We are all aware that on 31st December 2019, The Peoples Republic of China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an outbreak of a pneumonia-causing illness. The illness was later confirmed to be due to a new strain of Coronavirus, and the disease referred to as Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). On 30th January 2020, WHO declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
By 7th March 2020, data from WHO indicated that globally, the number of confirmed cases were over 101,828 and over 3,483 had died. As of 7th March 2020, the outbreak had spread to more than 80 countries worldwide including Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia, Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon, Morocco and Togo in Africa.
The most recent update issued by the Uganda Minister of Health on 7th March 2020 indicated that there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Uganda.
The Uganda Ministry of Health has issued several regular situation updates, regular Press Statements, recommendations and guidance to prevent the importation of COVID-19 to Uganda. Among others, these include;
- A Fact Sheet on what Ugandans need to know about the New Coronavirus Disease
- A Poster on how COVID-19 is spread, the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and how to prevent getting infected by COVID-19
- A Travel Advisory on COVID-19 for Ugandans intending to travel, reside in and or return from COVID-19 affected countries
- Press Statements on Updates about Uganda’s enhanced measures to prevent importation of Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- Advisory on Postponement of International Meetings and Conferences
- Guidance on Mass Gatherings
These resources reflect the Guidance and Recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and you can refer to them for further information and guidance;
- What you need to know about COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
- WHO recommendations for international traffic in relation to COVID-19 Outbreak https://www.who.int/ith/2019-nCoV_advice_for_international_traffic-rev/en/
- WHO guidance on Planning and conducting Mass Gathering in the context of COVID-19 https://www.who.int/publications-detail/key-planning-recommendations-for-mass-gatherings-in-the-context-of-the-current-covid-19-outbreak
- Making workplaces COVID-19 Ready https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19.pdf
- Critical Preparedness, Readiness and Response actions for COVID-19 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/critical-preparedness-readiness-and-response-actions-for-covid-19
The Uganda Ministry of Health continues to emphasize the following;
- Avoid hand-shaking and hugging
- Avoid close contact with people who are visibly sick with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sneeze)
- When sick with flu-like symptoms avoid going to public places, offices and public gatherings. Remain at home to avoid infecting others.
- You do not need to wear medical masks if you do not have respiratory symptoms such as cough, sneezing or running nose
- Don’t take self-medication such as antibiotics
- Do not spit in public. Find a secluded place like toilets or pit latrines in which to spit
- Delay travel to countries that currently have many patients with COVID-19. If you must travel, please follow the protective measures
- Avoid travel if you have flu-like symptoms
- Do not spread false rumors and misinformation. Always verify information from the Ministry of Health to avoid spreading false rumors which may cause unnecessary anxiety.
- Report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility or call the toll-free line on 0800-203-033 and 0800-100-066 or Mr. Atek Kagirita 0782909153, Dr. Allan Muruta-0772460297.
Makerere University is characterized by several factors that create a unique context within which the guidance and recommendations on how to prevent COVID-19 must be implemented. Among others, these include;
- Having a community of International Students, some from countries where COVID-19 has been confirmed
- Many teaching staff who frequently travel to and from several countries where COVID-19 has been confirmed
- Many visitors from countries where COVID-19 has been confirmed
- Frequent local and international conferences and workshops
- Congestion in Lecture Rooms, Libraries, Dining halls and Halls of Residence
- Frequent Mass Gatherings
To fast-track the implementation of the Ministry of Health Guidance and Recommendations on preventing COVID-19 in the University, the University has instituted a committee on COVID-19 Preparedness. The responsibilities of the committee will include but not limited to;
- Contextualization and implementation of Ministry of Health guidance and recommendations on preventing COVID-19
- Representing the University in Ministry level deliberations on COVID-19 Preparedness
- Development and implementation of the Makerere University COVID-19 Preparedness Strategy
- Issuing regular updates to students and staff on the global, regional and national COVID-19 situation
- Intensifying Risk Communication on COVID-19 in the University
- Creation of Provisional Isolation facilities (and standby ambulance services) at the Makerere University Hospital for any identified COVID-19 suspect
- Adherence to the Ministry of Health travel Advisory and Guidance on planning and conducting Mass Gatherings
- Identifying the need for and advising the University on the requirement for more hand-washing and disinfection facilities in the University
Management will keep all stakeholders updated about any new developments and decisions about the COVID-19 epidemic.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe
Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution
The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.
The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.
Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative
By Bernard Buteera
Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.
The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.
While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.
“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.
Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.
“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.
”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.
The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.
”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.
Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.
”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.
“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.
Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.
“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.
Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.
“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.
Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.
“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.
Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.
“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.
The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23
The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).
The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.
Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.
Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.
For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.
ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022
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