KAMPALA – Prof. Peter Waiswa of Makerere University School of Public Health has been appointed to the World Health Organisation (WHO) advisory group, an appointment that has elevated the University’s influence on global health, after they acquired permission from Ministry of Health to carry out Coronavirus tests.
The news was revealed by the University Vice Chancellor, Barnabas Nawangwe through his Twitter handle noting, “I congratulate Prof. Peter Waiswa of @MakSPH on his appointment on the World Health Organisation Advisory Board. This is a great achievement for Peter and Makerere University. Thank you for making Mak shine brighter.”
Dr. Waiswa is an Associate Professor of Health Policy Planning and Management of the School of Public Health at Makerere University College of Health Sciences.
He has training in medicine (Mbarara University, Uganda) and in Public Health (Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel) and a PhD and Postdoc (both joint Makerere University and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden).
He has been part of many strategic policies and initiatives especially in the areas of maternal, newborn and child health. He is a leading African academic with over one hundred publications including books and book.
He is also part of advocacy efforts especially to advance maternal, newborn and child health in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) era. These efforts have contributed to the UN’s Ending Preventable Maternal Death and Disability strategy and the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) which are driving global policies with impact at scale up. Dr Waiswa is co-lead of the EN-INDEPTH five countries study that is further validating how to measure these indicators in health systems in low and middle income countries.
He was the Principle Investigator (PI) for the Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL) project in Uganda that achieved a 40% reduction in maternal deaths.
These experiences in a pilot were adapted into the Uganda National Plan for maternal, newborn and child health reduction, and the same strategy is being used in Nigeria and other countries, at scale. He is also co-PI of the Uganda Full Country Evaluation (FCE). He is also a member of Uganda’s National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) whose findings have informed Uganda’s Financing Plan for Immunisation, the Uganda Immunisation Act, and the Uganda New Vaccines introduction Plan, with the associated scale up strategies.
Dr Waiswa is a founder and leader of initiatives that build capacity and generate evidence for maternal, newborn and child health in low and middle income countries. He started the Makerere University Maternal Newborn and Child Health Centre of Excellence and the INDEPTH Network Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Research Group.
The former advances MNCH issues mainly in Uganda whereas the later does so around the world. INDEPTH is a network of over 54 Health Demographic Surveillance Sites (HDSS) in over 25 countries in Africa and Asia. Dr Waiswa provides agile leadership and empowerment in the difficult situations of low and middle income countries to motivate and lead teams so that they deliver superior performance while encouraging collaboration internally and externally.
Globally, Dr. Waiswa is/has participated regularly in an adversary role to WHO, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, International Pediatric Association, East African Community, African Academy of Sciences.
Prof.Waiswa’s appointment comes after Professor Mahmood Mamdani, Director of Makerere Institute for Social Research (MISR) was recently appointed member of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), with the Vice Chancellor, Nawangwe congratulating Mamdani’s appointment saying that Makerere continues to provide leadership at all levels globally.