The Minister of Health Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has hailed Medical Education Partnership Initiative for among other activities, the support toward building capacity for regionally relevant research in this era of evidence-based practice and policy.
This was contained in a speech read for the Minister by Minister of State for Health (General Duties) Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye at the closing ceremony of the MEPI 3rd Annual Symposium that has been running 6th ├ö├ç├┤ 8th August 2013 at the Serena Hotel.
Minister Rugunda said challenges in the health sector are many but can be addressed by focused efforts like what is being done in MEPI schools. He said tasks related to human resources for health are huge and need concerted efforts.
He cautioned that as stakeholders in MEPI and health professional education celebrate achievements they should be mindful of the way forward and sustainability. He applauded efforts by MEPI schools for the work in increasing the number of medical graduates who are fit for purpose.
In his own words, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye who is also in charge of Human Resources at the Ministry, said that HIV in Uganda has affected everybody including professionals. He therefore applauded MEPI for rebuilding brain capacity by aiding universities.
He said MEPI innovations will help African governments get cost-effective methods of training. ├ö├ç┬úCan we educate our people to get access and use latest technology in teaching?├ö├ç├ÿ he elucidated.
├ö├ç┬úYour success and legacy as MEPI will be judged and will ultimately lead to prolonging and saving lives. It is the ultimate gift you can give to a human being├ö├ç├ÿ, he concluded.
Ambassador Eric Goosby (UN Global AIDS Coordinator), noted that the collective innovations made the whole larger than its parts. ├ö├ç┬úThe impact of community activities has gone beyond expectations; there has been mutual engagement and support, you have visited and supported each other├ö├ç├ÿ, he said.
He said although the MEPI programme ends in two years, PEPFAR and his office remain committed to rolling in MEPI II to solidify what has been achieved in MEPI I and strengthen African medical institutions. He said funds to this effect were being discussed and new partners from outside the US are coming on board.
Dr. Emilia Noormahomed, the incoming Chair of the MEPI Principal Investigators├ö├ç├û Council, said that MEPI is changing the landscape of medical education in Africa just as it was designed to do. She applauded the generosity of the African people for funding the programme.
The Outgoing Chair Principal Investigators├ö├ç├û Council, Professor Nelson Sewankambo noted that the three days have exhibited the so many things going on in Africa, which should be shared by all medical schools on the continent; public and private.
He appealed to all MEPI schools to help and support and strengthen the PI Council so that it becomes a vibrant and real engine to drive MEPI work.