The Deputy Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), Prof. Fredrick Edward Makumbi, has urged PhD graduands and students to brand themselves and build networks if they are to make it in the world of research.

Prof. Makumbi was presiding over a dinner organized by the PhD Forum to celebrate the most recent crop of PhD graduates affiliated to MakSPH. He was representing the Dean of MakSPH, Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze at the function which took place at Piato Restaurant on Friday 21st June 2019.


For the first half of this year, the PhD celebrants were; Dr. Godfrey Bwire, who has completed his PhD in Public Health from Makerere University; Dr. Vincent Michael Kiberu, the Masters’ in Health Informatics Coordinator at MakSPH who obtained a PhD in Telemedicine from the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa; and Dr. Richard Kajjura (staff at MakSPH) who got a PhD in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, also at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.


The Deputy Dean of Makerere University School of Public Health, Prof. Frederick Makumbi (Left) cuts a cake with the PhD graduands and some of their family members at Piato Restaurant.

Speaking at the well-attended event, Prof. Makumbi revealed that many students have Bachelors’ degrees, Masters and PhDs but have failed to make a long lasting impression on society in their respective disciplines because they have nothing distinct to offer as a result of their studies. 

"You must get to a point where you are the only one who can handle a certain task in your discipline. This creates a demand for your services. You also need to brand yourself if you are to stand chances in the research world otherwise you will be ordinary,” said Prof. Makumbi.

He congratulated the fresh graduands upon reaching such a tremendous milestone that is filled with perseverance. He also encouraged them never to give up but to live a life that is focused towards a noble cause. Prof. Makumbi went ahead to advise the School staff who attended the event to embark on pursuing PhDs as this will enable the sustainability of MakSPH. In addition, Prof Makumbi said the Dean has appointed a team to review the PhD training in the School, a move aimed at Improving the quality of the programme.


Dr. Vincent Kiberu (Left) receives a gift organized by the PhD Forum from other staff of Makerere University School of Public Health. Middle is Dr. John Bosco Isunju and Dr. Moses Tetui


Dr. Richard Kajjura, one of the PhD graduates advised those who are planning on pursuing PhDs to prepare enough finances before embarking on the journey. Excited about his achievement, Dr. Kajjura thanked God and those who assisted him in his struggle reeling off names like Prof David Guwatudde, staff and the PhD Forum at MakSPH.

Speaking about this achievement, Dr. Kiberu, admitted that from the time he started on the PhD journey, he stopped attending family gatherings and parties because he would use all his spare time to work on the PhD. “Now that I have completed, I need to apologize to my family for neglecting any social events,” he admitted. 

In his remarks, Prof. Christopher Garimoi Orach, Chair of the Department of Community Health and Behavioural Sciences and also Dr. Bwire’s main supervisor encouraged the celebrants to think through avenues of how they would use their knowledge to impact society. He further emphasized that even with this achievement, they needed to be humble because there is still a lot to learn.

PhD graduands and some of their family members take a group photo with PhD Forum members and some staff of Makerere University School of Public Health.

Awed by the huge attendance of over 45 PhD students and staff, Prof. Orach encouraged everyone on the PhD journey to be part of the PhD Forum and grow it to greater heights.


Rawlance Ndejjo, the PhD Forum President welcoming guests at the dinner. The Forum offers support to students pursuing PhDs at MakSPH students and to staff who might be pursuing PhDs either at MakSPH or at other universities in the world.

In attendance were leaders of the PhD Forum; Mr. Rawlance Ndejjo – President, Mr. Charles Semugabo - Vice President, Mr. Jimmy Osuret - Mobilisation and Welfare Officer and Mrs. Esther Bayiga Zziwa - Secretary.


Written by Joseph Odoi

Edited by Agnes Namaganda


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