A total of seven students at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) under the community health program have received grant awards from Global Health Medicine in Boston, U.S.
According to Moses Ntalo, the Program’s Director at MUST, the research funding seeks to establish Mbarara University as a premier academic medical centre focusing on community-based health care delivery, research, and innovation.
Ntalo said the research support was launched in August 2018 and 62 postgraduate students have been supported to rotate in the lower level community health facilities since its inception.
“The program was launched in August last year and since its inception we are able to hold two quarterly medical education trainings,” said Ntalo
He added that the grant was generated from Whyss Medical Foundation through Massachusetts General Hospital one of the biggest hospitals in Boston, USA.
The grant totals USD 18,000 benefiting 5 postgraduate students and two lecturers at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
“These students will be given an amount of money and they have to show how to engage these lower health facilities where we send our students for service delivery,” said Ntalo.
Two lecturers received USD 4,000 each while every post graduates received USD 2,000 to help them complete their research topics on community health.
Ntalo says that the grant attracts researchers concentrating only on community health projects.
“This research award was competitive proposals were written for submission and these were the best students. But your research must have a community health component in order to compete for this grant,” said Ntalo.
He explained that initially, the university had inadequate resources from government to fund its lecturers while students would privately fund their research.
The University deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Nickson Kamukama asked researchers to put the grants to good use.
Dr Geren Stone, the programs director at Global Health Medicine in Boston challenged universities in Uganda to address health issues affecting locals in communities.
“Universities in academic science have a role to improve the health of the communities around them plus the patients that come to them for care,” he said.
“It’s my honor to pattern with you but a lot is still needed to be done between the communities, cities and rural areas” said Stone
The grant handover ceremony was also graced by, Dr Stephen Asiimwe, the Director Global Health Collaboration Uganda, Professor Edgar Mugema Mulogo, Joseph Ngonzi Dean faculty of medicine, and Dr Peter Kawungenzi program director at MUST.