Scholars urge govt to support innovation

Graduands at ECUREI, Mengo celebrate. PHOTO | GODFREY LUGAAJU

A private school is quite challenging. The conditions for starting one are The health sector remains one of the most valuable sectors in the country. Players in the sector suggest bringing together a network of passionate individuals and institutions to combine their skills and resources in support of key activities to promote innovation in health. 

This is key to Uganda’s achieving of the Sustainable Development Goals and improving the lives of communities in low and middle-income communities. There are a number of institutions training professionals in the different spheres of the health sector to keep manpower afloat. One of these is Ernest Cook Ultrasound Research and Education Institute (ECUREI), a centre of ultrasound training in Africa. The institution held its sixth graduation where more than 150 students were passed out. At the ceremony, innovation in the health sector was atop the agenda of the different speakers.

In her speech delivered by the chairman ECUREI governing council, Prof George B Kirya, Ministry of Education permanent secretary Ms Ketty Lamaro said the unique programmes offered by ECUREI are a pride to this country and encouraged them to continue spearheading innovation in the health sector.

She explained that the graduation addresses the issue of innovation which is a key sector in eradicating poverty, maternal deaths and HIV.

“I want to acknowledge the achievements of the great founders of this institution. I implore you to continue to do innovations, research and publications such that recommendations can be used to improve quality in the health sector,” she said.

Ms Lamaro said with the skills imparted, all graduands will be self-employed. She was impressed to learn that a number of the alumni have direct employment in the UK.

According to Lamaro, innovation in the sector is what the country needs to fulfill the presidential call of having more scientists in the country.

“The institution is the only one south of the Sahara, aside from South Africa and the only school in Africa with such medical imaging courses. I call upon the government to continue supporting such institutions in infrastructural support.”

World changers

In his remarks, Prof Kirya, said the institution has come a long way and through the commitment and hard work of its founding members and those who continue to join it, it has gained national and international repute.

Prof Kirya told the graduands that graduation marked the start of a potential to change the world since they are now better prepared to face life challenges.

 “Your education should not stop here at ECUREI. Use this continuous learning for innovation within your various specialities in order to add to the knowledge of your professional fields for the service to humanity and the industrial progression.”

Meanwhile, the vice principal, Prof Micheal Grace Kawooya, urged the graduands to face the future courageously by keeping the character, morals and professional standards attained at the institute.

He cautioned them on focussing on amassing wealth instead of serving professionally and said the education they have attained is to empower them to scale to greater heights and be the institution’s goodwill ambassadors.

“Advance in your education and leave a mark in your profession. Be innovative because it is the future of our country. Unless you innovate, you will not survive this ever changing world,” he said.

Prof Kawooya who also inspected the stalls of the different innovations the learners exhibited commended the creativity of the students adding that if supported well, the innovations would not only change people’s lives to get proper health care but also get Uganda on a global map as one of the innovative countries.

“We need to invest in these students to innovate and become experts. If we do not, we shall lose out on their knowledge to better our country,” he said.

He called upon the government to assist innovative students like they did with Kiira Motors.

Prof Kawooya said many of the alumni are abroad but teach students online and also lobby support for the institution.

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