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The UW-Madison Health and Disease in Uganda Field Experience is an intensive program that provides students in health-related disciplines the opportunity to learn about important health issues, including nutrition, maternal and child health, and infectious diseases. During the program, students will spend time in community-based health care centers and will visit hospitals, nutritional units, and schools. In addition, students interact with faculty, staff, and students from Makerere University, Mulago Hospital, and other institutions and non-governmental organizations. Throughout the program, participants will be introduced to the life, health, disease, and culture of Uganda.
Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa with a population of 27.5 million people. Many languages are used in the country, with English as the official language. The program will be based at Makerere University in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, with a population of 1.5 million.
The main campus of Makerere University, one of East and Central Africa's premier institutes of higher learning, can be found in the Makerere Hill area of the City. Makerere University is Uganda's largest university. It was first established as a technical school in 1922, and in 1963 it became the University of East Africa. Today, Makerere University has twenty-two faculties, institutes and schools offering programs for more than 30,000 undergraduates and 3,000 postgraduates.
Kampala is Uganda's capital city and a bustling metropolis with an estimated population of 1.2 million people. The city was originally built on seven hills, but now encompasses twenty hills. English is the official and most widely spoken language in Uganda. However, there are twenty tribes whose members speak more than sixty dialects. Luganda is the major language in the Kampala district and the most widely used after English. Luganda is frequently spoken at Mulago Hospital. Other major languages are Swahili and Runyakitara from western Uganda.
Other features of the city include the Ssezibwa Falls, Ugandan National Theatre, St. Balikuddembe Market (formerly Owino Market) and Nakasero Market. Entebbe International Airport is located at Entebbe, twenty-two miles away, while Port Bell on the shore of Lake Victoria is seven miles away. Kampala hosts one of only seven Baha'i Houses of Worship in the world. It is known as the Mother Temple of Africa and is situated on Kikaya Hill on the outskirts of the city.
Getting to Your Program
Students make their own travel arrangements but are given guidelines for arrival dates and times.
U.S. citizens must have a US passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. A student visa is required. IAP will provide program participants with visa information upon acceptance to the program.
OrientationStudents attend orientation in Madison during the spring semester. There will also be an orientation session in Uganda upon arrival. Participants are also required to take PHS 644: Health and Disease in Africa(two credits) as a pre-requisite during the prior Spring semester.
HousingHousing is included for the duration of the program. For the majority of the program, students will stay in Kampala. While in Kampala, students stay at a guesthouse, located on Makerere University's campus. Facilities at the guesthouse include double rooms with attached bathrooms; furnishings are minimal. Most meals are provided. Students will spend one week living, learning and working with Makerere University health professional students and faculty in community health sites in Uganda with very basic facilities. Flexibility is required to thrive in this program!
Excursions and Activities
Students will visit hospitals, community health centers, nutritional units and schools, and will participate in home visits. The program will include cultural events and visits to scenic natural areas such as Lake Victoria, the Nile River and national parks. Past site visits have included: children orphanages, the Ministry of Health's Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Labs, the US Embassy, the Kamwokya Christian Caring Community clinic and school, the Infectious Disease Institute, a wildlife education center, and various hospital and clinics.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
A faculty member from UW-Madison will serve as Resident Director in Uganda.
Returned Student Network
to see testimonials from students abroad or to contact a returned student.
"I wanted to become more culturally competent and I have. The week I spent in the village environment really showed me some realities of Africa. I feel like I am a better person."
During the prior Spring semester participants are required to take PHS 644: Health and Disease in Africa(two credits) as a pre-requisite. Students will earn an additional three credits (PHS 645, Section 003) after successful completion of the summer field program.
The course provides interdisciplinary perspectives on health, disease, and public health. Students will explore topics such as: major infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, maternal health services, malnutrition in children, nursing, and traditional healing in Uganda.
A faculty member from UW-Madison will serve as Resident Director in Uganda. Students will also hear lectures from other UW-Madison faculty and from Professors at Makerere University.
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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