Minister Anifa Kawooya looking at a specimen through a microscope during her visit to ISBAT university (Photo by Vivien Nakitende)
John Masaba
Journalist @New Vision

The state minister for health, Anifa Kawooya, has hailed private universities for offering healthcare programmes that will accelerate Uganda’s socioeconomic transformation.

 “I appreciate that the universities in Uganda are coming up with healthcare programmes that are aimed at developing the country’s healthcare backbone, skilled employment and attaining global standards in healthcare education,” she said.

The health state minister made the remarks while launching new job-oriented programmes in the healthcare sector at ISBAT University on Wednesday. Kawooya emphasised the importance of the two programmes — bachelor of medical laboratory technology and bachelor of medical imaging technology (BMIT).

The minister heard from ISBAT University vice-chancellor Prof. Dr K. M. Mathew that bachelor of medical laboratory technology is a high-end employable programme that provides opportunities for work in the global healthcare industry.

“There is a high demand for medical laboratory technologists in Uganda and in various parts of the world, including Europe, the US, Canada and the Middle East,” he said. “A bachelor’s degree in medical imaging technology can also enable graduates to make their fortune in Uganda or any part of the world. Being a medical imaging professional, the opportunities are seamless for a highly paid engagement.”

Kawooya also commended ISBAT University management for investing heavily in the healthcare training system to enable the Ugandan youth to have an international learning environment. Prof. John Charles Okiria, the chairperson of the Allied Health Professionals Council, commended the role of allied medics in improving the health system of the country.

Dr Andrew Ssekitoleko, the chief executive offi cer of Nsambya Hospital, said they would collaborate with ISBAT University to sustainably administer the programmes successfully. The chancellor of ISBAT University and former fi nance state minister, Fred Omach, highlighted the importance of universities building international collaborations that enable students and faculty exchanges. “These pave the way for a unique multicultural and eclectic experience in a global scenario,” Omach said.

The chairperson board of directors, Varghese Mundamattam, revealed the university’s plans to expand to a new residential campus by 2025, adding that its academic policies will enrich Uganda’s education system. Mundamattam also revealed that the university, which opened in 2006, will collaborate with Apollo Hospital Group in India, which is one of the modern super specialty hospitals with modern medical facilities and infrastructure.

Mundamattam said BAT University conducted a medical camp prior to the COVID-19 period and around 500 patients from Kampala benefited from it. He added that the university was planning more such medical camps and continued medical education programmes in the coming months for the benefi t of Ugandans.

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