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Kasese leaders trained on using One Health Approach to respond to community health concerns

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Over 20 Local Government Administrators in Kasese District together with Wildlife Personnel from Queen Elizabeth National Park have been trained on how to use the One Health Approach to respond to community health concerns. This was at the Leadership Capacity Building in Disease Prevention, Detection and Response held on 30th April -3rd May 2019 at Nyaika Hotel Fort Portal.

The One Health is a collaborative, multi-sectoral, and multidisciplinary approach that focuses on achieving optimal health outcomes by recognizing the interconnection between people animals, plants and their shared environment.

The idea has been embraced globally by World Health Organizations (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Organizations for Animals (OIE) under the Health and Global Security Agenda (GHSA) as a strategy for promoting the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals and environment.

One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA) is a network of 16 universities in 8 countries in Eastern, Central and Western African region. Makerere University School of Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB) and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) are focal points for the network in Uganda. Prof. William Bazeyo, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration- Makerere University is the Principal Investigator.

The Leadership Capacity Building in Disease Prevention, Detection and Response for Local Government Administrators in Kasese District and Wildlife Personnel from Queen Elizabeth National Park was organized by Makerere University School of Public Health (Mak-SPH) and College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB) with support from One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA) in partnership with the USAID-funded One Health Workforce (OHW) project.

Participatory activities; participants shairing their experience.

The training focused on;

  1. Introducing the multi-sectoral or one health strategy at district level to foster collaboration amongst entities called upon to prevent and respond to events of public health concern
  2. Demonstrating multi-sectoral or one health skills necessary to foster leadership, communication, collaboration and partnership within and across districts in addressing outbreaks and other complex health challenges
  3. Documenting, for the purpose of harmonization and coordination, district level outbreak response procedures, communication and actions including the dissemination of underlying and governing laws, legal texts and administrative directives in collaboration with the National Task Forces or National Disaster Risk Reduction Committees
  4. Identifying hazards of local, national and foreign origin threatening the health and well- being of communities and;
  5. Preparing district officers and wild life officers to develop a response plan relevant for their communities.

It was a pilot training through which, participants while sharing their daily experiences in working groups appreciated the role of multi-sectoral collaboration or the One Health approach in managing health related challenges in communities. During the interactive sessions that were held for four days, participants learnt how to identify and prioritize health risks or hazards in communities; prepare risk/disaster/hazard response plans; harness technical expertise collaboratively across technical departments of health, agriculture, natural resources, education, and the administrative departments.

Interestingly, disease outbreaks (human and animal), floods, plant diseases and pests ranked highly among the challenges with a great impact on the communities.  

According to Dr. Peninah Nsamba-a lecturer at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Biosecurity, Makerere University (COVAB), the training also enabled participants to understand the roles of Local Government leaders in relation to health risks, and hazards.

Participants together with their facilitators posing for the photo.

“It is getting clearer that solving a complex health problem requires multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral expertise and cooperation such as the one health approach. This training is re-positioning leaders to solve local challenges using a number of multi-disciplinary approaches.  The One Health approach holds a lot of promise in mitigating public health threats,” she said.

The collaborative communication, community and resource mobilization during outbreaks, hazards and disasters were also among the critical areas that were discussed.

Over the past years, Kasese district has experienced frequent hazards and disasters such as disease outbreaks, floods, landslides, among others; that have resulted in deaths, damage to property and loss of livelihoods. This has been attributed to the strategic location of Kasese and the activities that are carried out within the district.  

Located in Western part of Uganda, Kasese District is a hilly area with five major rivers; Rwimi, Mubuku, Nyamwamba, Nyamughasani and Lhubiriha. The area is predominantly agricultural, relying on farming for employment and income. Kasese district also has industrial potential with two operational mining operations currently mining sulphur, copper and cobalt at Kilembe. Additionally, the area houses Queen Elizabeth National park- one of the biggest national parks in Uganda. The District also boarders the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In a presentation he made on, The Overview of One Health Concept: Contribution of the Administrators and Social Scientists, Dr. Paul Ssajjakambwe remarked that the relationship between people, plants, animals, ecosystem and environment in Kasese is so strong and this has rendered the district vulnerable to health risks and hazards.  According to Dr. Ssajjakambwe Kasese district has been hit by disease outbreaks such as Cholera, Ebola, Typhoid and Anthrax due to the misuse of agro chemicals, animal-human contamination, floods, environment pollution, and Congo-Kasese boarder interactions.

Participants during one of the interactive sessions.

“The impact, these hazards have left on humans, the economy, especially agriculture, and ecosystems calls for a collective and collaborative approach to find solutions,” he said.  

During the opening ceremony that was held on 30th May 2019, at Nyaika Hotel in Fort Portal, the Resident District Commissioner of Kasese District Lt.  Joe Walusimbi commended OHCEA and Makerere University for choosing Kasese as one of the pioneer districts in implementing the One Health Approach.

“With my team, we are ready to learn how we can bring sectors of wild and domestic life, environment, eco-system, and human life on board to forge a collaborative solution for the looming health hazards and disasters in our district. If we can have a tool that can bring together these various respective sectors to solve the health problems, we shall have achieved much,” he said.

On behalf of participants, Lt. Walusimbi thanked Makerere University for initiating the capacity building in the in-service government workers that is going to positively impact Kasese Community.

The departments that participated in the training were; Office of the; the Resident District Commissioner, Chief Administrative Officer; District Planning, Town Clerk, Mayor and the District Chairperson. Departments included; Health, Veterinary, Agriculture, Education, Natural Resources and Water.

The Leadership Capacity Building in Disease Prevention, Detection and Response for Local Government Administrators in Kasese District and Wildlife Personnel from Queen Elizabeth National Park will be concluded on Friday 3rd May 2019. At the end of the training, participants are expected to have mapped out the priority risks in their communities and developed a tool that will guide them while implementing the One Health Approach.

OHCEA is a network of 16 universities in 8 countries in Eastern and Central Africa. Makerere University School of Public Health, COVAB and Faculty of Medicine, Mbarara University of Science and Technology are focal points for the network in Uganda. Prof. William Bazeyo (Deputy Vice Chancellor F/A is the Principal Investigator.

Article by Nabatte Proscovia, Mak Public Relations Office.

 

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Engineering, Art & Tech

A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga

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The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).

His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.

The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.

Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.

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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

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The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

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Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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