The Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) is in the process of starting a graduate programme in Master of Health Economics. This Master of Health Economics will be the first of its kind in Uganda and generally the region. This program is being developed at Makerere University School of Public Health, with support from the Center for Health Economics (CHE, University of York, United Kingdom (UK). The key objective of the training program is to address the skills gaps that have been manifested in the area of health economics and financing, health policy, and decision-making in Uganda and the region. A lot of policy and decision-making on resource allocation, efficiency improvements, and optimization, requires skills and training in the area of health economics, majorly to apply economics tools to help in addressing challenges within the health sector and other sectors. Currently, graduate training in Health Economics is mainly offered by Western Univerities, albeit at a very high cost. Establishing this program in Uganda will therefore help expand opportunities for training at a relatively less cost, and help to build a critical mass that can support policy and decision-making, and research in Uganda, the region, and globally.
Team from School of Public Health meet with the Team at the School of Economics to discuss the curriculum
(From MakSPH: Dr. Elizabeth Ekirapa-Kiracho, Prof. Freddie Ssengooba, Mr. Mayora Chrispus, Ms. Brenda Nakimuli & Mr. Richard Ssempala. (From School of Economics: Prof. Edward Bbaale, Dr. Tom Mwebaze, Dr. Ibrahim Mukisa, Dr. John Bosco Nyanzi & Dr. Fred Matovu)
The Health Economics curriculum process has been elaborate, stretching for more than three years now and involving a cross section of stakeholders, including: The Makerere University School of Economics, Economic Policy Research Center, Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, Infectious Disease Institute IDI, MRC-UVRI, and members from the civil society, private sector, and private consulting entities.
Members in Attendance in discussions on the curriculum, at the School of Economics boardroom
The consultations process is currently at the tail-end before the curriculum gets submitted to the University Senate for approval. The Health Economics program is expected to be delivered by Makerere School of Public Health in collaboration with Makerere School of Economics. On March 11, 2021, the two teams met to discuss emerging issues, enrolment credentials, quality control in content development and delivery, and how best preparations should be done in anticipation of the upcoming implementation should the curriculum be approved. Additional meetings between the two teams have been scheduled in the coming weeks to thresh out specific issues, but also discuss any additional areas of collaboration including in research, and possible area of PhD Training.