The School of Social Sciences, Makerere University in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration has launched a training programme in Migration Health. The course targets academic staff, graduate students, policy makers and practitioners in migration health. It is the first multidisciplinary, university-based program in the region devoted to systematically studying the health consequences of local and international population movements and developing more effective strategies to address them.
The course is complementary to ongoing activities to strengthen integration of migration health into courses taught in the School of Social Sciences and other academic units at Makerere University. The certificate course in migration health is a forerunner to postgraduate programs as well as the Regional Centre for Migration and Health Studies in the School of Social Sciences at Makerere University. The course is designed to enhance understanding of the relationship between migration and health and knowledge of the distinctive health and related challenges facing migrants. Taking a rights -based and public health approach, the course will equip trainees with the knowledge and skills necessary to gather, analyze, and disseminate the knowledge needed to conceptualize and implement health policies and programs related to migration across the world and particularly in the East Africa region. Students will learn up-to-date theories, approaches, and tools, and acquire the skills necessary to successfully work on health issues within the context of migration.
The course will also facilitate participants to appreciate best practices for translating migration health research into policy and programming in the region. The areas to be covered in the training include health vulnerabilities faced by migrants and host populations throughout the migration process and in spaces of vulnerability including fishing communities, transport corridors and border points; human rights of migrants, particularly the right to health and health-related rights; migration and mental health; and gender, migrant and health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Speaking at the launch ceremony held in Senate Conference Hall on 20th October, 2016, the representative of the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, Ms Annclie Kavuma, said the course will encourage the development of a pool of practitioners with knowledge and competencies in different areas relevant to migration health. “Addressing the health of migrants not only improves migrant health and upholds the human rights of migrants; it also avoids long-term health and social costs, protects public health, facilitates integration and contributes to sustainable social and economic development,” she noted. The training programme in migration health is being coordinated by Assoc. Prof. Paul Bukuluki, from the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, School of Social Sciences, Makerere University. It is supported by the Government of Sweden through the Swedish Embassy in Uganda.