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Tributes to the Late Prof. Johnson Opio Acon



On 15th January 2020, the Makerere University community awoke to the sad news of the passing on of Senior Prof.essor Johnson Opio Acon, which occurred in the early morning hours at Kampala Independent Hospital. He was a Prof.essor in the Department of Veterinary Pharmacy, Clinical and Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security (CoVAB). Please see below for some tributes from colleagues.

“Sometimes I run out of hope. Prof. Acon’s demise is a tragedy. I mourn him greatly. Prof. Acon has been a person who combined incredible achievement with great personal grace. Prof. Nasinyama once intimated to me that Prof. Acon was the greatest philanthropist to many of his students.

He was elegant in every way, the way he spoke with a soft Edinburgh accent, the way he dressed, his immense courtesy and concern for others. I can dare say, in all ways, Prof. Acon had style! He was smart in dressing and intellect; he was simply incomparable. From 1996 – 2005, I did not need to go to car vendors to know the trending vehicle in town because I could easy know that from Prof. Acon's latest car. For the two decades I interacted with Prof. Acon, I got testimonies to the effect that he had immense positive impact of the current and next generation of Veterinary Medics. I observed salient attributes befitting of a distinguished academic especially that he epitomized quality, ethics, standards and professionalism in all forms and manner. He leaves an indelible mark on the graduate research training function at Makerere. He truly symbolized a well cultured Professor in an African premier University i.e. of great scientific repute and champion of evidence use as a driver of change. I found him an amiable man with commitment to transform graduate training at Makerere.

During the 90s and early 2000s, when he was still an active member of Senate, Prof. Acon was always picked by the Chair and listened to by all not only for what he said, which always moved our thinking, but also for the way he said it; quietly, utterly without bombast, but with immense authority. He always made valuable contributions; never backed down from a good argument or passionate exchange. He always had a recommendation of something. He believed in the power of ideas, and in the power of sharing those ideas. His eloquence, well contextualized arguments, vigilant choice of words earned him respect among Senators.

There are generations of scientists at Makerere and globally, particularly in veterinary medicine who owe their academic success to Prof. Acon. Recently, much of his endeavor was focused on research for society, where he facilitated at many of the regional symposium.

Like many distinguished African elites of his time, Prof. Acon paid allegiance to Makerere University, promoted professionalism and integrity, but most importantly, he promoted good research practice. Prof. Acon had a big heart, a hearty laugh and dazzling intellect that he used to encourage rather than intimidate. He will be sadly missed by DRGT and all who knew him, both for his presence and for his contributions to Makerere’s intellectual development. We shall miss my friend Prof. Acon, with his wisdom, his humor and his generosity.

May his soul rest in peace. (Psalm 23 & 121)”

Professor Buyinza Mukadasi, Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT)


“May The Good Lord Grant him eternal Peace and comfort his family. Very sad indeed.”

Prof. Denis K. Byarugaba, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB)


“Oh sincerely sorry. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Dr. Isaac Mugume, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)


“This is indeed a tragedy.  May God have mercy and grant all family and friends peace, comfort and strength in the midst of this storm.”

Dr. Jessica Aguti, College of Education and External Studies (CEES)


“Very sad indeed. May the Lord comfort the family and friends.”

Betty Akoli, Department of the Academic Registrar


“This is very sad news. Professor Johnson Opio Acon is one of those people that made one admire his profession. He treated animals and people well. He has contributed greatly to the brand of Makerere University. On a personal level, I first met him in 1989. Back then, Veterinary Medicine was running an ambulatory clinic that I happily joined each time Dr. Seguya, Dr. Biryomumaso, the Late Frank and others run. We shall miss him dearly.”

Prof. Noble Banadda, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)


“It's indeed a very sad day for the Veterinary profession, CoVAB and Makerere University. Prof. Acon has been an icon of the veterinary profession with very rare attributes of commitment, time keeping and professionalism that endeared him to his students, patients and clients.

