The Centre of Excellence for Vaccines, Immunisation set to graduate the first cohort of Master’s program

#MURANGWA Darius 07-11-2019

25 students from the EAC Regional Center of Excellence for Vaccines, Immunisation and Health Supply Chain Management (RCE-VIHSCM) are set to graduate on 8th November 2019, in UR graduation ceremony slated in Huye. The graduation comes after completing a two- year master’s program in Health Supply Chain Management.

EAC Regional Centre of Excellence for Vaccines, Immunisation and Health Supply Chain Management was established in 2014 with the main purpose to build supply chain management capacity for the EAC health sector and serve as a regional Center of excellence for the introduction and dissemination of innovative and proven procedures in health Supply Chain Management (HSCM).

Students, lecturers and guests to the centre

Based at UR, the Center offers high quality pre-service and ongoing professional training to people working with immunisation programs, national medicines’ agencies or stores and hospitals throughout the EAC Partners States.

These students will graduate after completing a two-year program which comprises of twenty four weeks of face-to-face teaching, practical classes and structured exercises ; twelve weeks of online teachings and field attachment in which students are deployed to different organisations handling supply chain functions in order to link acquired theoretical knowledge with practice, identify implementation gaps and apply the knowledge to bridge the identified gaps. The final twenty four weeks are reserved for applied research.

Theogene Hakuzimana is one of the graduates. He leads Gakenke District Pharmacy in Northern Province. He testifies that the Center’s offerings were well designed and responding to the needs of professionals in health supply chain management. He added that, the skills he got have already started yielding positive results.

“Specifically with the Leadership skills I got from there, there is a big change in the way I used to manage my subordinates…For people who are involved in this supply chain management, we had competent and committed lecturers whose skills will help us improve the health supply chain function in our respective institutions”, he said.

Hakuzimana joined the program with 29 other professionals in Health Supply Chain Management from different countries but four of them did not make it to the graduation. “It was an intensive and hard working period that we were required to be more focused and committed”, he recalls.

Jean d’Amour Habagusenga, the Operations Manager of the Center noted that the first cohort of Master’s program went successfully. “The program has been successful given that we involved highly experienced Lecturers from worldwide who are skilled enough in this domain”, he noted.

He added, “Students that are graduating are from diverse countries which became an opportunity for them to share experiences and best practises from their countries and organisations they are working from”.

He noted that the success of this program is an indicator that if East African Community member States put their efforts together, nothing is impossible.

Apart from the Master of Sciences in Health Supply Chain Management program, the Center also offers a wide range of vaccines, immunisation and health supply chain management related trainings, research, technical assistance as well as consulting services and hosting capacity for international conferences.

Students to graduate are from 7 countries namely Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Malawi and Sierra Leone.

From June 2019, the Centre of Excellence enrolled more 40 students from five Partner States to graduate in two coming years.

Story by
Jean Damascène NIYITEGEKA
Communication Specialist/ UR-SPIU