Uganda Maksph

School of Public Health, Makerere University (MakSPH), Uganda

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History of SPH

The School of Public Health started as the Department of Preventive Medicine within the Faculty of Medicine, Makerere University College in 1954. It was later re-named Institute of Public Health but continued to function as a department in the Faculty of Medicine. The Institute continued to grow and in 2007 it was made the School of Public Health. It is one of the four schools in Makerere University College of Health Sciences (formerly the Faculty of Medicine). The School of Public Health is made up of four departments namely Dept of Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, Dept of Health Policy, Planning and Management, Dept of Disease Control and Environmental Health, and Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Post-graduate training in public health (Diploma in Public Health) was started in 1969 and in 1994 the Master of Public Health Programme was launched. New Masters programmes have been introduced – Master in Public Health Nutrition and Master in Health Services Research.


To promote the attainment of better health for the people of Uganda and beyond through Public Health Training, Research and Community Service, with the guiding principles of Quality, Relevance, Responsiveness, Equity and Social Justice.

Training in the field of Public Health

The School offers graduate training in Public Health as a Masters of Public Health Degree which has both full time and distance education programmes. This started off as a general public health degree but in 2010 tracks were introduced to allow for specialization. The tracks include Reproductive Health, Environmental Health and Health Systems. The MPH is a 2 year programme that is 75% field based, where trainees work as part of District Health Teams. The School is also starting a Fellowship Programme in Health Systems Management for post MPH field officers. 

Context information

Following the periods of war and instability in Uganda, social services e.g. health were disrupted and the health system was weakened. In an effort to strengthen health services the health system was decentralized making the districts the centre of health care delivery. The MPH programme was then started as a response to a need to train District Health Managers and it is now a requirement for all District Health Officers to have attained MPH. With the number of districts multiplying rapidly there is an equally growing need for MPH graduates. The demand is also high for MPH graduates to manage health programmes and hospitals.     

For general information