Moringa oleifera also dubbed the superfood of superfoods or ‘Miracle’ tree is the most widely cultivated species of the Moringa genus of trees with its origins in South Asia. In Uganda, Moringa oleifera leaves are widely consumed by communities, mostly for their nutritional and medicinal values. Its use continues to multiply rapidly with countless products made from the tree’s leaves and roots lining supermarket and pharmacy shelves. It has however been noted that the use of Moringa oleifera is not well standardised.
It was against this background that the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), School of Biomedical Sciences organised “The Day of Moringa Science” at which studies done on Moringa oleifera leaves were disseminated to the Ministry of Health, researchers, academicians, ethno botanists, policy makers, herbalists and students. Held in the Davies Lecture Theatre, MakCHS, on Tuesday, 9th July 2019, the activity was supported by the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) under the two year (2017-2019) Nurturing Emerging Research Leaders through Post-Doctoral Training at Makerere University (NERLP) project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Welcoming participants, the Principal MakCHS, Prof. Charles Ibingira noted that outcomes of the Day of Moringa Science would mark a turning point in the use of traditional medicinal plants in Uganda to discover drugs that treat chronic illnesses and combat drug resistant micro-organisms.
“I commend Prof. Josephine Kasolo and the Department of Physiology for conducting research on the medicinal values of Moringa oleifera. It is this research that will help us better understand and modernise what herbalists have been practicing over the decades” remarked the Principal.
He also thanked Prof. Kasolo championing efforts at MakCHS to better brand and package Moringa oleifera and challenged the student community present to take advantage of the renewed interest in herbal remedies to add value to medicinal plants. Herbal remedies, he noted, were the next big thing and those who invested now would reap financial benefits in the future.
Representing the Ministry of Health, the Commissioner Clinical Services, Dr. Jackson Amone congratulated MakCHS and the Department of Physiology in particular for dedicating an entire day to Moringa Science. He paid tribute to his former Lecturer, Prof. Josephine Kasolo for working hard to bridge the gap between traditional and modern practices of medicine.
“When I visited China over ten years ago, we were taken to a Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital where patients were given an assortment of herbs packed in numerous polythene bags as their prescription. Our recent visits to the same facilities showed that our colleagues through the use of modern technology have managed to pack the same prescriptions better in tablets, capsules and many other forms. I am therefore happy that we are also following the same trend with the products on display here” remarked Dr. Amone.
One of the products on display was REPLENISH+; an all-natural immune booster made up of SelenoExcell Selenium and Moringa oleifera, produced by a Ugandan company – Doctor’s Choice Limited.
Addressing the participants, Prof. Josephine Kasolo thanked all present for sparing time to attend the 2019 Day of Moringa Science. She noted that Moringa was indeed a ‘Miracle’ tree with both medicinal and nutritional uses.
“Moringa oleifera contains multivitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and has been proven to grow well in loam, sandy and clay soils as well as murram. This means that it can be grown in any part of Uganda” added Prof. Kasolo.
She further shared that Moringa oleifera was massively promoted by the local media in the 1980s as a plant able to cure the symptoms of HIV/AIDS and the leaves continue to be widely used by herbalists for their medicinal properties.
“The Department of Physiology has identified a number of phytochemicals from Moringa oleifera leaves and established twenty four medicinal uses. We are in the process of developing our own product and thank Doctor’s Choice for coming to share with us what they have done so far” remarked Prof. Kasolo.
The presentation on REPLENISH+ by Doctor’s Choice showed that research on subjects who took daily doses of 200µg of Seleno Excell Selenium had 63% fewer cases of prostate cancer, 58% fewer cases of colon or rectal cancers, and 46% fewer cases of lung cancers than those not receiving the supplement. The same research showed a 50% reduction in cancer mortality and 37% reduction in cancer incidence.
The presentation also highlighted that our bodies use selenium along with tryptophan, cysteine and glutamine that are found in Moringa oleifera to produce an enzyme called Glutathione Peroxidase. This important enzyme serves as a natural antioxidant and boosts the immune system.
