Short reports

The need for a Master of Science degree program in Microbiology in Uganda

Ezera Agwu

Abstract


Context: The upsurge in the spread of infection within East Africa needs a balanced population of trained personnel to conduct in-depth laboratory based researches to contend the infection. Science-based institutions needing well trained Microbiologists are rapidly increasing in East Africa but well-trained microbiologists are still very few.
Aim: To assess the Uganda stakeholders’ need for Microbiology M.Sc degree program for ultimate increase of regional research and educational capacity
Methods: Standard epidemiological/multistage sampling process was used to select 103 stakeholders which included: 50 undergraduate students, 10 Faculties and 43 potential employers (3 Universities, 20 Research institutions and 20 non governmental organizations). This randomized prospective descriptive cross-sectional seven months study was approved by KIU research/ethics committees and by the participants. Data were generated with semi-structured self-administered questionnaires, and on-line by survey-monkey software. Chi-square test (α=0.05) was used to test for statistical significance of data generated
Results: Out of 103 questionnaires administered, 49 (47.6%) were retrieved including: 36(73.5%) students, 8(16.3%) faculties, 3(6.1%) Universities and 2 (4.7%) NGOs. Among the students surveyed 19(52.8%) were Ugandans, 13(36.1%) were Kenyans, 3(8.3%) were Somalis and 1(2.8%) was Sudanese. Out of 44 faculties and prospective students studied: 35(79.5%) were males; 9(20.5%) were females; 2(4.5%) were males under 20 years; 18(40.9%) were males 21-30 years; 13(29.5%) were males 30-40 years; 4(13.6%) were females 21-30 years, 1(2.3%) was female 40-50 years while 6(13.6%) did not indicate their ages. Out of 36 students studied, 21(58.3%) noted urgent need for the program in Uganda. All the (100%) students want to further their studies. Five (13.9%) wants Microbiology as career-path. Out of 8 faculties studied, 6(75.0%) recommended urgent need for the program because it offers adequate research, science based education and hands-on experience. Exactly 85.7% faculties strongly recommended the need to allow mostly Microbiologist to teach the program. All (100%) the potential employers: strongly recommended the need for the program promising to assist during implementation. Stakeholders’ opinions were significantly (p<0.05) dependent on: background knowledge, profession, occupation and location. Conclusion: Uganda stakeholders are therefore in urgent need of M.Sc Microbiology program for increase in regional research and educational capacity.

Author's affiliations

Ezera Agwu, Kampala International University

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Keywords

Needs, M.Sc, Microbiology, Uganda,

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2010;2(1):22.

Article History

Date submitted: 2010-03-30
Date published: 2010-08-13

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