When Dr. Andrew Kambugu became the Sande-McKinnell Director of the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), Makerere University in June of 2018, having received the mantle from Richard Brough, one of his first deeds in office was to write a long missive to All Staff about his 15 year IDI journey and his passion to lead the many teams in strengthening health systems.
Shortly after this, the idea of #ONEIDI was born, an enormous team building activity bringing together hundreds of staff in the many regions of the country that serve the IDI purpose in strengthening health systems.
On Friday 14th February, 2020, the second annual One IDI event brought together staff from all over the country, appropriately on Valentine’s Day.
The event is dedicated to displaying the spirit of teamwork in the institution in spite of the physical distance between their different work stations. It also a chance for staff to network and get to know each other and encourage a working environment that is ideal for high-level performance.
The event started at 8:00am with aerobics, after which breakfast and other sport and team building activities commenced. The emcees of the day were Pius Temera from the Global Health Security programe and Shadia Nakalema from the Prevention Care and Treatment unit in Mulago who coordinated the day splendidly.
They were part of an organizing committee that had representation from all of IDI’s units. The staff were organized in 12 alphabetical groups from A to L within which they actively participated and competed. The games were carefully selected with the aim of manifesting both teamwork and fun among the staff.
“As I walked into this venue this morning, I was really taken aback by how many of us there are here. It started with 14 people who were deeply committed and united in making a difference in the lives of those affected by an infectious disease. We definitely would not be here if it was not for their visionary leadership,” Kambugu said.
“I have been drawn to the energy and creativity I have witnessed since I got here. My attention was immediately drawn to the slogans and taglines on the T-shirts of the different groups. My own group (H), has the tag line, “Believe, Achieve” and another said “One IDI, One Team, One Legacy”. I am fully convinced that the spirit of One IDI is still alive today,” he added.
Kambugu noted that we are getting closer to achieving epidemic control of HIV/AIDS, but encouraged the staff not to lose momentum in closing the last gap. He explained that the recently launched five year strategic plan identifies IDI’s role in playing more catalytic roles.
Kambugu encouraged staff to leverage the experience, assets, relationships and other things accrued in the HIV response to benefit the fight against new and emerging infectious as well as neglected tropical diseases such as Ebola, Coronaviruses or Antimicrobial resistance.
He also mentioned the big data era and the emergence of super computers, ubiquitous mobile phone technology and increasing proportion of medical records that are electronic.
“We have the opportunity to analyse and learn from large data sets and since we launched the 2nd African Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Big Data, we now have the infrastructure to contribute to this revolution,” he enthused.
Kambugu recognized the great role the Senior Management Team has played in allowing him enjoy his office. In the spirit of recognising staff, the Executive Director handed over plaques to the longest serving staff who have been with IDI since 2004. These were
- Dr. Barbara Castelnuovo – Head of Research
- Dr. Alex Muganzi – Head of Systems Strengthening
- Ms. Susan Lamunu Shereni – Head of Finance and Administration
- Ms. Christine Namakoyi – Receptionist: IDI Mulago
- Mr. David Mugerwa – Transport Assistant
- Mr. Charles Lubwama – Warehouse Officer
In closing, he cited the recent award of the PACT-Karamoja grant to IDI, as a singular instance of the One-IDI spirit where staff from the health strengthening, training and capacity-building, Academy, research, strategy, finance and global health security programmes worked together to emerge with a winning proposal. Kambugu celebrated these efforts in securing our first USAID grant as a prime grantee, as well as entry into the under-served region of Karamoja.
Refreshments and meals were provided throughout the day as well as entertainment from the renowned Janzi Band. The event closed with a cake cutting and a barbeque.
“It was a wonderful experience and initiative considering how big IDI is. I hope the organisers can create better ways for the different employees to interact. I noticed many huddles based on work stations, which is understandable but should be a learning point for the next event, if One IDI is really to thrive as One IDI,” remarked Joyce Kayaga, Grants Assistant, Academy.
Article by IDI Communications Office
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.
4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors
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.
- Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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