Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), on June 14th 2012 hosted Mr. Shahed Nalla the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Mr. Shahed was part of a bigger team from the university whose mission was to explore collaboration opportunities with universities in East Africa, Makerere University being the prime target of this exploration. ├ö├ç┬úMakerere University has a deep and interesting history that many of us are not aware of due to the political history of South Africa├ö├ç├ÿ, Mr. Shahed observed.
During his day long stay at the MakCHS, Mr. Shahed visited and held talks with key persons in his university├ö├ç├ûs areas of interest, including HIV/AIDS, physiology, anatomy, pharmacology and public health.
He however, pointed out that the University of Johannesburg focuses mainly on allied sciences, complementary medicine, public health, etc.
At the Infectious Diseases Institute, Shahed met Dr. Yuka Manabe; outgoing Director of Research and Dr. Andrew Kambugu, the new portfolio holder. The discussion focused on the future of health research in Africa; South-South HIV research collaborations; rapid urbanization that creates unique health conditions and integration of care for fragile health systems were singled out as the key areas of focus.
At the Department of Pharmacology, the discussion was majorly focused on research in traditional medicine where three of the department├ö├ç├ûs staff on PhD programs shared their work. Mr. Shahed was impressed by the fact that all the research that was being done was addressing existing issues and can be implemented as soon as it is completed.
Mr. Shahed also held a general meeting with Deans and Chairs of Departments where areas of collaboration discussed included exchange visits involving staff and students, exchange of external examiners and supervisors, collaborative research.
The Deputy Principal, MakCHS, Professor Celestino Obua informed Mr. Shahed that the College has close to 400 academic staff, many of them accomplished researchers in their areas of expertise. He said the College is committed to growing its human resources and has worked hard to secure training and professional development opportunities for especially young members of staff, many of whom are completing either their Masters of PhD studies.