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Hopkins Nursing to Collaborate on African Health Initiative

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Posted: 12/3/2008

The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) is partnering with the schools of medicine and public health in the initial phase of a multi-tiered program aimed at improving health outcomes in Uganda and East Africa. The 10-year initiative, funded through a $4.97 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is being facilitated by the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health. 

"Through this unique collaboration with the Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine, the School of Nursing will have a major role in the development and translation of knowledge, skills and policies into practices that address health care in Uganda and the region," says Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, SON associate professor and an associate director of the JHU Center for Global Health.  In this unprecedented international role for a nursing school, Glass is part of the team that will lead a two-year needs assessment and strategic planning process to define the goals and objectives of this institution-building initiative between Johns Hopkins and Makerere University, Uganda's largest university.

The project is being led by David Peters, MD, DrPH, an associate professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and George Pariyo, MBChB, PhD, head of the Department of Health Policy, Planning, and Management at the Makerere University School of Public Health.

The first phase of this project focuses on aligning Makerere's educational and research capacity with Uganda's national health goals and priorities, as well as identifying strategies to ensure long-term sustainability of the university's efforts to address evolving health priorities and health manpower needs.

The project also will develop and test effective teaching, research, and practice strategies for Makerere and its partners. Existing strategies for placement of health practitioners and delivery of health services will be revised, and new strategies for life-saving services will be evaluated, with a focus on translating research into policy implementation.

"We see this project as a major stepping stone," Peters stated, "to ensure that Makerere will be the hub for capacity building and influencing the health sector to improve lives in Uganda and the East Africa region for years to come. Its a great opportunity for all of us."

The project builds on a long history of Johns Hopkins collaboration with Makerere University, including seminal HIV/AIDS research and training through the Rakai Health Sciences Program and the Makerere University - Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration; innovations in health systems and policy translation through the Future Health Systems consortium; and the establishment of the Infectious Disease Institute.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health is a unique collaboration between three institutions, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing, that harnesses the expertise of its dedicated health and medical professionals to address a myriad of global health challenges: HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition, hepatitis, and other threats to health, especially in developing countries. For information visit http://www.hopkinsglobalhealth.org.