On behalf of Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), I warmly welcome you to the celebrations of 25 years of our Master of Public Health (MPH) program. Our Program was among the first three MPH programs in sub-Saharan Africa.
This celebration comes as we mark 65 years since the establishment of the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Medical School, which eventually grew into the first Institute of Public Health in sub-Saharan Africa, and our current School of Public Health. Further, this event comes as we mark 52 years since the establishment of the post-graduate Diploma in Public Health, which preceded all our current 8 academic programs.
We are grateful to all of you that have joined us to celebrate this great milestone. This achievement has been realized with tremendous support from all our partners on the national and global scene, and from the private and public sectors, the civil society, Districts Local Governments, Ministry of Health and the wider Makerere University community, over the years. We also deeply appreciate the presence of delegates from the Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa who have worked with us on various academic and research projects over the years.
We cannot talk about our achievements as a School without talking about the excellent institutional leadership at several levels within the School over the years. All our previous leaders have been diligent and visionary and they have had the growth of public health at the center of their work. We are excited to have our previous leadership present at this event. The School has also been privileged to attract a workforce that is focused and goal-oriented. This wonderful staff at the School of Public Health has upheld and supported the leadership through their focused and hard work and are the real engine behind our achievements.
The District Health Officers and leadership of various organisations and the Ministry of Health have played a big role in providing mentorship to our students during their field placements for experiential learning, and a critical component of our programs. We appreciate the alumni from our programs who have continued to work with us and to support our programs and students over the years.
This celebration under the theme "Twenty-Five Years of Public Health Training in Africa: Looking Back and Forward to Accelerate the Contribution of Schools of Public Health towards Universal Health Coverage in Africa" provides an opportunity for reflection and recognition of those who have contributed to our success. Presentations will examine what MakSPH has achieved in the last 25 years and what we hope to contribute especially, towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG3 on Health and well-being, in the next 25 years.
We appreciate and recognise our partners that have supported public health training right from its inception, including the Ministry of Health, US government, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization, Rockefeller Foundation, among others.
We celebrate this event with great excitement as look forward to your continued support and partnership to further improve public health training and research in Uganda and the sub-Saharan Africa region, towards realizing universal health coverage for all.
I thank you.
Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze
Professor and Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health