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28 Developing formal degree programs to enhance capacity for injury prevention & control in low- and middle-income countries: a case study from Uganda
  1. Olive Kobusingye1,
  2. Abdulgafoor M Bachani2,
  3. Adnan A Hyder2
  1. 1Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda
  2. 2Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

Abstract

Background Despite the high burden of injuries, in many developing countries there is limited supply of trained human resources for practice and research in injury prevention. Formal degree programs are one way of building capacity, but are lacking in LMICs. The dearth of training programs in the science of trauma and injury prevention, disability assessment, lifelong social and economic impact, and translating research into effective policies and programs is a serious impediment to analytical and operational work in this field.

Methods We established the Johns Hopkins University-Makerere University Chronic Consequences of Trauma, Injuries and Disability in Uganda (JHU-MU Chronic TRIAD) program, through which we developed and successfully implemented one of the first MPH track focused on trauma, injuries, and disability at the Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) in Uganda.

Results A new MPH track at the MakSPH focusing on trauma, injuries and disability was launched in 2013. The MPH program entails two years of study, during which students are trained on core public health disciplines, and also required to take courses focused on trauma, injuries, and disability. A key feature of the program is a dissertation that students complete during their second year of the program. Three cohorts have been enrolled in the 2-year TRIAD fellowship and the program is recruiting its fourth cohort of fellows. Graduates of the program have secured positions within key organisations, such as the Ministry of Health, and academic institutions.

Conclusions Embedding formal training programs on the science of injury prevention and control into existing academic structures is key to ensuring sustainability of such programs. They are also a way of sparking interest in the field for students who may not have otherwise considered the field of injury prevention as a career pathway.

  • capacity development
  • training
  • degree programs
  • injury
  • trauma
  • disability

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