed excitement about the institute and informed that as the University they have always reviewed curricular to meet demands at hand.
“It is a University practice to review curricular. This is done everytime to make sure that they are complaint to the needs of educators.” Said Dr. Damalie Nakanjako.
Professor Sarah Kiguli the East African FAIMER Regional Institute (EAFRI) inaugural Director stated that there are many schools and Universities that train Doctors, Nurses, there are many students but people who train them, many are not well trained so the institute will cover that gap
Prof. Sarah Kiguli will be assisted by Professor Samuel Maling from Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST).
EAFRI will greatly expand the interprofessional community-based health professions education, research, and service programs that MUST has implemented in recent years.
The First cohort will take in between 14-16 students and will start in August of this year.
There are more than 2,000 graduates, known as FAIMER Fellows, of the International FAIMER Institute and FAIMER Regional Institutes, representing nearly 60 countries around the globe.
This development was reached at the Launch of the Institute on 10th May at Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Davis Lecture, Theatre in Kampala, Uganda.