The department of dermatology at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) started as small skin clinic in the then Mbarara University Teaching Hospital (MUTH) in 1998. It was introduced by Prof. Emeritus Gerold Jaeger who went on to establish a teaching program that has grown overtime to produce specialized dermatologists.
The need for dermatology services in Uganda cannot be under estimated. The department of dermatology in MUST being the only one in the south-western region, had earlier in the years 2000 – 2003 carried out outreach clinical programmes, in the districts of Kanungu and Kabarore. The patient turn-out for these clinics was overwhelming to the visiting teams. A study by Mulyowa et al., (2005) (submitted to I@mak secretariat) indicated an overall desire by health service providers at Health Centers IV down wards to learn more skills in skin diseases’ management more so those related to HIV/AIDS related manifestations.
What is dermatology:
Dermatology is the branch of medicine that deals with management of disorders that affect the skin, its appendages and the easily accessible mucous membranes.
What we do: The department’s main functions are:
- Train undergraduate and postgraduate students in the field of dermatology.
- Provide dermatology services to people with skin disorders
- Research in dermatology
- Dermatology outreach clinics in surrounding districts
Currently there are only three centers of dermatology in Uganda located in Gulu, Mulago and Mbarara hospitals. Of these it is only the Mbarara center that provides specialization training for dermatologists. Overall dermatologic conditions account for over 20% of OPD cases the whole world over. This calls for more dermatological service providers in Uganda where a population of 40 million is served by less than 15 dermatologists.
- Effectively provide dermatological services at local and international levels.
- Teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students and contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge.
The department has trained 13 dermatologists since inception. Currently there are 13 postgraduate students.
On average 3800 patients attend the skin clinic annually.