Exchange report - incoming teachers
Home university: Makerere University
Study programme: Dentistry
Exchange programme: Linnaeus-Palme
Semester: Spring semester 2015/2016
Duration: 21
Name: Annette Mbaziira
Email address:


The students’ residence we were booked into was quite sufficient. The only challenge was with some of the students who would use the kitchen and not want to clean up. Another challenge was with the cleaning of the kitchen, lavatories and corridors which, in my opinion, needs to be done more regularly. Otherwise, it was good sharing residence with students because they brought out the’ youth in me’ with their energy and vigor. I actually got entangled with them as we organized dinners with them.

Language and Culture

The Swedish culture, like any other, is very rich and differs from Uganda culture in many aspects, for instance;

Language: The Swedish language was not known to us so we used English so it was not very easy for some of the students to communicate with us. However, on the whole, the majority had some reasonable command of the language.

Dressing: The weather in Sweden was relatively cold and we were always warmly dressed when outdoors. Even when the sun came out, we would still have to move with a jacket. Relatively warm weather brought out the cultural difference in dressing with the girls wearing very skimpy skirts and shorts that would be deemed inappropriate in Kampala.

Food: I had never eaten sea fish and my very first meal in Sweden was a sandwich of shrimps. Later on, I was to eat roasted and smoked salmon fish. Uganda, being a landlocked country, has largely fresh water fish.

Leisure time

During my stay at Karolinska Institutet, there were a number of public holidays. The Swedish people attach a lot of importance to their holidays and although many of them are not practicing Christians, they highly observed Ascension Day (The day Jesus went to Heaven).

April 30th found us in Stockholm. It is called Walpurgis Eve. This is the day when the Swedish people sing and dance in preparation for the forthcoming Spring, to the budding of greenery and to a brighter future. The co-coordinator took us to one of these celebrations where a bonfire was lit and winter refuse burnt while singing and a band played in the background.

One of the Sundays saw us in the home of one of the doctors who treated us to a barbecue of Salmon fish. It was very tasty indeed. We were able to see lots of fruit trees and a green house with a variety of fruit and vegetable seedlings.


I had a great time!

Other activities

I was invited by my long time friend to travel to Orebro, one of the towns outside Stockholm. I travelled by bus with one of our students on ERASMUS exchange program for a weekend!

Fika is a word used to refer to coffee breaks every now and again. The Swedish love their coffee and along with it comes sweet tasting cakes/buns. We participated in many of these.

We visited a manufacturing company called DIRECTA. They manufacture a wide range of products including luxators, Fender wedge and contact finders which I saw for the first time.

I was privileged to attend a KI graduation ceremony of my colleague, Dr Francis Ocheng who got a PHD. which took place at the City Hall where all Noble Prize Awards are presented. It was indeed a very colorful ceremony.


I got to know about the opportunity to go to the teacher exchange program through the Head of Makerere University Dental School. Together with the co-coordinator of the collaboration, they made known to me the requirements of the program. Since English would be the language for communication, I felt comfortable. It took us a while to have all the paper work done. My passport had less than the required 6 months expiry prior to visa acquisition so I had to renew it first. However, with the introductory and invitation letters from both the collaborating Universities it was easy for us to get visas. I already had a valid vaccination booklet.


What has influenced me personally and as a teacher is the emphasis that is placed on sterility of procedures, instruments and equipment while at work.

The referral system is very well observed and patients without referrals are not taken up by the students unless they fall under emergency bracket.

I have observed the need for the student to first review the patient’s record with the teacher, discuss the treatment options before the patient is called in. This gives the student confidence and ability to win the patient’s trust from the start.

Every patient has to have a panoramic radiograph at the first contact which might not be possible in our country’s dental school setup.

Availability of requirements at every stage is commendable. What we found challenging and not possible to imitate at the moment is the complete phasing down of amalgam fillings. It wouldn’t be cost effective in our setup, at the moment.

I feel that future collaborations should be able to materialize into tangible assistance eg if equipment that has been used by one country becomes outdated, it could be taken up by another that badly needs it so as to also upgrade their standard to near desired level.


Most of our teaching was in form of individual supervision. The teaching content was more or less the same save for the means. As compared to our set up, the teaching at KI is largely computerized and materials in abundance making it easy and conducive for students / teachers to work. The students relate very easily with their teachers and present to them every step of their treatment plan. They even record the patients’ mood at the time of therapy! Difference in curriculum: Where as our students first do general medicine and surgery, giving less time to dentistry in the earlier years, the students at KI receive maximum benefit by concentrating solely on dental clerkships from the start. However, our students still compensate for this time through a year of internship.

Teaching hours

Pre clinic sessions (5%)

I conducted one hour’s seminar (2%)

Other Activities at Karolinska Institutet (5%)

Individual student supervision / clinical teaching (88%)