TotalEnergies EP Uganda recently handed over a $150,000 high-fidelity simulation center for emergency medical training to the administration of Makerere University.
The handover of the facility was held at Makerere University’s College of Health Sciences in Mulago. Speaking at the event, Phillipe Groueix, the general manager of TotalEnergies EP Uganda, said the new facility will contribute towards the improvement of emergency medicine and critical care response at a time when Uganda is scaling up her oil and gas activities.
The facility will serve the students of Makerere and the staff of Mulago national referral hospital. He added that the new facility at Mulago becomes the highest high-fidelity simulation centre for medical training in sub-Saharan Africa outside Cape Town, South Africa.
“This facility underscores the company’s commitment to contributing towards improved access to health and education in Uganda. It also complements ongoing efforts by Total to support the establishment of Uganda’s first ambulance station at Naguru.”
Among the targeted trainees for this facility are medical students, doctors, nurses and emergency medical physicians, among others.
The simulation center, primed to become a center of excellence in medical simulation, has three training rooms, each with the capacity to accommodate six learners at a time, and a 100-seater auditorium. Some of the simulation equipment contributed includes advanced simulation manikins, portable patient monitors and defibrillators, and audio and video equipment, among others.
The center currently trains about 150 undergraduate medical students and 70 postgraduate specialists in anesthesia and emergency medicine annually.
Speaking at the same event, Dr Rosemary Byanyima, the acting executive director of Mulago national referral hospital, applauded TotalEnergies for the contribution, which she said would improve the skills of both staff and students in emergency medical care.
She appealed to Total to help in the maintenance of the facility to ensure that it meets the desired goals for its establishment. In August 2022, TotalEnergies EP Uganda and Makerere University entered into a three-year memorandum of understanding. Away from the high-fidelity simulation centre, the MoU also committed the oil giant to avail funds to support Makerere University in renewable energy research.
A 2020 study by Makerere University department of Disease Control and Environmental Health revealed weaknesses at every level of what should be a critical component in the healthcare system – one that deals with the ability to treat life- threatening conditions in a time-sensitive manner.
The study recommended that the ministry of Health speed up the effort to provide policies and guidelines and increase investments for the creation of functional emergency medical services in Uganda.