For the last 37 years, he has occupied Room No. 224 on the Second Floor of the School of Public Health at Makerere University College of Health Sciences.
ÔÇ£Most of my working life, I have been at the School, since 1977. I have been occupying my office for 37 years; I practically do not know any other officeÔÇØ.
Prof. Joseph Konde Lule, was the first Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the then Institute of Public Health, now School of Public Health. During his stay in the Department he has taught many, supervised many and mentored many. His wealth therefore is not measured by how much money and property he has accumulated during his working life, but by the quality of people that have passed through his hands.
Those who attended his farewell dinner had only admiration for his dedication and commitment to nurturing young talent.
ÔÇ£While other students in my MPH class had two supervisors, he was my only supervisor and I was the first one to finish my dissertationÔÇØ, Dr. Ellizeus Rutebemberwa shared.
ÔÇ£He gave me my first opportunity to conduct research; we have been friends, co-workers and colleagues. You must proud that as the first in your area, you are leaving many professors behindÔÇØ, shared Dr. Freddie Ssengooba.
ÔÇ£One of the faculty I got to know when I joined the Department of Public Health (then) is Prof. Konde Lule. He encouraged me to join and a few years later, I took over from him as Head of the Department. The Department (of Epidemiology and Biostatistics) was started by him and most of the people who joined it was because of himÔÇØ, said Dr. David Guwatudde.
ÔÇ£Thank you for mentorship and moulding us. You also interested me into going into research starting from Rakai Health Sciences Programme, along with Professors; Nelson Sewankambo and David Serwadda. You gave me the first opportunity to teach; supported me to pursue a career in teaching and research. Thank you for having the confidence in me as a young lecturerÔÇØ, said Dr. Noah Kiwanuka.
In his speech, Associate Prof. Joseph Konde Lule thanked the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics for the warm gesture of a farewell party as well as a good work environment during his years of service. ÔÇ£Sitoma (I am not complaining). I have had a very good life at the School of Public Health and my retirement will be a comfortable oneÔÇØ, he said.
The dinner also served as a platform to thank Dr. Frederick Makumbi, immediate outgoing Chair of Department for his dedicated service to the department and the School of Public Health. In his speech, Dr. Makumbi noted that the job of leading the department is teamwork where the Chair always calls upon other members of the department in matters of critical decision-making. ÔÇ£I appreciate the Chair I succeeded, I engaged him when I had just joined and he was eager to share the names of some of the faculty who needed support to get more focused on Departmental work. I was able to tap into his wisdom. Build teams, listen to individuals, learn to manage your boss and tap into the ideas of other chairs in the SchoolÔÇØ, he counseled his successor Dr. Nazarius Mbona Tumwesigye.
Dr. Mbona Tumwesigye noted that due to the teamwork approach to leadership in the Department, there is a seamless transition from one leadership to another. ÔÇ£We have been together for so long and worked as friends and colleagues. In the last couple of months we have worked on a number of project applications and I call upon all of you to do all research projects in the DepartmentÔÇØ, he implored.
He also urged the Department staff to work harder at making their work more visible in the School and to the wider public health community. ÔÇ£Nothing much is known about Epi-Bio as a Department; this needs to be changed. We have a lot of publications coming out of the work of the Departmental staff and we need to make it visible. The task ahead is huge but can be enjoyableÔÇØ, he said.
The Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health, Associate Professor William Bazeyo thanked Associate Prof. Joseph Konde Lule for the dedicated service to the University as well as the country, adding that Prof. Konde Lule led Uganda in developing the first HMIS for the Ministry of Health. He thanked him for the inspiration he provided to young academics at the School of Public Health and for his contribution in growing the profile of the School.
Prof. Konde Lule and Dr. Frederick Makumbi were both given plaques thanking them for their contribution, while Prof. Konde Lule received a computer in addition.