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Analysis of Data Collected from the Evaluation of Community-Based Education, Research and Service (COBERS)
Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), the Medical Schools at Gulu University (GU), Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Kampala International University (KIU) and Busitema University (BU) came together with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in 2010 to form Medical Education for Equitable Services to All Ugandans Consortium (MESAU) to address the challenges of medical education in Uganda. The goal of MESAU is to develop MESAU institutions as centres of excellence for medical education, research and service that address local and national needs to improve health in Uganda.
One of MESAU’s objectives is to improve the quality and relevance of medical education and service training in Uganda in order to produce more motivated health workers with the competencies to deliver locally relevant services to meet the needs of the population.
The general aims of the effort were as follows:
- Expose students to communities and health facilities in order to sensitise and acclimatise them to working in remote/hard-to-reach/underserved/rural communities and the health facilities that serve these areas.
- Enable students acquire the appropriate attitude towards working in remote/ hard-to-reach/underserved/rural areas.
- Provide students the opportunity and environment to participate in health promotion and disease prevention in areas such as environmental health, sanitation and food security in the primary health care setting.
- Provide students the opportunity and environment to participate in the provision of health care services such as clinical clerkships, HIV/TB care, maternal and child health in the primary health care setting.
- Enable students carry out community research and/or community projects and to disseminate their findings locally in the communities and through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.
- Facilitate the development of leadership and management skills amongst the students in areas such as HMIS, procurement and budgeting
- Build the capacity of health facilities and site teams through:
- Training/orientation in Family Medicine
- Support supervision by faculty of the MESAU institutions
- Minimal infrastructure
- The Network of Training Sites/facilities
- Strengthen/consolidate partnerships between the MESAU institutions, heath service providers, local governments and other stakeholders
- Provide services to communities through student COBERS activities and through support supervision
- Be socially accountable to the Ugandan public/population as health professional training institutions as part of the MESAU Mission
The aim of the evaluation was to assess the impact of COBERS on health service delivery, health facility staff, students and communities. The specific objectives are to describe the effect of COBERS on:
- The range and scope of services provided at the COBERS sites
- Professional practice and motivation of COBERS site facility staff
- Students’ attitude, willingness and intention to work in underserved settings
- The perceptions and practices of MESAU faculty regarding health professionals education
- Community decision-making and participation for health
- Utilisation of health services by the community