Makerere Closure: Medical Students Defy Minister’s Directive to Assist Hospital Staff

Medical students under the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (CHS) situated at Mulago hospital have defied government directive to continue offering human resource to the patients seeking medical care.

They demand that President Yoweri Museveni rescinds the executive order made last week to have Makerere University closed until further notice following a strike by lecturers and students.

The closure of Uganda’s highest institution of learning created a crisis at Mulago given the fact that the hospital depends on a significant number of medical students to provide medical care in their course of learning.

Consequently, order the Minister of Education Janet Museveni directed in a letter that; “At the Makerere University College of Health Sciences, advice the post graduate students, medical students and consultants of Makerere shall continue to work in the hospitals they have been deployed in as this provides human resource at the medical centers.”

This however, the discontent students say shows government’s disregard of education and that it is a selective decision that doesn’t favor all students.

They oppose the idea of having part of the institution functional while the rest of the faculties are closed.

In a letter dated Monday November 7th, medical students said; “We postgraduate students of the College of Health Sciences shall not resume our studies at Mulago and associated health units.”

The letter followed a meeting in which the disgruntled students met with State House officers and was also attended by the Principal CHS and Dean School of Medicine.

“The President has not rescinded his directive (to close Makerere) and as such any activity on the wards may be regarded as insubordination. CHS does not operate autonomous of the university,” the letter authored by Dr. Solomon Kyazze the Chief Resident and Dr. Phillipa Ampeire the General Secretary at the College further reads.

Beside Mulago Hospital, other medical facilities in which Makerere University students have been reinforcing human resource include; Kawempe Directorate of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Kiruddu Hospital and Naguru China – Uganda Friendship Hospital.

“We are not different from other students. Our education is just as important as that of other students, therefore CHS cannot be opened in isolation.”

The closure of the institution has sparked off varying opinion from students, parents, political circles and the public on whether this was the most appropriate course of action.

On Monday morning, a group of Makerere students holding placards, suitcases and mattresses protested in Kampala city center against the closure.


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