President lays foundation stone for Centre for Health and Professional Education

The Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) marked Saturday 11th of December, 2010 as one of the key milestones in its MUHAS - UCSF Academic Learning Project (ALP) objectives by officially launching construction of a new start-of-art Center for Health and Professional Education (CHPE). In this memorable event, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete laid down the foundation stone. The event was also witnessed by other invited guests including Minister of Educational and Vocational Training Hon. Dr. Shukuru Kwambwa MP, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chancellor of MUHAS Ali Hassan Mwinyi,Chairman of MUHAS council Hon. Deogratius Ntukamazina MP and the former Chancellor University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Prof Haile Debas. Others invitees who attended the event include MUHAS senior administrators and MUHAS-UCSF ALP team from MUHAS and representatives of MUHAS-UCSF ALP from UCSF.                                                                                                                                                             CHPE when is completed

From Right: President Jakaya Kikwete, Chancellor Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Vice Chancellor Prof. Kisali Pallangyo and Former Chancellor of UCSF Prof. Haile Debas during the ceremony

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice Chancellor of MUHAS Prof Kisali Pallangyo said that the aim of having the center is to provide a conducive environment that catalyses inter-professional development, and transforms and extends education and research at MUHAS to directly improve the quality of care and provide health benefits to Tanzanians. He added that the centre will also support excellence in teaching and research for academic staff and students across schools at MUHAS and beyond, as well as development of inter-professional continuing education programs throughout the country. He also pointed that the vision of the Centre is to become a hub for health professions education and research excellence for the whole of the Eastern African Region.


MUHAS Vice Chancellor Prof. Kisali Pallangyo giving a speech at the ceremony

He continued "The construction of the Centre for Health Professionals Education, which is a five storey building, started in July this year and is expected to be completed in June next year. The ground floor and the first floor are designed to house, among other things, a state-of-the-art Continuing Professional Development unit, a Health Professions Education Department and inter-professional teaching and learning facilities. Furthermore, there will be inter-professional skills building laboratories, e-learning, distance learning and tele-medicine facilities which will connect MUHAS and other teaching institutions and regional and district level health workers in Tanzania. The remaining floors will accomodate other facilities that stimulate cross-school interaction in education, research and outreach from MUHAS to the wider community, a data management center, a research support and administration unit including office of sponsored research, a unit for informatics and a centre for Global Health".

Early on, Prof Pallangyo informed invited guests on the history led to the construction of the centre. He said that MUHAS have been collaborating with UCSF since 2005. Through this collaboration, CHPE was designed under a project set up together called “MUHAS-UCSF Academic Learning Project” and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Among other activities the project is taking oversight of faculty development, curriculum revision, development of research agenda esponsive to challenges facing our communities and strengthening of Continuing Professional Development for health professionals in Tanzania and the Eastern African Region. He added that the collaboration between MUHAS and UCSF, which has been the catalyst to the building of the Centre for Health and Professionals Education, is the result of MUHAS vision but overwhelming support came from the former Chancellor of the UCSF and former Executive Director of Global Health Sciences at UCSF, Professor Haile Debas, a true and dedicated son of Africa. Prof Pallangyo informed the invitees that Prof. Debas played a key role in the establishment of the MUHAS-UCSF collaboration and is largely responsible for its robust health and promising future. His passion for African development in the health professions is enequaled.

He added that in recognition of the enormous efforts Prof. Debas has put into the project since its conception and inception, and the role he played to make sure the collaboration and the building are funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MUHAS has decided to name the Centre in his honor. Therefore the Centre will be known as “Prof. Haile Debas Centre for Health Professions Education”.

After laying the foundation stone, the President was oriented by the Principal Investigator of MUHAS - UCSF ALP and Director of Continuing Education and Professional Development at MUHAS Prof. Ephata Kaaya on activities to be undertaken at each floor and modern facilities to be placed to facilitate the activities.

Principal Investigator for MUHAS UCSF ALP Prof. Kaaya explaining to President Kikwete on the architecture of CHPE

President Kikwete in a group photo with MUHAS senior administrators

President Kikwete, Minister of Educational and Vocational Training Dr. Kwambwa, Chancellor Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Vice Chancellor Prof Pallangyo, PIs MUHAS - UCSF ALP Prof. Kaaya and Prof. Sarah Macfarlane

PIs of MUHAS-UCSF ALP Prof Ephata Kaaya and Prof Sarah Macfarlane made possible for CHPE


A section of CHPE under construction