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Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) was adequately represented at the East, Central and Southern Africa-Health Community (ECSA-HC) consultations on the establishment of the proposed College of Medical Laboratory Specialists. The event was held on 11th February 2021 in Arusha, Tanzania.


From left; LR Dr.Khalide Azam(senior laboratory specialist), Dr.Martin Matu(project coordinator), James Wakungwi Sakwa(interim chairman PGCFMLS), Prof. Yoswa M. Dambisya(Director general ECSA HC )

Mr. James Wakungwi Sakwa, a Senior Medical Laboratory Specialist in the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences and the Chairperson of the Interim Committee for the proposed College, paid a courtesy call to Prof.Yoswa M. Damabisya, the Director-General of ECSA-HC, together with LR Dr. Khalide Azam-Senior Laboratory Specialist and Dr. Martin Matu-Project Coordinator. During the fruitful deliberations, Prof. Damabisya emphasized the need for the inclusion of core competencies in the Curricula as well as working hand in hand with respective national authorities in order to ensure the process of establishing the proposed College moves on smoothly, as long as comparability and equivalence are catered for within countries.

The proposed College of Medical Laboratory Specialists, once fully established, will be part of other several colleges established by the ECSA-HC. The rationale of the Colleges is to bridge the gap in human resources despite universities releasing specialist medical personnel into the market. Additionally, releasing medical personnel from work in order for them to advance their studies contribute to the huge human resource gaps which exist in many countries. Therefore, there was a need for a regional approach to complement efforts of universities with home-based solutions where candidate specialists can learn as they provide services at their places of work.

The following were some of the General Terms of Reference developed for the Interim Steering Committee; establish the general purpose and academic sub-committees to deal with the Constitution and Curriculum, ensure that national and county Associations nominate two (2) members to serve in the above sub-committees, provide leadership to the committees in which they will serve, prioritize the program to commence training, develop and submit a Constitution and submit together with, at least, one specialty curricula. The Interim Committee is also tasked with discussing other matters in order to establish the operations of the College including fundraising strategies as well as establishing a secretariat at ECSA-HC to oversee the day to day activities supported by the team of the laboratory experts at the secretariat.

ECSA-HC is an intergovernmental health organization that fosters and promotes regional cooperation and the capacity to address health needs among its member states. The member states include Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Ms. Sandra Awuor Dorcas