Newsletter, March 2010

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SAMSS Newsletter, March 17, 2010


Dear Colleague,


Welcome to the inaugural edition of the SAMSS Newsletter. 


The Sub-Saharan African Medical Schools Study (SAMSS) is a project focusing on medical education in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is led by an Advisory Committee of experts in African medical education and a secretariat at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provides funding for the project.


SAMSS is devoted to issues in medical education in Sub-Saharan Africa. This Newsletter and the SAMSS website ( are designed to provide information about medical education on the continent with a focus on physician retention, capacity building, and educational innovation. The Newsletter will make available topical information on medical education from scholarly journals, policy reports, conference proceedings, and the general press. We believe that information is powerful and that the material highlighted in the Newsletter and found on the website will help to spread ideas that will be of use to faculty, students, and policymakers in education and health. We would hope that policy leaders, national governments, global health organizations, and international donors will find useful and actionable information in the Newsletter that will lead to strengthened health systems and better population health.


We hope you will find this Newsletter of use to you. Please encourage your colleagues to sign up to receive it regularly and please send us your comments and suggestions.





Francis Omaswa, MBCHB, MMed, FRCS, FCS

Executive Director, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation

Co-Chair, SAMSS Advisory Committee



Fitzhugh Mullan, MD

The George Washington University

Principal Investigator, SAMSS


Seble Frehywot, MD, MHSA

The George Washington University

Co-Principal Investigator, SAMSS


On behalf of the SAMSS Advisory Committee




In this issue:


A planning meeting was held in Geneva on the 13th and 14th of October 2009 to plan and initiate a new WHO/PEPFAR collaboration to concentrate specifically on scaling up medical and nursing education in resource constrained countries. The meeting brought together a range of partners including academic institutions, professional associations and multi- and bi-lateral agencies to work toward developing evidence-based guidance regarding the scale-up of medical and nursing education. 


The planning meeting ended with an early draft outline of necessary steps toward the development of technical and policy guidance. The steps identified are:


  1. Generate interest, engagement and support among stakeholders
  2. Document current innovations and outcomes to build an evidence base
  3. Develop global recommendations and guidance on transformative scale up of medical and nursing education


A report of the planning meeting, including several enlightening Case Studies highlighting innovative approaches to teaching, retention, recruitment and other important topics can be found here.




Jehu Iputo and Enoch Kwizera compare the academic performance of South African students learning medicine through a traditional, lecture based curriculum with that of subsequent students following an innovative problem- and community-based curriculum.


AO Longombe compares the retention in DRC and in rural areas of graduates from an urban versus a rurally located medical school. He finds that graduates of the Catholic University of Graben (rural) are more likely to work in local, rural areas than are graduates of the Universite Evangelique en Afrique in urban Bukavu.


Professor G. L. Monekosso participates in a SAMSS consultation in February, 2009

SAMSS Advisory Committee

Magdalena Awases PhD, MA, HMPP, RN

Charles Boelen MD, MPH, MSc

Mohenou Isidore Jean-Marie Diomande MD

Dela Dovlo MB Ch.B, MPH, MWACP

Diaa Eldin Elgaili Abubakr MD
Josefo João Ferro MD

Abraham Halieamlak MD

Jehu Iputo MBChB, PhD

Marian Jacobs MBChB

Abdel Karim Koumaré MD, MPH

Mwapatsa Mipando MSc, PhD

Gottlieb Monekosso MD, DSc, FRCP, FWACP, DTMEH

Emiola Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa MD,. FRCS, FWACS

Francis Omaswa MBCHB, MMed, FRCS, FCS

Paschalis Rugarabamu DDS, MDent

Nelson K. Sewankambo MBChB, M.Sc, M.Med, FRCP

A pulmonologist teaches a group of residents at the Université de Cocody, Côte d'Ivoire

The Sub-Saharan African Medical Schools Study
The SAMSS secretariat is located at The George Washington University Department of Health Policy.
SAMSS is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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