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WHO-AGISAR Uganda Pilot Project Launched

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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.

WHO Representative-Dr. Awa Aidara-Kane addresses the audience at the Pilot Project LaunchAnti-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. Francis Ejobi is the Head-Department of Bio security, Ecosystems and Veterinary Public Health (BEP), CoVAB and PI 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.

Prof. John Opuda-Asibo, Executive Director-National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) gives the keynote address at the Project LaunchKey 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
 

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Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education

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Professor Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu (L) receives a plaque and citation from RUFORUM Board Member and Vice Chancellor Ndejje University-Professor Eriabu Lugujjo (Right) on 6th May 2021 at the RUFORUM Secretariat, Plot 155 Garden Hill, Makerere University Main Campus,

When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.

But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.

He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.

He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.

So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.

Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022. Photo credit: AfDB

The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.

About the JADS program

The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline.  The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.

The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.

Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.

Application Procedures

  1. Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
  2. Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
  3. University evaluates and selects applicants.
  4. University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
  5. AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
  6. AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.

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WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update

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Prof. Tonny J. Oyana, Finance Chairperson, World Health Summit Regional Meeting Africa, June 2021.

SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…

Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa

We are sincerely grateful to our sponsors…

Over 15 core sponsors…

Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…

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