School of Hygiene-Mbale is a tertiary institution under the Ministry of Education and Sports in accordance with the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2001 as amended 2003, and 2006.
School of Hygiene-Mbale was founded way back in 1958 by the colonial government to train Health Inspectors (Assistant Environmental Health Officers), Health Assistants (Environmental Health Assistants), and Health Orderlies in response to rampant outbreaks of communicable diseases associated with poor housing, poor social status, ignorance, and poor living conditions during the time and after the world wars. Some of these diseases were eradicated for example Small Pox, and others have been brought under control through public health interventions employed by these cadre of health workers which include; immunisation, improvement in housing, health education and health promotion, water supply, vector and vermin control and environmental hygiene/sanitation.
However, an additional challenge of emerging non-communicable diseases (such as; Cancer, Diabetes, Hypertension, Sickle cell, etc.) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) such as Onchocerciasis (River blindness), Trypanosomiasis (Sleeping Sickness), Guinea worm, Bilharzia etc. that require training and review of the curriculum to enable Health Inspectors and Health Assistants to handle health education and change of life style besides promoting hygiene and sanitation with the community to prevent the spread of the diseases in the community.
School of Hygiene Mbale first started in Mulago Medical School in 1930, and was later transferred to Mbale at the current School of Clinical Officers, then called Medical Assistants Training School (MATS) and which is now elevated to a College of Health Sciences.
The construction of School of Hygiene-Mbale at the current site in Nkoma started around 1958-1959 after it was decided that it should be transferred from MATS in 1957.
The School was a donation by the Queen of England.
Since the beginning of the School and the training of Health Inspectors, Health Assistants and Health Orderlies, the School has had four (4) European Principals namely; Mr. Jordan, Mr. Wilky Mr. Pitts James, and Mr. S.J Farr.
The non-European Principals included the following; Mr. Owalam Y. Ernest (1967-1971), Mr. John Augustine Dhikosoka (1972-1975), Mr. Enyamu H.F.O John (1975-1987), Mr. Kaahwa Shadrack Apuuli Baguma (1987-1994), Mr. Paulo Lo’ Obore Oluka (1994-2003), Mr.Okwalinga Henry Tito (2003-2004), Mr. Masaba Chris Eddix (2004), Mr. Nangosya Mike (2005), Mr. Tigawalana Robert (2005), Mr. Agondua Joseph (2006-2013 & 2015), Mr. Ongom James Denis (2014 & 2016-2019, Mr. Ilukor Geresom (2019 todate).
Students then sat examinations conducted by the Royal Society of Health -London (Overseas examinations), therefore were internationally recognized and qualified for overseas appointment. Later examinations functions were taken over by the University of East Africa Examinations Council based at Nairobi, Kenya which became responsible for examining and qualifying Health Inspectors in all the countries of the then East African Community which comprised of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In 1972, the Makerere University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine – Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine took over the duty of examining Health Inspectors until 2010 when Uganda Allied Health Examinations Board (UAHEB) was established by the Ministry of Education and Sports, Government of Uganda.
From the inception, the Health Assistants were examined by Health Assistants Examinations Board established by Ministry of Health, and in 1997, this mandate was transferred to Ministry of Education and Sports which constituted a similar Health Assistants Examinations Board until 2010 when Uganda Allied Health Examinations Board (UAHEB) took over.
The School is located in Nkoma, Mbale behind Islamic University Uganda-Mbale Main campus, 1km off Mbale – Kumi Road from a junction which is 3km from Mbale town. Mbale town is found in Eastern region of Uganda which is about 225 Kms (or 4 hours) from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. (Mbale-Kumi Road is part of the Northern great road i.e from Capetown to Cairo)
Mbale Town is situated at the foothills of the Masaba Hills, which is part of the Mt. Elgon Mountain ranges. The school is located at the highest part of Mbale town.
Mbale town experiences both cool and dry weather conditions. Mbale is a town with all types of local foods found in Uganda. It also friendly people from different tribes but the majority being the Bagishu who are the local inhabitants of Bugisu-the local name given to this part of region.
TRAINING STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES:
- Implementation of update and market-oriented curriculum
- Promotion and implementation of the community outreach of Environmental Health Programmes.
- Mainstreaming gender and disadvantaged groups’ concerns in the training programmes.
- Implementation of effective management and resources mobilization initiation for Institutional development.
Training strategic activities carried out within and outside the school include:
- Classroom lectures
- Field excursions
- Workshop work such as Latrine slab construction
- Rural practical training
- Urban practical training
- Assessments: – Test, Assignments, Examinations
- Extra Curriculum activities
All Tutors of School are highly qualified and full-time staff. They can be accessed for assistance at the convenience of the students and other stakeholders.
The school runs Basic course (Certificate courses and Diploma course) and Post-Basic (Advanced Diploma courses) in Environmental Health Sciences and other Public health related specializations. It also runs short courses. There fulltime, part time and e-learning programmes.
Apart from short courses, all mainstream programmes are run on Semester basis.
Currently, the following programmes are running i.e Certificate in Environmental Health Sciences (Cert.EHS), Diploma in Environmental Health Sciences (Dip.EHS), Post Basic Diploma in Health Leadership and Management (DHLM), and Post Basic Diploma in Health Promotion and Education (DHPE).
TRAINING, CONSULTANCY, AND RESEARCH PROGRAMMES:
The school provides; – Training, Consultancy and Research services in a number of Public Health areas. Training done on demand in the form of customised and tailor-made courses, workshops and seminars. Consultancy and Research services are also client-demand driven.
PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATIONS AND LICENSING FOR PRACTICE
All Programmes are examined and awarded by the Uganda Allied Examinations Board (UAHEB), Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES).
Licensing for practice is done by the Allied Health Professionals’ Council (AHPC), Ministry of Health (MoH)
There are two admission entry schemes for most programmes i.e. Government sponsorship and Private sponsorship Scheme.
- Government/Public Sector
Qualified Diploma in Environmental Health Sciences (DEHS) holders are employed as Public Health Inspectors (PHIs)/Assistant Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and Certificate in Environmental Health Science holders are employed as; – Health Assistants (HAs)/ Environmental Health Assistants (EHAs) by the Ministry of Health as grass-root frontline implementers of Primary Health Care (PHC).
- Non-Government/Private Sector
Many graduates are absorbed by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dealing in health-related activities like water and Sanitation, Nutrition, Family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and control. For example: UNICEF, ICRC, GOAL, Water-Aid WHO, UN, WFP, etc.
Others are into businesses of providing Public health services e.g. Pest control, building design, water supply, cleaning services, Food supply etc.