Community, Diaspora and Immigration
“Skills and Knowledge transfer from the Diaspora
“Skills and Knowledge transfer from the Diaspora is the missing link to propel Africa to the next level” stresses James Mwesigwa.
What is PASIMPIA?
PASIMPIA engages academic and healthcare institutions in patient safety and quality improvement programmes. PASIMPIA offers affordable, sustainable and innovative quality and patient safety solutions through practical teaching and research. The patient safety solutions offered to institutions are those focused on processes and systems improvement, but founded on bedrock innovative thinking. Visit our website at [http://www.pasimpia.org] for more information.
Why did you decide to go back to Uganda?
The education and experience I had acquired from both academic and healthcare institutions in the United Kingdom was relevant to quality and patient safety improvement in the many Ugandan hospitals.
What is your education and experience in healthcare?
I hold a Post Graduate Diploma and an MSc (Quality and Safety in Health care) of Imperial College University London. Also, an MSc (Health Services Management) and a BSc (Hons) Health Studies of London South Bank University. Prior to migrating to the United Kingdom, I had qualified as a dentist in Uganda. In the last fifteen years, I have worked in Africa and the United Kingdom for voluntary and private sectors as a Project Manager with a keen interest in Healthcare Quality Improvement Programmes. I have also worked closely with WHO-African Partnership for Patient Safety and European ICT-Patient Safety Companies to extend their services to Uganda and the African region. I am currently based in Uganda to promote Quality and Patient Safety Improvement in our academic and healthcare institutions.
Did the Convention had any impact on your decision to relocate back home?
Yes, I was appointed by the Convention chairman, Mr Mutenza, to mobilise and represent all Ugandan living in South London. The event was colourful and attracted high profile dignitaries from the Ugandan government and Europe. The presentations and discussions from the speakers were like a breath of hope for many of us who had unclear plans, as to when and how to relocate back home. It was just one week later that I decided to give it a try relocating to Uganda.
What have been the major challenges you encountered settling in Uganda?
At the time when I went back to Uganda, there was no organised arrangement for those returning home. I had to develop my own networks by moving from one ministry to another and from one office to another. Actually, there was no clear policy in the foreign affairs ministry, for example, on how technical experts or professionals would be welcomed back home and guided in their early days of settlement. Recently, the Diaspora office has been set up in Uganda to serve as an advice centre for those who wish to return home or do business in Uganda, and hopefully a policy will be developed as well.
As a Diaspora investor, do you think the government should give incentives to encourage even more Ugandans in the Diaspora to invest back home? What in your opinion, should these incentives be?
The government needs to identify the professional gaps for both the public and private sectors in Uganda, and then liaise with the Diaspora office in Kampala to search for technical experts amongst Ugandans living in the Diaspora. The government needs to “waive off” the visa charges for the settlement period of at least a year to attract both business and professional investors from the Diaspora. Rwanda has waived visa charges for British and American citizens because they have realised the long term benefits.
Ugandans returning from the Diaspora need a visa free period longer than 1 year, in order to be able to test out their investments in Uganda, and at the same time process their dual nationality.
As a Ugandan from the Diaspora, do you face any kind of favouritism or biasness in the business sector due to the way you do things?
Positive attitude, perseverance, patience, competency, experience, specialisation and accomplishing tasks within the agreed time tends to be the contributing factors which puts me a step ahead from others.
What is your input on skills transfer from Ugandans in the Diaspora?
- Activity -1- Consultancy
Development of Quality and Safety module for healthcare professionals (Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau, Kampala, Uganda Hospitals) and development of Quality and Safety Training Guide for healthcare professionals (UCMB Hospitals). I would to like to express my sincere appreciation to both Dr Sam Orach, CEO and Ms Monicah Luwedde, Quality and Safety Manager, UCMB hospitals for being pioneers in taking the broader organisational approach to Quality and Patient Safety Improvement in Uganda.
- Activity-2- Lecturing Quality and Safety and Research Supervision (Uganda Martyrs University)
My appreciation goes also to Dr John Mugisha, Dean to the Faculty of Health Sciences and all the staff at Uganda Martyrs University for supporting the module of Quality and Patient Safety incorporated in the Health Services Management curricula. I also want to thank the 2011 Masters students who participated in the field analysis study, “The extent of medical error reporting in four selected hospitals”.
- Activity-3- Lecturing Quality and Safety Module and Integration of Quality and safety in Curricula
Integration of Quality and Safety Modules in all International Health Sciences University curricula. Special thanks go to Florence Mirembe, the librarian of IHSU, for her positive attitude, the cooperation of school Deans and lectures, which was demonstrated throughout the execution of this activity.
- Activity-4 -Development of Centre for Quality and Safety Improvement in Africa at IHSU
We are currently in the process of developing a Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Improvement in Africa at International Health Sciences University. Again, thanks go to Dr Ian Clarke, Proprietor of International Hospital Kampala, and Dr Nick Wooding, the Vice Chancellor of International Health Services University, for hosting the Centre and for embracing the partnership with PASIMPIA
- Activity -5- Development of E- Learning and Short Courses for Quality and Safety Improvement
E-Learning modules for Quality and Patient Safety in Healthcare have been developed for the distance learners. Ms Dorothy Mukasa and Ms Ritah Nantongo, administrators of E-Learning, thank you so much for your perseverance. We have developed short courses on quality and patient safety improvement at International Health Sciences University. Health care workers can attend these short courses in the evening after work or on weekends without disruption to their day to day work. I would like to welcome Ms Olivia Nanteza on board as our administrator for Quality and short courses.
- Activity -6- European and American Quality and Patient Safety Improvement Partners
An office has been registered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Our European, Amsterdam based directors, Peter Kasibante and Robert Kisitu have been very instrumental in developing partnerships between PASIMPIA and Dutch Patient Safety Improvement Companies.
Any words of wisdom or tip to those who want to relocate?
Ugandans in the Diaspora, your technical expertise is desperately needed to rebuild your country, our motherland Uganda. Whatever skills or profession you have acquired abroad will make Uganda a better country.