|1st Prize, Rukunya|
morning, November 23 at 8:00 am, student groups are already busily moving about
the classroom mounting their posters on the walls. Some have as many as 20 full manila sheets Often it is hard to find the name of
their site on the posters. Their places have been
assigned randomly in advance by Moses Ntaro, the assistant coordinator of the Community Based Education Program at MUST
It seems the examiners are going to be the ones who have to move. This will not be easy as the classroom
chairs are welded together in sets of four.
Nonetheless there is a sense of excitement in the room, among examiners and students. I make a mental note that we are going to
have to limit the number of posters in future.
It is going to be hard to hear seven groups go thru the Challenge model,
one after the other.
|2nd Prize, Kisoro Hospital|
The six student groups selected by faculty examiners as the best in their group are from: Kisoro Hosp, Rukunyu, Ruhoko, Kabuyanda, Bugoye B, and
Rubanda PHC. Our job is to select the
top three to receive the Hillman Medical Education Fund prizes. The prizes will allow
them to present their project at scientific gatherings outside of th university. This is the second year the prizes have been
offered. The first year, not all groups were aware of the prizes, but this year, the visibility of last year’s winners have helped to spread the word and the competition has intensified.
I missed the assessments done earlier this year but it is clear that there is more polish to the
presentations this year.
|3rd Prize, Kabuyanda|
The community projects we will be evaluating have been done by groups of multidisciplinary
students drawn from medicine, lab, pharmacy and nursing. The students spent 5 weeks in rural field
placements throughout the South West of Uganda.
They were attached to Health Center III or IVs.
We are interested in learning if
and how they connected with the community-based health workers at the site,
whether they engaged the community in the project, how they dealt with any
setbacks and their sense of commitment to the community. Many of the projects have to do with
sanitation and construction of Tippy Taps and latrine covers this year.
members are involved in their presentations.
Transitions move smoothly between them, each having an active role. They are dressed up and professional in their
presentations. I am most engaged by
their answers during the short question period.
One group is superb, as they tackle each question adroitly, we examiners
find a more difficult one for them. Our questions just seem to bring out their
best. What magnificent skill! The
ability to anticipate and handle questions is an important part of research and
we are going to have to give it more weight in future. Also a couple of the diagrams and maps are
excellent, vivid representations that deserve recognition
A week or two
prior to this event, two student groups, the Kabuyanda Group and the group from Bukoko, wrote up and presented their projects
as scientific papers at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology
(MUST)Research Symposium. They were the
only undergraduates who presented and both did a spectacular job. To do this takes a fair amount of time and
commitment by their supervisor and one of the dynamic supervisors, Dr.
Wilfred Arubaker, assisted both
At the same Symposium, I heard a well-presented paper on interocular pressure presented by
former MUST student, now an Ophthalmologist, Dr. Simon Arunga. Simon along with Dennis Mala facilitated a
Cholera Workshop developed from their rural student placement a couple of years
ago at the Towards Unity for Global Health (TUFH) International Conference when
it was held in Kampala. More than 30 people
attended their workshop and they received rave reviews. It’s a great reminder to me about how
important student presentations are in developing skills that support us in our future careers.
It is hard in
such a group to pick winners, however when the scores of the examiners are
tallied 1st prize goes to the
Rukunya group; 2nd prize goes to Kisoro Hospital group and 3rd
prize to Kabuyanda group.
group also a winner was last year. Their
faculty supervisor, Simon Rugera from Laboratory Medicine is justly proud of his groups. It's a great day for celebrating the students, their supervisors and MUST University.