Health and wholeness undergraduate course in Uganda: potential public health impact and transferability

  • Douglas L Fountain Medical Teams International
  • Edward Mukooza Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Uganda Christian University
  • Edward Kanyesigye Senior Lecturer and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Uganda Christian University
Keywords: General Health Course, Health Education, Uganda, Higher Education, University, Christian


Over 26,000 students at a major Christian University in Uganda have completed a single semester course on Health and Wholeness. While common in other higher education contexts, general education courses and health education courses in particular are uncommon in the Africa higher education context. This course therefore is a bold initiative by Uganda Christian University. The course is designed to help students in a wide range of programs understand how to promote and improve health in their own lives as well as their homes, communities, workplace and society.  Students learn about the definitions of health and wholeness. They discuss hygiene; nutrition; sanitation, water and land use; common occurring health problems, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections; sexuality; first aid and early intervention; family health, dependence, fitness and life skills and leadership for a healthy society.  Through discussion, students are expected to identify factors that hinder or enhance health.  Challenges and lessons learned in the course include confronting cultural practices, improving critical analysis skills, addressing information at the right technical level, and improving behavior change.  Because graduates come from, and move on to, virtually all facets of economic, civil and social life in Uganda and beyond, this course could carry tremendous potential to improve the public’s health.  

Author Biographies

Douglas L Fountain, Medical Teams International
Douglas Fountain, MPA, serves as Associate Editor for Journal Development.   Mr. Fountain is Vice President for Operations Support with Medical Teams International, a Christian global health relief and development organization that operates in over 70 countries.   He recently consulted with World Vision International on a medical service volunteer program.   He served for 8½ years at Uganda Christian University, a fully accredited university with 11,000 students where he established the Department of Health Sciences, launched nursing and public health programs, wrote a book on Health and Wholeness, and subsequently served as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Vice President) for Development and External Relations.   Previously he was involved in sustainable forestry in Tanzania and public health and substance abuse treatment research in the United States.  
Edward Mukooza, Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Uganda Christian University
Dr. Edward Mukooza, MBCHB, DHA, MBL, MPH, is Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Uganda Christian University. Dr. Mukooza practiced medicine in Uganda for a decade. He joined the International Christian Medical Institute (ICMI) to teach health administration to health workers, rising to serve as principal of ICMI.  He teaches public health and leadership at Uganda Christian University. He has mentored more than 650 students working on research projects as part of their diploma in health administration. These students now work at various levels of the health system all over Uganda.
Edward Kanyesigye, Senior Lecturer and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Uganda Christian University
Dr. Edward Kanyesigye, MBCHB, DPH, MPH, is Senior Lecturer and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Uganda Christian University. Dr. Kanyesigye practiced medicine in Uganda before becoming involved in health promotion activities in a number of African nations.  He rose in national leadership in the Ministry of Health, eventually serving as Commissioner of Planning and Commissioner of Human Resources.  He left that to work on several capacity building programs, including with AMREF and the International Health Sciences University prior to coming to Uganda Christian University.  At UCU he has guided development of public and community health programs and established the new Faculty of Health Sciences.


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How to Cite
Fountain, D. L., Mukooza, E., & Kanyesigye, E. (2016). Health and wholeness undergraduate course in Uganda: potential public health impact and transferability. Christian Journal for Global Health, 3(2), 6-17.