May God strengthen and uphold his family through this dark season. The Veterinary Fraternity will miss him dearly. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Dr. Sylvia Angubua Baluka, President Uganda Veterinary Association President, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB)


“Very shocking news indeed. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Amen.”

Dr. Okwi Andrew Livex, College of Health Sciences (CHS)


“So sad. May his soul rest in peace.”

Prof. Felix Bareeba, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)


“It is indeed sad to have lost our senior colleague in the Veterinary profession. Our sincere prayers to the family upon this loss. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Amen.”

Dr. Fredrick Muyodi, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS)


“Prof. Acon will forever be missed by CoVAB, Makerere University community, Local and International Veterinary community, Academia and most of all, his family. My sincere condolences to all.”

Prof. George W. Lubega, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-Security (CoVAB)


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Makerere University Hospital iTECH Project Positions: Data Manager, Data Officer & Study Nurse



One of the buildings at the Makerere University Hospital that houses the Temporal Bone Laboratory. Kampala Uganda. East Africa.

Makerere University Hospital seeks to recruit suitable candidates for the following positions; Data Manager, Data Officer and a Study nurse. Makerere University Hospital received funding from Wellcome Leap, In Utero Program to support implementation of the “Stillbirth in High Burden Settings: Ample Room for Improvement Using Biomarkers and Ultrasound Technologies” (iTECH) project. The iTECH project aims to develop novel clinical tools for use to diagnose and manage high-risk pregnant women and reduce the burden of stillbirths in Uganda, sub-Saharan Africa, and globally.

Available Position: Data Manager (01)

Duty Station: Kampala
Engagement: Full Time
Reporting to: Project Manager

Job Summary:

The Data Manager will oversee the development and implementation of strong data management. He/she will implement efficient ways to collate, organize, store and analyze data with attention to security and confidentiality.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participate in the creation and enforcement of policies and guidelines for effective data management.
  • Alongside the QA and QC manager, facilitate site level data quality assessment, auditing and verification for improvement.
  • Participate in the collection, cleaning, validation and maintenance of high-quality research data.
  • Use a variety of advanced statistical software, methods, and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret research data to derive useful information for research data;
  • Advise and assists in the development of inferences and conclusions, as appropriate.
  • Write and execute statistical methods and analysis sections of protocols, reports and peer-reviewed publications
  • Design templates and develop specifications for status reports, analysis tables, graphs, and data listings for use in research publications and ad hoc reporting.
  • Participate in the process of data sharing with project team and external stakeholders.
  • Assist with reports and data extraction when needed from the integrated database in order to track recruitment and retention of study participants.
  • Monitor and analyze information and data systems and evaluate their performance to discover ways of enhancing them (new technologies, upgrades etc.)
  • Troubleshoot data-related problems and authorize maintenance or modifications.
  • Participate in the review of the data management plan, maintain the data management plan throughout lifecycle of projects and ensure data management plan is followed according to iTECH project data requirements/needs.
  • Maintenance of study database with regular feedback on occurrences and how these were rectified.
  • Assist in defining and/or create data listings, summary table validation, data specifications and/or process data transfers in preparation for statistical review and/or data management audit.
  • Coordinate the archiving of databases and related documents. Verify data in accordance with the study data management standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Respond to requests for standard reports as required in a timely manner.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • MUST have a Master’s degree in Biostatistics or Statistics or Clinical Epidemiology or Statistical Epidemiology or related field, with significant experience in Medical Sciences or public health research and data analysis.
  • MUST have a strong understanding of databases and data analysis
  • Good analytical thinking and ability to interpret epidemiological data
  • At least one year of progressive experience in data management including designing databases, data collection, analysis and presentation.
  • Knowledge of common Statistical analysis and database management packages including STATA, R, SPSS, Redcap, Open Data Kit (ODK)
  • Up-to-date training in Good Clinical Practice and Human Subjects protection Research.
  • Should be dynamic and flexible to deliver on strict program deadlines
  • Possess excellent troubleshooting skills.
  • Able to work under pressure

Available Positions: Data Officer (02)

Duty Station: Hoima and Kampala
Engagement: Full Time
Reporting to: Site Manager/ Data Manager.

Job Summary:

The data officer will provide ongoing technical assistance to the project and facility team in recording and management of project-related data in line with the study guidelines.

She/he will also assist the Data Manager in the entry, cleaning and analysis of data captured by the study database.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensure weekly back up of study data including ultrasound, maternal hemodynamics, laboratory, placenta histology and routine clinical data.
  • Support with study data entry.
  • Help the site teams to project participant recruitment and follow-up numbers together with the data manager.
  • Handle labelling of study participant forms including study informed consent forms and lab request forms by assigning study IDs
  • Perform labelling of ultrasound and maternal hemodynamic profiles, and any other data as guided by the line supervisor
  • Perform data export from the study equipment at the sites.
  • Help with participant tracking for follow up study visits and deliveries
  • Support the site study team in the timely compilation of daily, weekly and monthly study reports
  • Any other duties as may reasonably be assigned by the data manager and project manager

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • The applicant must hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology/ Computer science.
  • Experience in medical data management is an added advantage.
  • Should be dynamic and flexible to deliver on strict program timelines
  • Understands client confidentiality and exhibits a high level of ethical conduct
  • Has basic computer literacy including word processing, excel, internet and PowerPoint.
  • Highly organised and pays attention to detail
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team
  • Should have analytical abilities
  • Good communication skills

Available Position: Study nurse (01)

Duty Station: Hoima
Engagement: Full Time
Reporting to: Site Manager and Project Manager

Job summary:

The Study nurse will be responsible for recruitment of study participants and administering of required study related procedures to these participants.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participate in protocol, standard operating procedures (SOPs) or any other study trainings
  • Participate in study site entry visits and engage with management of study participants. These include but not limited to patient enrolment, as guided by the protocol.
  • Obtain written informed consent for those eligible and are willing to participate in the study
  • Administer all study procedures like sample collection, data collection and entry, patient follow-up and treatment to patients recruited into the study as guided by the protocol and in accordance to set standards of Good Clinical Practice
  • Perform patient safety monitoring for any adverse events, offer care and referral as needed
  • Provide counselling and pyscho-social support to study participants where needed
  • Conduct assessment of maternal hemodynamics and maternal hemodynamics data collection under guidance of coordinator.
  • Perform first-level quality assurance and quality control (QA / QC) to ensure all fields in the consent forms and case report forms (CRFs) are complete and accurate
  • Offer support to the community health workers and research assistants for the follow- up of study participants.
  • Assist in generating study progress reports as needed
  • Perform any other duties assigned by the Operations Research officer, Project Manager and principal Investigator, as deemed necessary for study activities

Required Qualifications, experience, skills and attributes:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor in Nursing from a recognized institution.
  • Currently registered with the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council and an up-to-date Practicing License.
  • Up-to-date training in Good Clinical Practice and Human Subjects Protection Research.
  • Previous experience with working in a research environment will be an added advantage
  • Ability to speak the indigenous languages spoken in the western region will be an added advantage

How to apply:

All applications must be submitted to the email: before Friday 4th March 2024 at 5:00PM

Additional Information

  1. The subject line of your email should be: “Application- (indicate the position) – iTECH Project
  2. Submit your application (1-page cover letter, 3 pages resume including two referees, and relevant supporting documents) as ONE PDF
  3. PDF’s exceeding 5MBs will be considered ineligible.
  4. Submission of incomplete or inaccurate documents will render the applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening.
  5. Applications cannot be amended following submission.
  6. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.
  7. The interviews will be held on 11th March 2024.

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Team of 12 Students from Tottori at Makerere on a 3-Week Exchange Programme



Mr. Ochwo Gerald (Centre in necktie) with Dr. Emi Kaburagi (Left), staff from the International Office and some of the twelve exchange students from Tottori University during the meeting on 19th February 2024. Receiving team of 12 exchange students from Tottori University, Japan. The Boardroom, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Makerere University International Office has this morning, 19th February 2024 hosted a team of 12 students from Tottori University, Japan, who are on a 3-week exchange programme at Makerere University and specifically, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB).

While receiving the team, the Manager International Office, Mr. Ochwo Gerald, welcomed the students and thanked Dr. Emi Kaburagi, from the Center for International Affairs for her continued support in the coordination and planning of the exchange programme. Additionally, he took a moment to share the unique journey of Makerere over its first 100 years and specifically highlighted the University’s breakthrough in medical research that has seen the discovery of nevirapine, a drug used to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child during birth.

Mr. Ochwo Gerald (Left) receives an assortment of souvenirs from Dr. Emi Kaburagi (Right). Receiving team of 12 exchange students from Tottori University, Japan. The Boardroom, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Ochwo Gerald (Left) receives an assortment of souvenirs from Dr. Emi Kaburagi (Right).

“As one of the leading institutions in research and global medicine, Makerere University’s major breakthroughs over the years have been the discovery of Nevirapine, and the electric car code-named Kiira EV. Today, the Government of Uganda in collaboration with Makerere University, has established a car manufacturing plant in Jinja, and the commuter buses produced now ply the streets of Kampala our Capital City” said Mr. Ochwo.

Dr. Emi Kaburagi in her remarks thanked Makerere University for accepting to host Tottori students and shared that the number of those seeking admission into this exchange programme has drastically increased over the years.

Students from Makerere join the group photo with peers from Tottori University. Receiving team of 12 exchange students from Tottori University, Japan. The Boardroom, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Students from Makerere join the group photo with peers from Tottori University.

As hosts, Makerere University is committed to ensuring that the exchange students’ visit is not only productive but also comfortable and culturally enriching. Furthermore we are highly optimistic that the students will have a pleasant stay, confident that this exchange will foster mutual understanding and deeper collaboration between our two institutions.

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Advert: Position of Second Deputy Vice Chancellor



The Main Building, Makerere University against an almost clear blue sky. Date taken 15th March 2013, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University is governed by the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2001 (as amended). The University is seeking applications from suitably qualified applicants for the position of Second Deputy Vice Chancellor.




The Second Deputy Vice Chancellor will report to the Vice Chancellor and shall:

  1. Assist the Vice Chancellor in performance of his or her functions and in that regard shall oversee the finances and administration of the University;
  2. Be responsible for the Planning and Development of the University and;
  3. Perform such other functions that may be delegated to him or her by the Vice Chancellor or assigned by the University Council.


Interested applicants are invited to submit their application letters together with the following:

  1. Curriculum Vitae with contact details signed and dated by the candidate;
  2. A motivation letter not exceeding 1,000 words about the candidate’s vision for a competitive university in the 21st century.
  3. Certified copies of academic transcripts and certificates.
  4. A copy of National Identity Card.
  5. Names and addresses of three (3) referees with their contacts.
  6. The referees should be advised to send confidential reference letters, addressed to the Chairperson Search Committee for the Position of Second Deputy Vice Chancellor and delivered directly to the address below by 5:00 pm on 11th March 2024.
  7. The references should cover the following areas: the applicant’s academic credential, experience, leadership, managerial and administrative skills and personal integrity.

Both hard copy and electronic mail (Email) applications shall be accepted.

  1. Hard copy applications: Both confidential letters and sealed applications marked “CONFIDENTIAL: POSITION OF SECOND DEPUTY VICE CHANCELLOR” should be addressed to:


  1. Electronic media (E-mail) applications should have all the above documents scanned and emailed to by 5:00 pm East African Standard Time on 11th March 2024.

Please note that:

  1. Incomplete applications or applications received after the closing time will not be considered.
  2. Only shortlisted applicants shall be contacted.

For more information and inquiries: Visit our website OR email us on OR Call Telephone number: +256-414-532634 during working hours (between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday).


Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (PhD)

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