A second presentation by Mr. Kenneth Mugume, Programs Officer (Research and Development) at THETA Uganda showcased additional herbal formulations of Moringa oleifera such as Booster Plus; by Kampala Pharmaceutical Industries (KPI) and Revital; by Aloesha Organic. He also shared publications showing that the Moringa plant alkaloid moringine relaxes the bronchioles and as such can be used for the treatment of asthma.
Mr. Mugume further highlighted that organic Moringa contains 46 anti-oxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories, 18 amino acids, 9 essential amino acids and 92 nutrients. In terms of nutritional value, Moringa contains double the protein in yoghurt, triple the potassium in bananas, four times the calcium in milk, four times the vitamin A in carrots, seven times the vitamin C in oranges among other nutrients.
Regular consumption of organic Moringa, he shared, has additional benefits such as stimulating hair growth, normalising blood sugar, normalising blood pressure, curing Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), enhancing skin health, increasing energy and endurance and increasing mental clarity. Other benefits included; improving wound healing, reducing wrinkles, improving digestion, eliminating constipation, detoxifying the body and improving nutrition for infants six months and older as well as pregnant or nursing mothers among others.
Article by Public Relations Office
HERS-EA Fourth Leadership Academy
The Higher Education Resource Services-East Africa (HERS-EA) provides an intensive residential one-week leadership and management development curriculum focused on women, mainly in higher education institutions and administration.
In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, HERS-EA Fourth Academy will be a totally virtual one. As such, the Academy previously scheduled to take place between June 28th – July 3rd has been postponed by one week to July 5th-9th.
Theme: “Positioning Women for Leadership in Higher Education”
A. Institutional Development
1. Managing and Leading Change
2. Reframing Organizations for effective work
3. Developing Effective Partnerships in Higher Education for Women and gender focused advancement
B. Personal Development
4. Career Mapping/building dossier/personal development
5. Professional Women’s economic empowerment through Enterprise development and management for profit maximization
6. Research and Publishing; Leadership and Fundraising for projects including research and publication.
7. The Power of Mentoring; Networking
Who Should Attend?
HERS-EA expects many diverse and dynamic women leaders to attend the ACADEMY, to share and learn from multiple institutional perspectives with guidance from women with a wealth of experience in higher education, national academic organizations, government and non- governmental organizations. Participants are expected hold mid to senior-level positions and bring expertise from all parts of a college or university. They also represent a range of national groups, ages and years of experience in higher education and other fields.
Applying to the ACADEMY:
The deadline for registration has also been extended to June 30th. For more information regarding registration, please visit the website: www.hersea.org Completed registration forms should be emailed, with a scanned payment slip to: email@example.com, by 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday 30th June.
A complete application includes:
b) A self-descriptive letter (not > 500 words) to include:
- Current Title (e.g. Associate Professor of Economics; Deputy Dean, e. t. c.)
- Name and Contact Information for 2 Recommenders (e.g. Vice Chancellor, Head of Department, Chief Officer in your area, and/or direct supervisor)
- Short- and long-term career goals
- Your expectations for the HERS-EA ACADEMY.
c) Passport size photograph
d) A developmental project you have been assigned or you would like to initiate at your campus (maximum 500 words)
e) Registration fee of $100, please attach a copy of the deposit slip to your application (Bank A/C details below):
If you have any further questions, please email:
info[at]hersea.org or call the HERS-EA Administrator on: +256 (0)772082011 Please,also, visit the HERS-EA website for further updates: www.hersea.org.
Payment Bank Account Details:
Account Name: Higher Education Resource Service East Africa
HERS-EA US $ ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 02083553153181
Swift Code: DFCUUGKA
HERS-EA UGX ACCOUNT
Name of Bank: DFCU Bank
Makerere University Branch
A/C No: 01083553153172
Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates
The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on Thursday 17th June, 2021 commenced celebrations to mark 50 Years of Veterinary Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Services (HESTIS) in Uganda. The blended event held at the Industrial Livestock Research, Incubation and Skilling (ILRIS) Center at Nakyesasa, Namulonge as well as online was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Hon. Janet Museveni both represented by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.
