Makerere to take lead in National Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance
Makerere University is to take lead in the implementation of an Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial resistance in Uganda. Uganda was selected by the World Health Organization (WHO) Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR) to implement the two-year project entitled “movement pathways of antimicrobial agents and occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in humans, food producing animals and retail foods in Uganda”. The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security (CoVAB) will be at the forefront in the implementation of the project.
Speaking at the launch of the project on 17th March 2015 at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Dr. Ernest Okello-Ogwang hailed scientists from CoVAB for having won several competitive grants at national, regional and international level in the recent past. This particular project under WHO-AGISAR was written by Prof. Francis Ejobi, the Head of Department; Bio security, Ecosystems and Veterinary Public Health (BEP), resulting into Uganda being chosen by WHO-AGISAR to implement it. Dr. Okello Ogwang congratulated Prof. Ejobi for winning the competitive grant adding that it will go a long way in strengthening laboratory capacity at Makerere University in terms of conducting research that will guide policy making in the country.
Anti-microbial resistance occurs when an antibiotic loses its ability to effectively control or kill bacterial growth; meaning that bacteria become 'resistant' and continue to multiply even when antibiotics have been applied either in humans or animals. The current high levels of antimicrobial resistance are attributed to overuse and misuse of antibiotics.
According to Dr. Awa Aidara-Kane who represented WHO at the launch, Antimicrobial Resistance is a global problem that requires a global approach due to extensive movement of people, animal and food around the world. She said that global surveillance and reliable data that can help to track this problem are necessary.
“This project is very important because we lack data from developing countries that can inform policy. We therefore need a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary approach generated from different stakeholders against antimicrobial resistance. That is why WHO is giving seed money to Uganda and our wish is that work in this area will continue even after the 2 years come to an end. This pilot project must raise awareness through evidence-based data so that the government will feel the need to tackle this problem more systematically,” Dr. Aidara-Kane emphasized.
The Deputy Principal CoVAB, Dr. Jesca Nakavuma was happy to note that the project will contribute to capacity building at CoVAB. She urged the scientists on the project not to neglect the existing but scattered data on antimicrobial resistance in Uganda. She said that gathering this data and compiling a single detailed report will contribute to the findings of the project.
Prof. Ejobi, noted that data collection is going to be a huge component of the project tasks.
“We shall generate data which shows the burden that Uganda is facing as a result of antimicrobial resistance so as to avail scientific evidence backing the need to contain this problem." Prof. Ejobi stressed, adding that his team will work hand-in-hand with the media to create awareness about the issue of antimicrobial resistance.
“We shall then hold a bigger workshop for all stakeholders and policy makers where we shall reveal the findings at the end of our 2-year period,” Prof. Ejobi said.
Prof. Paula Cray, a North Carolina State University-based specialist in population health and pathobiology will work closely with Prof. Ejobi and his team at CoVAB. She is the lead technical advisor on the project that is expected to be carried out in selected areas in Uganda and will involve the collection of samples from cattle, broiler chicken and children as well as meat products from supermarkets and butcheries.
It is hoped that through this project, inter-sectoral collaborations shall be strengthened and that awareness about the dangers of antimicrobial resistance shall be raised amongst the government. This may then ultimately put Uganda in a more informed position to develop a national program on integrated surveillance for resistance.
WHO has since 2011 been funding pilot projects of this nature across the world. In Africa, similar projects were conducted in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Kenya and now Uganda. Dr. Aidara-Kane expressed optimism that the project in Uganda will be as successful as the ones that have been conducted in other African countries.
Key stakeholders present at the launch were National Drug Authority (NDA), Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF), Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA), AFRISA, National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA) and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
Representatives from the various organizations present were in agreement that their organizations had a role to play in the successful implementation of this project in Uganda. Dr. Aidara-Kane advised the stakeholders to work together and consider forming a national inter-sectoral taskforce against anti-microbial resistance, as was the case in Kenya.
Also present at the launch were Prof. John Opuda-Asibo, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE). He gave the keynote address on anti-microbial resistance as an emerging threat to human and animal healthcare in the 21st Century. Dr. Patrick Bastiaensen, the Program Officer of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) East African sub-region was also present. He noted that lack of legislation against misuse of drugs in developing countries has played a big role in the rise of antimicrobial resistance.
Article by Jovia Musubika, CoVAB
Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution
The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.
The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.
Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative
By Bernard Buteera
Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.
The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.
While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.
“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.
Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.
“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.
”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.
The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.
”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.
Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.
”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.
“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.
Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.
“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.
Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.
“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.
Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.
“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.
Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.
“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.
The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).
The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.
Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.
Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.
For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.
ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022
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