Overview

Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) in partnership with the Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is implementing the Public Health Fellowship Program (PHFP), an initiative to develop the next generation of public health leadership for Uganda. The goal of this program is to develop a competent workforce by learning-through-service and responding to real public health problems of Uganda.

The PHFP has four objectives:

  1. Training: Develop a workforce competent in applied epidemiology and other cross-cutting aspects of public health practice
  2. Service: Fill gaps and perform essential functions in public health practice within priority technical units and programs at national and sub-national levels
  3. Advocacy: Establish/reinforce substantive public health specialist cadres at national, regional/district levels and ensure dedicated funding to sustain the capacity building efforts
  4. Networking: Strengthen collaborations across various tiers of the health sector, other national and regional stakeholders

The PHFP is a 2-year, non-degree full-time program offered on a competitive basis to Ugandan nationals who seek to become leaders in public health practice. The PHFP will be offered in four tracks, namely: Field Epidemiology Training Program, Laboratory, Health Informatics, and Monitoring and Evaluation. For the upcoming 2014/2015 intake, the PHFP offers ten (10) 2-year Fellowships in Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). The FETP will consist of didactic learning (20%) and project-based training (80%). Competency domains include field epidemiology, communications, public health programming, and management and leadership. Fellows will prove development of these competencies by completing a portfolio of projects in each of these domains. Fellows will serve in priority technical units of the Ministry of Health, regional level or district health services to complete this portfolio under the supervision and mentorship of national and international subject-area experts. Candidates already in the civil service will be expected to commit to a two-year bonding requirement for continued service after completion of the fellowship.

The PHFP aims at training transformative leaders in health who are analytical in thinking, who can work effectively in teams and who can integrate inter-disciplinarity in their work. The training methodology takes on a hands-on approach that is guided by four main domains (applied epidemiology, effective communication, public health programming and leadership and management). For each domain, Fellows must demonstrate multiple competencies by executing projects to address public health priorities in Uganda.

Public Health Fellows are attached to priority technical units of the Ministry of Health, regional health services and/or district health services. The attachment accounts for 80% of the experience. The remaining 20% is reserved for Fellows to attend modular trainings, seminars, debates, etc. that are supportive of competency development and linked to the fieldwork. During the field attachment, the Fellow is placed under the guidance of a host mentor, and also receives mentorship from the PHFP Secretariat, and from senior technical experts at MakSPH, MOH and CDC.

The PHFP builds upon the rich tradition of capacity-building at MakSPH. Since 1994, MakSPH has been conducting Master's level training in Public Health and Health Services Research; training over 300 public health officers who occupy positions of responsibility at different levels of the public health system in Uganda. In 2002, MakSPH initiated the MakPH-CDC Fellowship Program aimed at enhancing leadership and management capacity of health program managers and leaders in Uganda. This capacity building program has trained over 85 Fellows in leadership and management of health programs, with over 90% of the graduates occupying senior leadership positions in Uganda and elsewhere.

Additional information about the PHFP in general and the Field Epidemiology Training Program in particular can be obtained from the Training Manager, MakSPH-CDC Fellowship Program, Makerere University School of Public Health; telephone: 0414 533 958; email: jmatovu@musph.ac.ug.