There is a real shortage of healthcare workers in Uganda given the rapid population growth.
An incessant demand for healthcare services has resulted in increased demand for service delivery. As a result, many health colleges have sprung up. The big question, however, remains: what quality of training are these colleges giving the trainees?
That is where St Elizabeth’s Institute of Health Professionals, Mukono (SELIHEP) comes in. For the last decade, the institute has stood out as one of the best in training healthcare professionals.
Registered as a non-government organization (NGO), the institute not only deals in Primary Health Care (PHC) service delivery training, but it also offers a variety of professional medical courses including diploma in pharmacy, diploma in clinical medicine and community health, diploma in medical laboratory technology, certificate in pharmacy and certificate in medical laboratory technology.
The institute is licensed by the ministry of Education and Sports and is recognized by the ministry of Health through the Allied Health Professionals Council.
It has an examinations centre and awarding body for all the above programmes is the Uganda Allied Health Examinations Board (UAHEB) in conjunction with ministry of Education and Sports.
Whatever your health training needs are, the institute has got you covered. According to the institute’s founder and resident director, Paul Raymond Ssebaggala, for any student to qualify, there are minimum requirements that must be met.
“For Certificate in Medical Laboratory Technology, the student must have passed O-level with five credits or passes in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, English, Maths, and any other science subject for example Health Science, Food and Nutrition and Agriculture,” Ssebaggala noted.
He added that for a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology, the student needs to have passed O-level with five credits or passes in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, English, Maths and A-level with a principal pass either in Biology or Chemistry.
For the Diploma in Pharmacy, the student must also have an O-level certificate with credits or passes in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, English, Maths and A-level with a principal pass either in biology or chemistry.
In addition, Ssebaggala said that to qualify for the Diploma in Clinical Medicine and Community Health, one must have passed O-level with credits or passes in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, English, Maths and A-level with still one principal pass in either biology or chemistry.
Ssebaggala said all the above programmes are examinable by the Uganda Allied Health Examinations Board (UAHEB). The institute also caters for indirect entrants.
These must beat the minimum entry requirements of O-level with five passes in English, Maths, Chemistry, Biology and any other science subject and any national certificate in health training attained from a recognised institution and registered from a relevant professional body.
On the other hand, SELIHEP has a place for foreign students. On this, Ssebaggala noted, “applicants with qualifications from abroad have to first be equated to the Uganda National Examinations Board or by the professional councils in Uganda, relevant to those professions.”
Although all courses are residential, there are special arrangements for students upgrading who are already in employment.
The institute is one of the cheapest in Uganda compared to the package that its trainees walk away with.
“We know that sometimes our parents get hardships in getting the money. For this reason, the institute accepts part payments to avoid cases of students missing lectures. The administration offices are ever open to all parents,” Ssebaggala noted.
The institute accepts bank drafts payable to its bank accounts and electronic funds transfer (EFTs) are also accepted on condition that the students’ names, year and programme are clearly indicated on the statement.
As the institute’s motto says, at St Elizabeth’s Institute of Health Professionals, they “train for healthier communities.”
The author works with St Elizabeth’s Institute of Health Professionals, Mukono.