Learning from the Ebola crisis – Training for health workers to strengthen the health system

UNIMAK has developed this imaginative proposal to strengthen the health system by offering training at a tertiary level for all cadres of health workers:


  1. Background
  2. Objectives
  3. Description of the project
  4. Short to medium term
  5. Long term
  6. Business plan


Since its establishment in 2005 as Fatima Institute, the University of Makeni has developed its curriculum and activities around addressing development in the country. Such development in any country has always been intrinsically linked to the achievement of adequate health services for the population. Health, together with education, is a sine qua non factor for wealth. Despite the advancements of the country made in the last decade, the Sierra Leone Health system is still weak and limited, and one of the main reasons is the lack of professionals in the health sector.

In the light of several of the challenges faced by the national Ebola viral disease response, UNIMAK is considering how to build capacity for the future. The Ebola crisis has pointed out the need for the training of staff and providing resources in the health sector. The weak health sector in the West African countries has clearly demonstrated the need for the tertiary institutions to position themselves in order to address the urgent need to fill the gap in the heath sector.


Strengthen the health system by offering training at a tertiary level for all cadres of health workers

Specific objectives:

  1. Construction of a building, including laboratories to strengthen the existing undergraduate degree program in Public Health.
  2. Offering a diploma and post graduate  program in  tropical infectious disease  for health workers
  3. Training of laboratory technicians and other skill workers in infectious diseases
  4. Strengthening the existing mental health program and explore the possibility of  a diploma in mental health for nurses

Description Of The Program

The University is already running an undergraduate program in Public Health and a training program on Mental Health for nurses and other related health workers. These programs could be scaled up in to full blown School of Health which could include post-graduate programs on infectious or viral diseases similar to the East African Diploma started by the London School of Hygiene. This School could offer degrees in nursing and public health, and post graduate diplomas on areas from mental health to infectious diseases.

What would be needed initially are clinical laboratories and classrooms for the classes and offices. We are exploring the possibility of linkages with Universities in Europe for collaborating in providing teaching staff to train students and local staff. Land is readily available as the University has bought three hundred acres of land for further expansion of new facilities.

Short  Term  To Medium Term

There is already an establish Department of Public Health offering an undergraduate degree for four years.  This could be expanded to include a module on infectious tropical disease or could start a new post graduate diploma in tropical disease similar to the East African Tropical disease program.

Another short term possibility could be the Mental Health Studies with a diploma or a certificate in psychology. The University of Sierra Leone is already running the diploma and certificate in Mental Health.

Long Term

The long term project could be a Faculty with interrelated departments of Nursing, Mental Health, Dentistry and Medicine.

Business Plan

Short term

A – Infrastructure : classrooms. materials and equipment, salaries

B-  Staff : local and expatriate, volunteers and  staff development

DSCF1473There is already an existing public health and mental staff at the University.There is an additional staff from the Holy Spirit hospital with specialization in infectious and tropical disease and there is also the possibility of networking with the team of health specialists in the country and the University of San Pablo, Madrid and other partners.

Update on University Activities – November 2014

UNIMAK is engaged as part of its mandate in responding to a public health crisis namely Ebola. A University’s mission involves teaching, research and community service in order to be relevant and responsible.
Our engagement has revolved around the following pillars: fund raising for our institutions, social mobilization, and psychosocial support and media education. 20140807_163236The District Ebola task force established by the Government appointed UNIMAK to coordinate the psychosocial pillar and fundraising for its Ebola response in the district.
Our lecturers are deployed in the Task force secretariat in data management, finance accounting and counsellors in the psychosocial sector.

Social Mobilization :
IMG_0078In collaboration with Radio Maria, UNIMAK has designed Ebola messages, hosted panel discussions, designed a program on culture and Ebola titled ‘Religion against Ebola’. The radio is being used as a means of campaign and education in raising awareness in the fight against the Ebola epidemic. The social mobilization pillar has also provided food to quarantine homes and survivors and sensitization in other parts of the district.

Media Education:
The University has also organized media education on Ebola in collaboration with Radio Maria and radio broadcast programs for children in both primary, junior and senior secondary schools in the district. This has now been taken up by other districts and the government in the country. Our MBA in Sustainable Enterprise is up and running through an online program set up by the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Other departments have been asked to start a pilot online program with their students.

Fund Raising:
The University has been coordinating and raising funds for Makeni Catholic Diocese in their response to the Ebola crisis. The district Ebola task force has also asked the University to coordinate its fund raising initiatives for the Ebola response.

Psychosocial pillar.
In collaboration with other partners UNIMAK has produced a toolkit for a psychosocial response to the Ebola crisis for nurses and other health related workers.
FILE028We have also established a survivors center for counselling survivors and other victims of the Ebola crisis.
Senate has approved a review of our curriculum to incorporate infectious and tropical disease as part of its core module for Public Health students. Attached is our post Ebola plan for health training in the University (see separate news post).

New courses: UNIMAK now offers training in Mining and Mine Safety

ICMS-UNIMAK Registration Form

ICMS-UNIMAK Registration Form

The University of Makeni has successfully completed discussions with the Imperial College of Mines and Safety (ICMS) in Ghana, and is now pleased to announce that it now offers training and educational programs for individuals and corporate organizations in the extractive industry in Sierra Leone.

The ICMS-UNIMAK partnership will support the country’s rapidly developing extractive industry sector by building capacity and knowledge base in the fields of Professional Mining and Safety Management.

The training programs are carefully designed to reflect current industry standards and practices and are offered in exclusive partnership with Government, top managers from leading mining companies and lecturers from universities across English West Africa.

Download the ICMS-UNIMAK Registration Form here

Download the ICMS Course Catalogue here





Essential Map of Makeni City published

As part of their collaboration with the University of Makeni and Makeni City Council, the CEU San Pablo University, Madrid, Spain has published a detailed map of the city and its environs. As well as major religious buildings, hospitals and hotels, the map shows the location of the city’s 50 schools. Professor Luis Perea Moreno, who heads the team that worked on this, has said that it is the wish of the universities to guide the present and future growth of the city of Makeni by striking a careful balance between residential, commercial, recreational, and institutional needs. The detailed map will facilitate the planning process.Makeni smallfile

The map can be accessed using the following links:



UNIMAK Announces Vacancies for Experienced Lecturers

The University of Makeni is seeking to fill the positions of Agribusiness Lecturer and Renewable Energy Lecturer to the course MBA Global Business and Sustainability, Social Entrepreneurship Track in the Faculty of Commerce and Management.

Applicants must be trained and qualified Lecturers who are able to demonstrate professional experience in the relevant sector in Sierra Leone.

Appointment Duration: September 16th to 19th 2014 / February 22nd to 23rd 2015 (dates to be confirmed)

The closing date for applications is 30th July 2014
Follow these links for details on how to apply: