Connect with us

General

Prof. Nawangwe Leads Delegation to Zurich for 4th Mak-UZH Joint Symposium

Published

on

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe was at University of Zurich, Switzerland to attend the Dialogue Days under the theme, Global Health Challenges: What Next? Held from 9th to 11th September 2019, the event was organised by the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), Makerere University in collaboration with the University of Zurich (UZH) and the Careum Auditorium.
 
Dialogue Days is a two-day event (symposium) on Global Health sponsored by UZH, University Hospital Zurich, Researchers for Global Health, Makerere University and the Infectious Diseases Institute. The Dialogue days were interactive sessions and discussions with experts and emerging leaders on climate change, migration and infectious diseases. The focus of the dialogue was the interconnectedness of the global community, the challenges faced in different parts of the globe and what can be done to solve the future global health challenges. The event was open to the public and many scientists from Italy, other universities in Switzerland, Belgium, German and UK all joined the discussions.
 
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe makes closing remarks at the Dialogue Days Event
 
Prof. Nawangwe was accompanied by the Principal College of Health Sciences (CHS), Prof. Charles Ibingira and the Head of Dept of Biosecurity, Ecosystems and Veterinary Public Health Dr. Clovice Kankya, who also represented Prof. J.D. Kabasa – Principal College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB). He was also accompanied by the Dean School of Medicine – Prof. Moses Kamya, former Dean School of Medicine – Prof. Harriet Mayanja Kizza, Executive Director IDI – Dr. Andrew Kambugu, Director of the Human Rights and Peace Center (HURIPEC) – Dr. Zahara Nampewo and Ms. Martha Muwanguzi – Head International Office at Makerere University. Also in attendance were senior researchers, young scientists, laboratory technologists, Clinicians and PhD students, among others.
 
The joint scientific symposium is held every other year at UZH and Mak alternately. In 2008, Mak signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UZH to facilitate the forging of a mutually rewarding academic partnership. The MOU has fostered the establishment of multi-disciplinary partnerships across diverse fields including philosophy, social anthropology, ethics, health sciences, veterinary sciences and law.
 
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Branabas Nawangwe (Left) presents a plaque to the President of the University of Zurich, Prof. Michael Hengartner (Right)
 
One such partnership is the collaboration between the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute of UZH and IDI. The partners exchanged visits including the co-hosting of scientific symposia in their respective institutions over the last ten years.
 
Presentations at the symposium were made on Communicable Diseases in Animals and Climate Change and the impact on our health. As the human population increases, the wrath has been meted on our environment, cutting down trees for firewood and charcoal as well as building houses.
 
This implies that wild animals which were living far away from us have now moved nearer to our homes and have infected our pets with diseases. Without proper vaccination, diseases are transmitted from pets to the humans. Not only to the humans but also to other domestic animals that we keep such as like pigs, goats and cows.
 
Dr. Clovice Kankya from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (standing right) contributes to the discussion during the Migration Boma
 
Migration is another important and key factor in spreading communicable diseases. From time immemorial, people have been on the move from their original places of abode to new places in search of jobs, and others as a result of wars, conflict and even epidemics in some instances. The migrants normally move with their animals such as goats, sheep and cows into new places.
 
Urbanisation has also contributed to the spread of Communicable diseases in big cities where many people are living in unhygienic conditions in slums. In such places, the HIV/AIDS prevalence is high, while cholera, bilharzias and other diseases are a common occurence. Neglected tropical diseases, rabies, scabies, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), oncology, mental health, maternal and child health also pose a big challenge towards our health.
 
The easiest way to deal with some of the health challenges is through advocacy and thorough sensitization of the masses about the dangers of the diseases. The saying goes that “prevention is better than cure “. It was emphasized by the symposium that Leadership for global health has to be visionary and pragmatic, a voice for the voiceless and one that will look into the future of its citizens and plan for better health.
 
Amb. Eunice Kigenyi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Uganda to the UN and Other International Organisations, Geneva, makes her speech
 
Participants were hosted to a dinner at the University cafeteria UniTurm which was attended by H.E. Christopher Onyanga Aparr, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organisations, Geneva. In his speech, H.E welcomed the visitors from Uganda led by the Vice Chancellor and appreciated the hospitality by University of Zurich. He hailed the leadership of the two institutions for keeping the platform alive for the last ten years.
 
“Uganda and Switzerland enjoy cordial bilateral relations. The two respective governments have set in motion the requisite foundation upon which both parties can build on. It goes without saying that people to people relations are at the core of any country’s relations and I hence congratulate you for this great initiative.
 
It is worth noting that the Government of Uganda under its Vision 2040, being implemented through the five-year phased development plans, has earmarked Science, Technology. Engineering and Innovation (STEI) as one of the key sectors of the economy where it has and will continue to employ and support policies aimed at its leapfrogging, as we work towards transforming the Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years including changing from a predominantly low income to a competitive upper to middle income country” remarked H.E. Onyanga Aparr.
 
Amb. Eunice Kigenyi (Right) shakes hands with the Dean of Medicine, UZH, Prof. Rainer Weber (Left) after her speech
 
The question of who is responsible for global health, kept recurring. Is it the developed world acting against the developing worlds through manufacturing expensive drugs for various illnesses in order to continue offering markets for their pharmaceutical companies? Do we have to train more people to handle the health challenges? Is it a political issue and some countries are out to make money and therefore not concerned about the health of others? Is it a leadership of our countries that is responsible?
 
Professor Christoph Lubbert, a senior researcher from Leipzig University Hospital, Germany said that global health challenges are due to multi-drug resistance in the treatment of illnesses. In many countries such as Uganda, people suffer from more than one disease. Treatment is given for the different illnesses and medication is taken at the same time. Many medicines taken together have an impact and form resistance in the body. There is constant use of antibiotics for treatment but at times, patients mistake the prescribed doses and the sickness does not go away. Doctors are forced to change the drugs of one illness which combine with drugs of another sickness which also form resistance in the body.
 
Dr. Christine Sekaggya-Wiltshire (Standing Left)’s PhD thesis work received international acclaim, with a 2018 New York Times piece and the Stephen Lawn TB/HIV Research Leadership Award.UZH granted her PhD the status of Anerkennung
 
Dr. Christine Sekaggya-Wiltshire elaborated on drug resistance in TB patients. She studied her PhD at Makerere University and was also recognized by the UZH and given the joint (Mak-UZH) supervision arrangements for the degree. She said that, drug resistance was a result of several factors namely; poor adherence to medical prescriptions, late presentation whereby patients report to health facilities late when then sickness is advanced, drug interactions (many drugs at the same time) leading to resistance; some patients are too weak to tolerate drugs taken for a long period of time such as anti-TB drugs. There was a general feeling that drug concentrations manufactured for developing countries are low compared to those manufactured for developed countries. The drugs do not completely cure but provide relief to patients.
 
The Migration ‘Boma’ (fireside chat) was opened by Prof. Marina Carobbio, President of the Swiss National Council and moderated by Mr. Rudolf Kung, a renowned BBC journalist. It had four panelists discussing migration of humans and animals and its effects on health. Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Director of the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law discussed migration at the intracontinental level between countries starting in Africa mostly due to armed conflict.
 
Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Director of the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law (Standing Left), contributes to the discussion during the Migration Boma
 
Uganda is a hosting around one million refugees from South Sudan, DR Congo, Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda, Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia. The Government of Uganda’s open door policy is a disadvantage to the local population whose land is freely given out to the refugees without compensation. The health care facilities in the refugee camps are far better than what the locals have for their communities. This creates tension and conflicts between the local communities and the refugees. Refugees normally move with their animals which bring diseases to animals in the host communities. Since migration is not about to end, it will remain a future global health challenge.
 
Prof Beatrice Beck Schimmet, the Vice President of Medicine at the University of Zurich, Prof. Marina Carobbio, the President of thw Swiss National Council participated at the closing of the event. Both highlighetd the the importnace of discussing these complex topics so that, together we can confront them. The dialogue at the tea breaks, lunch and coffee breaks was the highlight of the event.
 
Participants had the opportunity to engage with collegues from different fields and expressed interest in working together in the future. It is evident that global health challenges call for global solutions and what unites us is greater than what separates us. Future global health challenges can only be propoerly addressed in an international framework, in which everyone; NGOs, politicians, scientists, pharmaceutical companies and scholars need to operate with a global vision and awareness.
 
Written by Martha Muwanguzi
International Office, Makerere University
 

Continue Reading

General

UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021

Published

on

A male researcher inspects a maize cob in a demonstration plot on 13th August 2010 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), Wakiso Uganda.

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.

Continue Reading

General

4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

Published

on

URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

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.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Confirmation/Approval Process

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.

Continue Reading

General

Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University

Published

on

An older photo of the Main Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen from across the Freedom Square. Date taken: 22nd October 2012.

7th June 2021

All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
Makerere University

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.

Yours sincerely,

Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council

Continue Reading

Trending