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Makerere University gets $150,000 emergency medicine boost

TotalEnergies Uganda deputy ED Mariam Mboowa and VC Barnabas Nawangwe after signing the MOU

TotalEnergies Uganda deputy ED Mariam Mboowa and VC Barnabas Nawangwe after signing the MOU

TotalEnergies EP Uganda has committed $150,000 (Shs 576 million) to boost the capacity of Makerere University in emergency medicine. The deal was part of the three-year memorandum of understanding that was signed recently between Makerere University and TotalEnergies.

Under the MOU, the money shall be dedicated towards upgrading the emergency medical skills training center at Makerere University so that it can handle and train more specialists in the areas of emergency medicine.

The MOU also commits the oil giant to avail funds for the purchase and installation of high-level medical equipment in the emergency medicine skills training center at Makerere University. Under the same agreement, TotalEnergies has committed to supporting Makerere University in renewable energy research.

Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the vice chancellor of Makerere University, said the financial boost from TotalEnergies could help Makerere University cement its position as a revered center of excellence in human medicine within East and Central Africa.

“Going into the area of emergency medicine is important for us. As our population grows, there are new industries like oil and gas entering the Ugandan market. As these industries spring up, there shall be the need for specialized manpower that can handle emergency medical challenges,” Nawangwe said.

He commended TotalEnergies for the good working relationship with Makerere University, most especially in the areas of renewable energy research and engineering. Mariam Nampeera Mbowa, the deputy general manager for Total Energies EP Uganda, said the partnership was one of the ways of supporting the skills development of young Ugandans to provide their services to the oil and gas sector.

“Emergency medicine is critical. We are coming in to support the government of Uganda to support their efforts in equipping the school of emergency medicine at Makerere University. Critical care is very important because it is the first line of support for saving lives. Health safety is part of our core values, and emergency medicine touches the saving of lives and making sure that we can respond and support any efforts that are geared towards saving health through safety.”

She added: “Our partnership in the MOU shall also help us develop the capacity in the highly technical areas of energy efficiency and energy access. I reiterate that 94 per cent of the people who are driving the oil and gas industry today are Ugandans. It is only 16 per cent of those that are foreigners. Even for the highly specialized areas, we are making sure that Ugandans shall participate in jobs shadowing the expatriates in the sector.

“When the development phase completes, the next phase is operations. We have already identified Ugandan talent who shall drive the field operations. Our vision as TotalEnergies and the government of Uganda is to have the oil and gas industry predominantly run by Ugandans.”

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 health care 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 speeds up the effort to provide policies and guidelines and increase investments for the creation of functional emergency medical services in Uganda.

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