Bulamu’s Research and Insights

A weekly graphic management report from the HCE program’s IT system – a first time this approach has been implemented with an African Ministry of Health.

Bulamu’s programs – Clinical Support Teams, Surgery Programs, and the Health Center Excellence Program – support health systems strengthening for the poor via short, medium, and long-term interventions. These programs, which make up our Health Systems Strengthening initiative, are built on the insights our team and partners have had in the years since Bulamu was founded in 2016.

These insights also present an opportunity for Bulamu to contribute to learning and research for the patients we serve and for patients in similar low-resource health systems.  When it comes to sharing solutions that clear bottlenecks and strengthen health systems for the poor, the global health community cannot move fast enough.

Current research projects include:

Essential Medicines and Health Supplies (EMHS) Study:

Working in partnership with Principal Investigator Christine Begumisa and Co-Investigator Prof. Peter Waiswa at the Makerere School of Public Health, Bulamu is midway through an academic study on Uganda’s supply chain for medicines and health supplies. This study is fully Research Ethics Committee and Ministry of Health approved in Uganda. Upon its completion, it will answer a primary research question on the extent of shortages of medicines and health supplies in the Ministry of Health system, with a nationally representative sample. This dataset will also be a rich source for academic researchers with an interest in prescription and health supply access for global health, and we will share it with researchers as their research questions are fully approved and ethically permissible.

Following the academic publication of the REC-approved Essential Medicines study, we will work with our partners to make supply chain recommendations to help Uganda address the most pressing issues identified in the study.

Improving Surgical Access for the Poor:

Working with the Association of Surgeons of Uganda, Bulamu’s surgery team is in the process of preparing our surgery program for an initial overview publication, with the goal of subsequent studies in the years to come.

Management Systems and Graphic Management Reports for Global Health:

How can doctor productivity be measured in a Low- and Middle-Income Country (LMIC) setting? What are the bottlenecks that cost the most in terms of patient suffering and health system output, but are the least expensive to address? These are some of the questions the Health Center Excellence program helps our partner districts, health facilities, and Uganda’s Ministry of Health to address. In partnership with the Ministry of Health of Uganda and multiple District Local Governments throughout the country, among other partners, we are preparing research publications on the system changes and improvements brought by the implementation of the HCE program in our partner districts.

As one example, HCE’s graphic management reports system brings insights common from global businesses to a Ministry of Health system, yet this represents a first time this approach has been applied that we can find in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our goal for the research we conduct is to meet the highest ethical standards and appropriately share any insights produced. We welcome partners who would like to contribute to this effort, including academic physicians both in Uganda and around the world.