Alumni event with KI and MakU in Uganda 2022

On may 5th 2022 Karolinska Institutet and Makerere University organized an alumni event on site in Kampala, Uganda. The alumni event marked the collaboration between the two universities. More than a hundred alumni, students, researchers and staff were there to take part in the celebrations.

KI and Makerere University have collaborated for more than twenty years and this network of alumni today consists of several hundred individuals who have studied, done research or in some other way been involved in joint projects between the two universities. Many happy guests were on site at the Quadrangle, outside College of Health Sciences in Kampala during the afternoon to both celebrate and network with other alumni.

The President of KI, Ole Petter Ottersen, greeted everyone and emphasized the importance of our alumni network.

"At the root of the term alumnus lies the word nourish, to make something sustainable. And here we are at the core, because you as alumni, are so important to us. You make us sustainable. You nourish the universities from which you come. This is your task, and we are appreciative of you taking on this task. Make us stronger, nourish and make sure we become sustainable"

The acting Principal of College of Health Sciences Dr. Isaac Kaija was also present and pointed out how beneficial this collaboration between KI and Makerere has been, and the many possibilities it has created.

Three alumni presenting
Dr Ritah Bakesiima, Dr Jolly Beyeza Kashesya & Assoc Prof Elin Larsson presenting. Foto: Timothy

Earlier the same day, Ph.D. Ritah Bakesiima defended her research done through this collaboration under the supervision of alumna Assoc. Prof. Elin Larsson from KI and alumna Dr. Jolly Beyeza Kashesya from MakU.All three were present at the event and gave a presentation on their research and collaboration. During her presentation Ritah Bakesiima could for the frst time present herself as Dr. Ritah Bakesiima.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Umar Kakumba from Makerere University was also present and expressed his pride of the collaboration and the joy of seeing so many alumni. The event concluded with some celebration when all guests were offered cake, and the opportunity to watch KI President Ole Petter Ottersen, MakSPH Dean Rhoda Wanyenze, MakCHS acting Principal Dr. Isaac Kaija and MakU Deputy VC Prof. Umar Kakumba officially cut the first piece.

KI Presdent and representatives of Makerere University outside cutting a cake together
KI President, Dean Rhoda Wanyenze, Acting Principal Dr. Isaac Kaija and Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Umar Kakumba. Foto: Timothy

During our visit we met many alumni who had been part of the collaboration, proud of their background at KI and involved in the region. We met representatives from not just Uganda, but also Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Congo. Midwives, doctors, nurses and surgeons with KI and MakU as the common denominator, where the network both grew and was strengthened by a happy and successful event.

Below you'll find links to two interviews with current and future alumni from the collaboration between Karolinska Institutet and Makerere University, who in many ways capture the very essence of this collaboration.

Dr. Wanda Faustino is a doctoral student at the programe Masters of Medicine in Obsetrics & Gyneacology at Makerere University, Uganda. In this interview, he reflects on his exchange with Karolinska Institutet and the differences between the two countries' maternity care. He also talks about how his exchange has changed the way he works today.

Ninve De Basso is going the eighth term at the Dentistry programe at Karolinska Institutet. In this interview she talks about her exchange in Uganda and the lessons she has learned, both cognitively and culturally.

Content reviewer:
Peter Bergman