Braun School of Public Health Alumni hold first Regional Alumni Meeting in Kampala

Eastern Africa Alumni of the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine (BSPH) at the Hebrew University-Hadassah, today converged in Kampala for a three day meeting to examine health systems in global and local contexts and prospects for post-MDG period. The meeting was organized by the Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) jointly with the Braun School of Public Health.

Opening the meeting, the Dean MakSPH, Associate Professor William Bazeyo congratulated the alumni for the initiative saying that partnerships and networks build universities worldwide, but more specially in the developing world. ÔÇ£We have been able to benefit and grow as a result of these. Use your links with institutions and individuals to build partnershipsÔÇØ, he counselled.

Sharing the experience of MakSPH, Dr. Bazeyo told his audience that through the Higher Education Alliance for Leadership Through Health (HEALTH) Alliance, hosted at the MakSPH, the alliance has influenced curricula review processes, identified good courses from each other and run them, helped start new programmes in some partner institutions, among others. The alliance has also been able to apply for and obtain grants as a network.

The Director, Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Prof. Yehuda Neumark said there are nearly 800 graduates of the BSPH in 91 countries all over the world.

He thanked the alumni who attended the meeting for sparing their time and promised that such regional meetings will be a regular item on the BSPH calendar.

Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, Chief of the Executive Board and External Relations Branch at the UNFPA and a 1999 Kenya alumna of the school, thanked the school for believing and investing in each of the alumna who has been able to benefit from the training. In the same breath she paid tribute to Makerere University as the regionÔÇÖs academic giant for producing the regionÔÇÖs most influential leaders, including politicians, professionals and Chief Executives.

Dr. Ojiambo implored the BSPH alumni to stand out and be counted as change agents in the region. ÔÇ£Be critical and cutting edge players wherever you work; take on 1-2 cutting edge ideas and move with them to realization. Be in touch with what is happening globally, make it local but be criticalÔÇØ, she said.

Prof. Pius Okong of Uganda Christian University, Mukono and Makerere University School of Public Health (Visiting Professor) said that in a bit to improve health outcomes for all, there is need to appreciate societies in which health service delivery is being planned. Giving examples of people living high up in mountains, he noted that there are many minority groups whose health status is not captured in national data.

The Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine alumni meeting is being attended by alumni from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, among others. It is being coordinated by Dr. Peter Waiswa of the MakSPH, himself an alumna.

Kampala

May 10, 2014