National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) under the East African Community (EAC) ordered closure of three University medical schools due to lack of appropriate infrastructure to facilitate medical courses.
The three Universities were also told to stop admitting and to distribute already admitted students to other universities with the requisite infrastructure until they satisfy the minimum standards to teach these courses.
The order was issued following a report tilted; “3rd Joint Inspection of New and Existing Medical and Dental schools” by technical health experts from the East African Community (EAC) that inspected medical and dentistry schools of various universities in Uganda.
A total of eight schools in seven universities were inspected with an aim of establishing the conformity of universities to the standards and guidelines governing medical and dental schools in the East African Community.
The Inspection was conducted between February 10 and 14 by EAC Partner States National Medical and Dental Practitioners Regulatory Councils following the directive of the 19th Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers of Health in Nairobi, Kenya, between October 28 and November 1 2019.
In Uganda, the inspection teams comprised of two sub teams; A and B, headed by Mr Daniel Yumbya, the chief executive officer of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Council, and Prof David Ngassapa, the chairperson of Medical, Dental and Allied Health Professionals Council of Tangayika, respectively. Each team inspected four universities.
Finds according to the report
UCU dentistry school lacked laboratory tool and it does not meet the minimum standards of medical/dental students.
“The inspection team established that the school of dentistry… is a one-man (fulltime) department in the School of Medicine. The team also established that there was no single dental chair in the department,” the report stated.
St Augustine International University , Officials discovered that the institution’s laboratory did not have sinks, floor drainage system, fire safety precautions within or outside rooms and had low lighting levels, and dissection tables were made of wood.
“The university does not have its own teaching hospital and instead utilises several MoUs with various hospitals. The top management of the university and the medical school is not in touch with the issues in the medical school,” the report states.
Busitema University medical school in Mbale District was also ordered to close due to lack of minimum requirements for training of medical/dental students.
“Therefore, upon qualification their graduates shall not be eligible for reciprocal recognition within the EAC partner states as set out in the mutual recognition agreement and EAC Inspection and Recognition of medical and dental school guidelines,” the report said.
Makerere University, the inspection team said that the institution had implemented up to 60 per cent of the recommendations.
Gulu University, Medical laboratory had inadequate number of bones for demonstration, no extractor funs and no sinks for hand-washing for students .
On top of that the laboratoryhad no documentation on receipt, processing and disposal of cadavers.
Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) at Kibuli in Kampala, Habib Medical School lacked a research committee.
List of Uganda Universities inspected
- Makerere University
- Gulu University
- Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU)
- Christian University (UCU)
- St Augustine International University
- Busitema University medical schools