Open Access Open Badges Correspondence

Accreditation in a Sub Saharan Medical School: a case study at Makerere University

Moses Galukande1*, Kenneth Opio2, Noeline Nakasujja3, William Buwembo4, Stephen C Kijjambu1, Shafik Dharamsi5, Sam Luboga4, Nelson K Sewankambo1 and Robert Woollard5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

2 Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

3 Department of Psychiatry, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

4 Department of Anatomy, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

5 Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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BMC Medical Education 2013, 13:73  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-73

Published: 24 May 2013



Of more than the 2,323 recognized and operating medical schools in 177 countries (world wide) not all are subjected to external evaluation and accreditation procedures. Quality Assurance in medical education is part of a medical school’s ethical responsibility and social accountability. Pushing this agenda in the midst of resource limitation, numerous competing interests and an already overwhelmed workforce were some of the challenges faced but it is a critical element of our medical profession’s social contract. This analysis paper highlights the process of standard defining for Medical Education in a typically low resourced sub Saharan medial school environment.


The World Federation for Medical Education template was used as an operating point to define standards. A wide range of stakeholders participated and meaningfully contributed in several consensus meetings. Effective participatory techniques were used for the information gathering process and analysis.


Standards with a clear intent to enhance education were set through consensus. A cyclic process of continually measuring, judging and improving all standards was agreed and defined. Examples of the domains tackled are stated.


Our efforts are good for our patients, our communities and for the future of health care in Uganda and the East African region.

Accreditation; Standards; Medical education