Bakesima gets PhD at 29

Dr Ritah Bakesima Ssozi, 29, is one of the PhD graduands at Makerere University’s 72nd week-long graduation ceremony that kicked off on May 23, 2022. PHOTO/ MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

What you need to know:

  • Bakesima studied modern contraceptive use among female refugee adolescents northern Uganda: the prevalence, effect of peer counselling, adherence, and experiences. 
  • At Makerere University Business School (MUBS) main campus in Nakawa, Ms Julia Muhumuza, a Bachelor of International Business, whose Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is 4.91, was recognised as the overall best student.

Dr Ritah Bakesima Ssozi, 29, is one of the PhD graduands at Makerere University’s 72nd week-long graduation ceremony that has kicked off today. 
Bakesima was on Monday afternoon conferred after completing her PhD in Reproductive Health.  
Her research was on modern contraceptive use among female refugee adolescents.

"There's is a high burden of teenage pregnancy in the refugee population. We needed to know how we can help to reduce this problem," she said.


Bakesima’s study
Bakesima studied modern contraceptive use among female refugee adolescents northern Uganda: the prevalence, effect of peer counselling, adherence, and experiences. 

In her research, she found that the use of modern contraceptives among sexually active adolescents was very low with less than 10 percent using a method, and yet they wanted to delay child birth. This highlights a high unmet need of contraceptives in this population. She also found that peer counselling had a positive effect on acceptance of modern contraceptives; participants who received peer counselling were more likely to accept a contraceptive method compared to those who received routine counselling.

The commonest reasons for non-acceptance of a method were partner prohibition and fear of side effects. She recommends that refugee adolescents, together with their partners, are further sensitized of the dangers of teenage pregnancy, and the benefits of contraception in preventing teenage pregnancy and associated complications. 
Her research was funded by SIDA and supervised by Assoc. Prof Elin Larsson, Dr. Jolly Beyeza-Kashesya, Prof. Kristina GemzellDanielsson, Dr. Amanda Cleeve, and Dr. Rose Chalo Nabirye.

283 graduate with first class degrees

According to the list released by the university last week, about 283 students will be graduating with first class degrees during the 72nd graduation, which kicks off today, compared to the 312 students last year.

This decline in performance could be attributed to the effects of Covid-19 pandemic that put on hold learning and teaching for some time.
However, there is an increase in the number of female students graduating in different disciplines.
According to the list released by the registrar, Mr Alfred Namoah Masike, about 12,474 students are expected to graduate in different disciplines.
The five-day graduation is to be held at the university until May 27.

Of the 12,474 graduands, 6,538 are female, representing 52 percent while 5,936 are male, representing 48 percent. This shows a one percent drop in the number of male students and a one percent increase in the number of female students who are graduating this year compared to last year.
During the 71st graduation, of the 12,550 students who graduated, 6,433 (51 percent) were female while 6,117 (49 percent) were male.

While addressing the gender conference at Makerere recently, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, revealed that girls had overtaken boys in enrolment at the university, indicating the impact of affirmative action embraced 30 years ago.
The list for first class degrees for the 72nd graduation also shows a substantial number of female students who scooped first class degrees in different disciplines.

Of the eight students who got first class degrees in Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology, for example, five are female.
In addition, of the five students of Quantitative Economics who will be walking away with first class degrees, three are female.
At Makerere University Business School (MUBS) main campus in Nakawa, Ms Julia Muhumuza, a Bachelor of International Business, whose Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is 4.91, was recognised as the overall best student.

Prof Nawangwe said the general students’ performance has been good despite interruptions caused by the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
“In spite the challenges encountered by the staff and students, you have persevered to the end and I commend your efforts, congratulations,” Prof Nawangwe said.
 

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