Makerere University School of Public Health and College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on 12th April, 2018, at Protea Hotel, validated a report on the weaknesses and gaps identified in the inter-sectoral teams from the Government that respond to emerging pandemic zoonoses, such as the recent Marburg Viral Fever outbreak in Kween and Kapchorwa Districts in November 2017. This study was supported by supported by funds from One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA) and the USAID One Health Workforce (OHW) Project.
Responding to zoonotic disease solely within a single discipline or sector, limits the understanding of the disease situation, results in poor decision making, inefficient coordination and unsatisfactory response to the outbreak. Inter-sectoral collaboration, (also known as the one health approach), is most desirable, and is now operational under the framework of the National One Health Platform in government sectors that primarily respond to infectious diseases. These are the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). This collaborative approach will enable Uganda meet the goals as required by the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).
The workshop was opened by the Director of Environmental Affairs from the Ministry of Water and Environment who is the current chair of the National One Health Platform and he advocated for the institutionalization of the One Health Approach, which will result in join envisioning and planning at the ministerial level. Prof. William Bazeyo who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration (DVCFA), Makerere University, as well as the Principal Investigator (PI) and CEO OHCEA, urged professionals from various government sectors as well as academia present collaborate with each other and take the message and concept of One Health to the grassroots where the health challenges stem from. Examples of innovative and easily available forum to be used included social media. The Principal, CoVAB who is also the Co-PI OHCEA, Prof. John David Kabasa, in his keynote address stressed that solutions to health issues are dynamic and need to cut across disciplines and educational levels.“People should be molded in One Health right from childhood to higher levels of education,”
The workshop participants included a representative of the Director of Animal Resources, MAAIF, Commissioners from Ministry of MoH, MAAIF and MWE, Senior Health, Veterinary and Environment Government Officers, Consultants in Wildlife, representatives from National Curriculum Development Center, Deans and Departmental Chairs in Makerere Academia, representatives from CDC-Uganda, FAO-ECTAD-Uganda, USAID Preparedness and Response Project, PREDICT-2 and the USAID Uganda Mission. There was an informative plenary discussionconfirming the gaps, weaknesses on the One Health workforce with action points suggested to improve the functioning of the inter-sectoral one health workforce in mitigating infectious health challenges. These findings will be used by the university and other partners (government inclusive) in planning and designing interventions for joint workforce development or enriching one health action plans.
The Assistant Commissioner Information and Communication, (MAAIF), Ms. Connie Acayo, concluded the workshop by reiterating the need for the application of the four “C’s” within the one health (inter-sectoral) approach-Co-operation, Co-ordination, Capacity and Containment of the emerging pandemic threats.
The validated report entitled the “Analysis of the One Health Workforce” was synthesised in close collaboration with government by reviewing several country assessments including Joint External Evaluation (JEE, June 2017) and National Action Plans. A multi-sectoral consultative meeting (22nd to 24th August 2017) utilized the OH-SMARTTM toolkit to strengthen the synthesis report from document review.
Some of the significant capacity and competency gaps revealed by our assessment of the one health workforce as they detect, prevent and respond prioritized zoonoses included: the need for workforce capacity building in management, leadership, communication strategies, risk communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, systems thinking, information technology and informatics. Other gaps pointed towards the need for capacity in disease surveillance, laboratory systems, increasing awareness for the need of one health in academic institutions and a policy framework for the operationalization of the one health approach.
Article by Dr. Peninah Nsamba, CoVAB Focal Person OHCEA
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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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution