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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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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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