Uganda

At the Uganda site, MHIRT fellows will be immersed in a district-based public health system in collaboration with Makerere University School of Public Health (SPH). MHIRT fellows will contribute to an established multi-faceted HIV program in conjunction with the Ugandan military.

The Makerere SPH is one of the leading public health education and research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, with a substantial research budget and collaborations with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Uganda has a well-developed public health system of disease surveillance and clinical services for infectious and non-infectious diseases. This unique aspect of the program serves as a tremendous learning opportunity for graduate students who are interested in international public health.

In Uganda, Public health care begins at the community level with community health workers.  Uganda was one of the earliest African nations to recognize the emergence of HIV within its population and responded with a comprehensive, aggressive approach to addressing the outbreak. Over the past 30 years, HIV remains a challenge to the people of Uganda, as it is a disease that transects society and has clinical, social, and economic consequences, requiring biological, behavioral, and structural strategies for control.

The required field component of Makerere’s SPH graduate degree involves placement of MHIRT fellows into selected district health offices. This is supervised by the Ugandan District Health Officer (DHO) and his staff with oversight by a Makerere SPH  faculty member. As part of the SDSU MHIRT program, fellows will be matched with Makerere SPH graduate students in order to enhance the cultural experience and contribute to the independence within which the student teams operate.

During the 10 week field program, SDSU MHIRT fellows will execute a high-profile public health project, designed in collaboration with the DHO and Makerere graduate students.  SDSU MHIRT fellows will experience the myriad of clinical and public health services delivered by the DHO, and may participate in disease surveillance and outbreak investigations. Projects will include public health assessments, and will be data-driven (either qualitative or quantitative), which may have a public health education intervention as an outcome. There will be periodic check-ins with the supervising Makerere faculty mentor assigned to each student. There will also be an opportunity within the rotation to work with the Ugandan People’s Defense Force HIV Directorate, based in Kampala, which provides a broad array of services to HIV infected children, teens, and adults.  SDSU MHIRT fellows will also work with the Adolescent HIV clinic and have the opportunity to work with young adults, delivering health education and service related activities, such as leading economic empowerment activities with orphans and vulnerable children.

NOTE: Only GRADUATE student applications are currently being accepted for our Uganda research site.

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