Setting Up a new Medical School: The Experience of Busitema University

It has been a long two years since the MESAU consortium embarked on the task of working with Busitema University for the establishment of a medical school.

Finally at the MESAU Site Visit meeting in Gulu, hosted by Gulu University, consortium members got to hear that it may not be very long before they get the good news. Already informal reports indicated that the two academic programmes that were submitted to the Uganda National Council for Higher Education for approval are regarded as very good and relevant programmes.

In his presentation to the MESAU family, Mr.Elisha Obella, the Academic Registrar Busitema University said that the medical school is likely to start in the next academic year, commencing August 2013.

Mr. Obella said that an environmental scan indicates that there is human resource at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital with 25 specialists who are more than willing to teach on the two programmes, while training space is available at TASO Mbale as well as at the Regional Blood Bank in Mbale.

The Mbale District council has already provided 58 acres of land for the construction of the medical school premises. The Virginia School of Medicine has also pledged to support the soon-to-be established school with equipment and scholarships for ten students from a rural setting.

Meanwhile, the university is still engaging stakeholder within and outside Uganda, to ensure the necessary goodwill and support once the medical school is established. Once established, Busitema University medical school will boost the production and hopefully retention of medical doctors in Uganda, for equitable access to medical services.