MESAU

Background

The “Medical Education for Equitable Services for All Ugandans”, (MESAU) was created as a national platform that unites medical education institutions in Uganda to have a collective social conscience and a sense of purpose to pursue academic excellence, and enhance social accountability to improve Uganda’s health system and the health of her people.

MESAU Vision: Medical education for equitable service delivery to all Ugandans.

MESAU Goal: To develop MESAU institutions as centres of excellence for medical education, research and service that address local and national needs to improve health in Uganda.

MESAU Mission: The MESAU Consortium exists to strengthen country-wide institutional collaboration and to foster transformative, innovative medical education and research founded on strong sustainable institutional systems and social accountability. In doing this, MESAU will contribute to increasing the number and retention of high quality committed health workers capable of addressing Uganda’s health priorities through excellent service in under-served areas in order to improve health outcomes for Uganda and beyond.

Objectives
The main thematic aims of MESAU are:
1.Theme 1: increasing the number of health workers trained. In Year 2 this has involved expanding the infrastructure and processes that will increase the capacity of MESAU institutions to improve the quality and numbers of students graduating in various health professional programs. An anthropological assessment of MESAU is under way will contribute to our understanding of the evolution of a consortium approach and its contribution to medical education across the country.
2.Theme 2: Retaining health workers in areas where they are most needed, through enhancement of Community Based Education Research and Service (COBERS) and Family Medicine interventions.
3.Theme 3: Increasing the capacity of MEPI institutions to conduct locally relevant research

Challenges
The slow bureaucratic procurement process at MUST has led to delays in acquisition of major items like vehicles and skills lab equipment. Another challenge is understaffing and limited capacity at MUST.

Achievements

MEPI Theme 1
Twenty nine faculty members were trained in the 6 steps approach for curriculum development and the process of developing the curriculum is still going on. Another workshop held from the 9th to 11th March 2012 reviewed the curriculum; a total of 67 participants attended. During this workshop six programs were reviewed, namely, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Medical Laboratory Science, Pharmacy, Nursing, Dentistry and Physiotherapy. New courses were added on to the programs and these included; Family Medicine for MBChB and Entrepreneurship for all the programs.
Space for the establishment of the ERU was identified. Equipment were procured to support teaching and learning at the education resources unit and these included: Five laptops, an LCD projector, two Printers.
Stakeholders meeting was held at MUST. It created awareness and generated support for MESAU-MUST
Competencies for the MBChB, PHarm, BNS/BNC, MLS/MLC were defined and these guided the curriculum review process that has been ongoing at FOM-MUST.
MUST represented in the MEPI Annual Symposium at Johannsburg, South Africa
One Faculty member (Susan Achora, suppotted to complete her medical education in Southern Africa FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI)
One faculty member (Wilfred Arubaku) started his Master of Health Professionals Education (MHPE)
The Quality Assurance Committee developed tools for staff, students and infrastructure development assessment.

MEPI Theme 2
The draft CBE COBERS curriculum and the COBERS handbook were produced.
Poster presentations for the Leadership Community Placement reports were made at the MUST Annual scientific conference.
A stakeholder’s workshop held on the 22 March 2012 in Mbarara was attended by 41 participants from MUST, the districts and collaborating institutions. It discussed the COBERS budget, activity plan and how development partners could support MUST to improve COBERS.
MUST procured 10 desktop computers for COBERS sites.
An ICT and distance learning infrastructure needs assessment was carried out.
The staff and students benefited from the MakCHS international grand rounds by means of the recorded sessions.

Way forward
Continued strengthening of the MUST Grants Office and capacity building among the limited staff available.