Professor Francis Omaswa is the Principal Investigator of the MEPI African Coordinating Center. He is the Executive Director of the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), an initiative incorporated in Uganda and promoted by a network of African and International leaders in health and development. It is an independent “Think Tank and Network.” He is the Principal Investigator of the MEPI African Coordinating Center at ACHEST.
Until May 2008, Prof. Omaswa was the founding Executive Director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA) a partnership dedicated to identifying and providing solutions to the global health workforce crisis. The secretariat is provided by WHO. This work culminated in the first ever global forum on human resources for health, organized by Prof. Omaswa, and the adoption of the “Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action” which now guides the global response on health workforce development.
Before joining GHWA, he was the Director General for Health Services in the Ministry of Health in Uganda during which time he was responsible for coordinating major reforms in the health sector, including the introduction of the Swaps, quality assurance and decentralization. He has a keen interest in cost-effective approaches for increasing access of the poor to quality health care and spent five years in a remote mission hospital testing various models and innovations for this between 1982 and 1987.
His academic career includes serving as Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital in Kenya and founding Director of the Uganda Heart Institute at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. He was involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and mentored many professionals who are now leaders in the field in the region. He served on several university committees. He was also the founding President of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa which covers 12 countries in that region. He has published in the fields of surgery and health services management including human resources for health.
In the community, he has served on many boards in schools and universities, civil society and the private sector, in several cases as the chair of these boards. For this, he has received multiple meritorious awards.
At the global level he is Senior Adviser to the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI), Co-Chair of the Global Advisory Policy Council on Health Workforce Migration, and is a member of several working groups and task forces. He has served as founding Chairman of the Global Stop TB Partnership Board, Chair of the Portfolio and Procurement Committee of the Global Fund Board, Chair of the GAVI Independent Review Committee and a member of the steering committee of the High Level Forum on health-related MDGs and has been an adviser to governments on health policy and strategy in developing and developed countries.
Prof. Omaswa is a graduate of Makerere Medical School, Uganda, a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, founding President of the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa and is a Senior Associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has qualifications in health services management and education.