In 2008, while working in the remote Cambodian Northern Province of Preah Vihear, I read an online article in one of the Ugandan dailies on a new university- International Health Sciences University (IHSU) which had opened its gates and was using among others an innovative approach of the remote learning to deliver health science education in Uganda.
It was an ‘AHA’ moment for me because I had always been on a lookout for an institution that was affordable, accessible and would offer a convenient MSc. Public Health programme. I was determined that upon return to Uganda, I would enroll in to the MPH programme and fulfill my dream of more than 4 years.
August 2009 was a turning point in my career because it is when I embarked on the focused journey of acquiring my MPH. Every module was exciting and revealing because it gave me the opportunity to reflect on my experience if implementing community health and development projects in Uganda and Cambodia. One module that still looms large in my mind is the public health in conflict and complex emergencies because after the module, I applied for and got a job with Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in one of the Refugee Settlements. As a project manager in these vast refugee settlements, I had the opportunity of applying public health knowledge in the management of health and other community service programmes aimed at alleviating the suffering of refugees. I must however admit that there came a time when my project management responsibilities took a toll on me and I struggled with my studies. I had however shut the door of retreat on my only option was to complete the course. I dug deeper on to my resolve because I knew that inside me was a spirit with power to overcome virtually any level of pain, any challenge or any problem.
Since August, 2012, I have been working as a Programme Manager with Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) based in Somaliland but with frequent travels to Eastern Africa region and London. The Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) is a specialist global health partnership, strengthening health systems and enabling people in low and middle income countries to access essential health care. I manage the design and implementation of community health and health workers education and training programmes. What an exciting assignment it is! IHSU provided me with context appropriate training backed with an emphasis on professionalism.
Five of my close friends are now enrolled in to MPH programme on my recommendation and I will continue carrying IHSU flag high everywhere I go. I implore IHSU and every alumnus and current student to pursue the path of constant and never ending improvements. I affirm that IHSU education is making a difference to health care not just in Uganda but even in Somaliland.
It is in your moment of decision where your destiny is shaped. Time passes on very fast and the sooner you make a decision the better for you.
Visit www.ihsu.ac.ug and join the network of professionals that are making a difference. I will be launching my book on Career Development Tips for Fresh Graduates soon as part of my