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School of Public Health
College of Health Sciences, Makerere University

Core Functions

As part of the Makerere University, the School of Public Health has three core responsibilities which are: 1). Training in public health 2). Conducting research and 3). Community Service


MakSPH has >850 students including >600 graduate students. The School runs 9 academic programs including Master of Public Health (MPH) Distance and Fulltime, MPH Nutrition, MPH Informatics, Masters in Disaster Management, Master of Health Services Research, MPH Monitoring and Evaluation, Masters in Biostatistics, and Doctor of Philosophy. MakSPH also offers 50 Fellowships annually (10 two-year fellowships in field epidemiology in partnership with the Ministry of Health, and 30 nine-month/medium-term Fellowships). The School has 8 District field training sites at which undergraduate and postgraduate students work with the District health teams to identify health problems and address them through evidence based approaches of learning.

MakSPH also conducts short term courses including: Distance/E-learning Certificate in Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Leadership Applied Biostatistics, Principles and Practice of Epidemiology, Clinical and Community Trials, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Vaccine Economics, Public Health in Complex Emergencies, Nutrition in Complex Emergencies and Advanced qualitative Research Methods.

Its student and staff exchange programs, off-shore teaching projects, research symposia, and joint research centres and projects encourage students and staff to participate in and gain international experience.

Conducting Research

MakSPH is committed to building its research capacity as a way to address the formidable Public Health challenges faced in key sectors in health. It has a long track record of conducting population-based and other types of research, evaluation of health programs, and health systems and has a wide platform and network of well-established research centers and institutes that further expand available data sources and capacity to conduct public health evaluations. Some of the centers include the Family Health center, the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Center, the Iganga and Mayuge Demographic Surveillance Site (DSS), the Clinical Trials Unit, among others. The School has a well-established platform to support national surveys in Uganda. Some of the recent surveys include the PMA2020 Family Planning surveys, which has also integrated family planning and more recently Primary Health Care access, the TB prevalence survey, among others. The School produces about 200 peer reviewed scientific publications annually.


MakSPH has more than 93 academic staff and research fellows, and about 300 project staff. The academic staff include epidemiologists, statisticians, infectious disease specialists (including HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria), behavioral scientists, and health systems experts, health economists, among others. In addition, MakSPH staff work closely with the other health professionals across the Schools in the College of Health Sciences—the School of Medicine, School of Biomedical Sciences as well as with other Colleges in the University.


MakSPH has a good track record of Local, regional and global collaborations and partnerships and has worked extensively with various UN agencies, US Government, and other funding agencies. Within Uganda, MakSPH has worked extensively with the Ministry of Health (MOH), Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA), and Districts to develop and implement several pre- and in-service training programs and research. Examples include The CDC funded Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Assistance project (METS) which supports half of the districts in Uganda; the CDC supported Public Health Fellowship Program which supports capacity building to enhance field epidemiology. MakSPH has also worked closely with several development partners and the UN Family including WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and World Food Program. The School has worked with >60 NGOs over the past 15 years in training, research and service delivery. The School implements several regional network projects in sub-Saharan Africa, both as a prime recipient and as a sub-recipient in 20 African countries. The School is a founder member of the Association of the Schools of Public Health in Africa (ASPHA), a founder member of the Africa Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET), and other regional networks.

The School also has a wide network of partner universities in Europe and USA. It has successfully built a large network with Universities in the North and South including;

NORTH - Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, University of Georgia, Atlanta, Stanford University, California, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, Columbia University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Wisconsin University Madison, Harvard School of Public Health, Tulane University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Alberta, Swiss Tropical Institute, Duke University, University of Bergen, Norway among many others.

SOUTH - Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Wits University South Africa, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, National University of Rwanda, University of Western Cape South Africa, Jimma University Ethiopia, Kinsasha University School of Public Health, DRC, Moi University, Kenya, Abadeen University, Nigeria and many others.

Regional research and service projects implemented in sub-Saharan Africa

The School has implemented several projects in sub-Saharan Africa, supporting 20 countries over the years.

  1. MakSPH coordinates the Center for Tobacco Control in Africa with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation via the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
  2. MakSPH has successfully implemented the Resilient Africa Network, a 5-year 50 million USD USAID funded project as a Prime partner supporting several African countries (Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Malawi, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Mali and Senegal).
  3. MakSPH also implements the USAID funded One Health Central and East Africa supporting 8 African countries.
  4. MakSPH is implementing a Global Fund grant, supporting ministries of health in 7 African countries in Eastern and Southern Africa to enhance analytic capacity and use.

Community Service and Engagement: MakSPH works closely with government, industry, business, and the community to drive public health, scientific and technological progress across East Africa, and the world at large. MakSPH staff and students are committed to working with disadvantaged communities and developing practical initiatives that are responsive to and engage communities through the use of social and participatory action research, community empowerment ideologies and partnerships. The School has invested in facilities to coordinate, support and advance informed community engagement with the intention of leveraging its collective influence towards promoting positive social change within communities. The School has 8 District field training sites in which undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as faculty work with the District health teams to identify health problems and address them through evidence based approaches.


Our approach to teaching is hands-on to ensure acquisition of competencies that are relevant to the market and to deliver services to the communities. We are currently running the following programmes, with over 800 students in total: 

  • PhD programme
  • Master of Public Health (Fulltime)
  • Master of Public Health (Distance)
  • Masters in Health Services Research (HSR)
  • Masters in Health Nutrition
  • Masters in Disaster Management
  • Master of Health Informatics
  • MPH (Monitoring and Evaluation)
  • Bachelor of Environmental Health Science
  • Certificate in Health Services Management

 Our students come from Uganda and other countries within the Eastern, Central and Western African regions. 

Service delivery

From participating in disease outbreak investigations and disaster management to implementation research in health facilities and communities across Uganda and Africa, our contribution to society is invaluable.

In addition to our primary mandate of capacity building and research in Public Health, we collaborate and or consult with the Ugandan Ministry of Health (MoH) and with district, municipal and city local governments, international agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in supporting the planning, implementation and evaluation of health programmes.

Over the years, our activities have focussed on education and research in health planning and management, health systems, policy analysis in health, nutrition and population, epidemiology and control of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, reproductive health, child health, emerging diseases, public health in complex emergencies and environmental health concerns.