The event, held as part of Makerere University Centenary Celebrations (1922-2022) was a moment of celebration for 1,930 skilled livestock agribusiness entrepreneurs who were awarded certificates in recognition of completion of their respective courses. Owing to the strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the students from Incubation Hubs in Atiak, Butaleja, Mubende, Nakyesasa, Sheema and Wakiso were awarded their certificates virtually.
In her remarks read by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked Makerere University for supporting grassroots level development through groundbreaking innovations under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development-Skills for Production Enterprise Development and Accreditation (AFRISA-SPEDA) model.
“I am extremely pleased that Makerere University, through those innovative approaches, has developed and launched the alternative approach to building human capital and transferring knowledge to enterprises in communities.
“I would like to encourage all those involved in skills development to adopt methodologies that transform those trainees that go through these programs in ways that enable them also transform the societies they live in” read the Minister’s remarks.
She further noted that commissioning of the CoVAB@50 celebrations was both timely and rewarding. “The commissioning of the college innovations indeed has made meaning. This is a true path to growth of an Academic and Development College of the University, and we congratulate you again.”
Addressing the congregation as Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated CoVAB alumna and incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) under the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero upon her recent appointment. “We thank His Excellency the President for identifying you. Science is in good hands.”
Prof. Nawangwe urged Dr. Musenero to address the structures of managing research and innovation in Uganda, “including the role of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the apparent need to establish a Research Council for Uganda.”
In the same breath he thanked the outgoing and pioneer Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumuwesigye, for his role in ensuring that the ministry is empowered to carry out its mandate.
The Chancellor congratulated CoVAB upon training the bulk of Veterinary Doctors in Uganda over the last 50 years and more recently, Laboratory Technologists at the highest level. He recognised Makerere University‘s obligation to contribute to the economic self-determination of Uganda and thanked CoVAB for conducting research that addresses hindrances to national development, especially in the livestock industry.
“The anti-tick vaccine is one of such innovations which will solve the huge problem of tick-borne diseases that have caused enormous losses to our farmers. There are many other problems on which the college is researching and we thank you for the enthusiasm” he added.
The Chancellor commended CoVAB for being the vanguard of transformation of the grassroots communities through the SPEDA model. “I urge Government to fund this important initiative so that it can more meaningfully contribute to solving the big problem of youth unemployment.”
In her remarks, Dr. Monica Musenero commended the Principal, CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa for fulfilling the College’s dream of enabling the masses who drop out of the education value chain as well as those who complete education but have no skills for livelihood, to attain certification in agribusiness entrepreneurship.
“Many people attain academic success and write papers, publish and they become professors but without demonstrable impact on their nation. You have shown by the thousands that you have touched nationwide that indeed you are a professor of national transformation. Congratulations,” remarked Dr. Musenero.
She therefore congratulated the teams at CoVAB and AFRISA upon successfully conceiving and executing a model that is non-traditional, informal, not easily understood and not documented in any textbooks.
As Minister, Dr. Musenero noted that witnessing thousands of individuals from across the country whose skills had been honed through a university programme receiving certificates gave her a lot of hope and material to embark on her tenure with. “I will be looking forward to harnessing these resources as we initiate work on the next leg of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country under the President’s Office.”
The invitation to the Principal, CoVAB to present students for the award of the ordinary diplomas, ordinary certificates and artisan certificates was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba. He congratulated the awardees upon successfully completing their respective courses and graduating with evidence on an enterprise.
Prof. Kabasa clarified that the approach used to train the day’s awardees was not simply a vocational skilling. “The combination of action research with knowledge transfer, skilling, plus assessment and accreditation processes done by organs like the DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training, MoES) has given us this result, for the University to provide true leadership and transformation of the community.”
Present at the celebrations were the Director, DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick and the Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES Madam Elizabeth Bateme who have worked through the Academic-Community-Public-Private-Partnership model to ensure that students graduate as entrepreneurs with micro enterprises.
Prior to presiding over the ceremony, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports officially commissioned the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre – Nakyesasa.
UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021
The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.
Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;
- JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
- Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
- Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
- For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
- Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
- Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
- Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
- In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.
Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.
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