The 3rd International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) and 16th Makerere University Environmental Health Students' Association (MUEHSA) Conference kicked off on 9th April 2019 at Hotel Africana. Officially opened by the Prime Minister of Uganda Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda, represented by the State Minister for Health-Primary Health Care, Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the three days’ conference is running from 9th-11th April 2019 under the theme: Environmental Health: A Cornerstone to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The 3rd International Federation of Environmental Health and 16th Makerere University Environmental Health Students' Association (MUEHSA) Conference brings together experts in environmental sciences and health, around the world to stimulate multidisciplinary and multisectoral collaboration in environmental health; central to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); particularly SDG 3 and SDG 6.
The Conference builds on the environmental health actions that seek to capture and spread the good practices as well as providing potential approaches to be adopted by environmental health Practitioners during their community activities.
According to the Dean, School of Public Health, Makerere University Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze, the Conference is the first to be hosted in Africa and has come at a time when environmental health continues to play a pivotal role in existing global health concerns.
“Currently the world is facing challenges such as food safety, pollution, water, sanitation, improper housing, hygiene, antimicrobial resistance, climate change as well as one health especially in our developing countries. -This requires the active engagement and participation of environmental health practitioners to come up with solutions and innovations to address the challenges,” she said.
In a speech read by the State Minister for Health-Primary Health Care, Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the Prime Minister applauded the organizers of the conference for developing a platform for practitioners, academicians, researchers, policy makers, implementers, funders, legislators and students to discuss and find solutions on improving Environmental Health Practices.
According to Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda through the Ministry of Health has focused on preventative than curative measures while handling environmental health matters. The Ministry appointed Environmental Health Officers who have made a significant role towards controlling major health epidemics such as plaque, cholera, and Ebola.
“Over the years, the profession has continued to evolve and Environmental Health Officers have played a key role in disease surveillance and carrying out research on epidemic outbreak. The tremendous work that Health Inspectors have played to ensure that households are habitable is undeniable. We have made great contribution to improve access to water and ensure proper sanitation and hygiene,” he remarked.
He emphasized the importance of investing in Environmental Health when he said, “environmental health is a critical field that needs proper attention. It is the backbone of Public health. The environment we live in determines our health status. The Government of Uganda is currently spending UGX260 billion, annually on treatment of preventable diseases and we shall spend less if we put a lot of effort in preventive measures,” said the Prime Minister.
Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda cited the need for continued capacity building and research support in the field of environmental health. He applauded the government of Uganda for committing UGX30 billionto support research in Universities.
The President of the International Federation of Environmental Health-Dr. Selva Mudaly appealed to politicians and other leaders of the world to support activities geared towards environmental conservation. “Climate change is a reality. Don’t look away. The recent widespread flooding in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi is a caution of what is happening in Africa. Don’t wait for the wake up, break up and then start looking for environmental scientists,” said Dr. Selva Mudaly.
He called upon responsible officers to prioritise and fund disaster and risk management trainings. He also encouraged researchers to take research to communities.
The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University represented by Prof. William Bazeyo-the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, noted that Environmental Health is the beginning of Public Health. He informed participants that environmental health links the nation to its community. He applauded the School of Public Health for being the flagship of Makerere University in research, publications, human resource development and quality production.
According to Prof. Bazeyo, the world is facing a big problem of one health; non communicable and communicable diseases. He therefore urged scientists to take the topics seriously and find solutions.
During the opening ceremony, the President of the International Federation of Environmental Health Dr. Selva Mudaly handed over the Roy Emerson Award to the 2019 winner, Mr. George William Ssendagala; a student of Food Science and technology at Makerere University.
The Roy Emerson Award is an essay competition for Environmental Health undergraduate students from IFEH Member Countries or IFEH Academic Association members. Organized by the International Federation of Environmental Health, the 2019 competitions called upon students to discuss and critically appraise the aims to support the provision of safe food, to make use of precious water & nutrient resources, and for communities to increasingly value sustainable food production on the topic; “Global Food Safety and Sustainability.”
George William Ssendagala’s area of focus was on Developments in the Obushera in Uganda- a traditional fermented drink in Africa.
“I looked at fermented foods in Africa, America, Europe and Asia to get a big picture and then narrowed down to Obushera in Uganda. My aim was to understand the safety issues that are negatively affecting the industry of Obushera production and the waste management process since the drink is packaged mostly in plastic materials picked from garbage,” he said.
The 3rd International Federation of Environmental Health and 16th Makerere University Environmental Health Students' Association (MUEHSA) Conference will end on 11th April 2019. During the three days, participants will go through an exciting programme consisting of keynote addresses, oral and poster presentations, panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, mentorship, career guidance session, student’s debates and meetings.
The Chairperson of the Conference Organizing Committee, Makerere University School Public Health Dr. David Musoke, encouraged participants to explore opportunities that the conference is offering especially potential collaboration in teaching, research and practice.
“I wish to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of this conference. My humble appreciation goes to IFEH, Ministry of Health, Makerere University, Environmental Health Workers Association of Uganda, Nottingham Trent University, UK and all sponsors and partners who have played a vital role in making this conference a success,” said Mr. George Oryongatum, the Conference Co-Chairperson and MUEHSA President.
Article by Mak Public Relations Office
4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors
In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.
MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.
- Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
- Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
- Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.
Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors
Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.
Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal
There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.
How to Apply
Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.
MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.
NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.
Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.
Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University
7th June 2021
All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
RE: CLOSURE OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY
Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.
During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.
Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.
Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council
RUFORUM: Transforming Higher Education Videos and Links
Video Series developed by Julieta Mazzola, EARTH University.
- What is Community Engagement? Video 1 of 3. https://youtu.be/etv2-W1U3O0
- Different Forms of University Engagement with the Community. Video 2 of 3. https://youtu.be/73h2p8P0BLw
- Student learning through Community Engagement. Video 3 of 3. https://youtu.be/Ule3P1-tjC4
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