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IDI supports Rakai COVID-19 Taskforce

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Dr. Mohammed Lamorde, the head of the Global Health Security Programme at the Makerere University Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) accompanied Dr. Allan Muruta the Commissioner Integrated Epidemiology, Surveillance and Public Health Emergencies, Ministry of Health (MOH) on a two-day support supervision visit to Rakai district last week. IDI recently joined Rakai Health Services Program (RHSP), another Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-supported implementing partner to work in the region on COVID-19 surveillance. IDI has since mentored 651 VHTs in COVID-19 surveillance for Rakai and Kyotera districts.

Fourteen Task Force members in Kyotera district were also trained and an alert management system established.

Christine Zawedde, the Kyotera cluster coordinator from RHSP, said three out of four districts in her cluster have reported local transmission.

The district leadership was advised that all the measures by partners are aimed at keeping the pandemic at bay until a vaccine has been discovered and rolled out. Rakai's borders with Tanzania are porous and community transmission remains an imminent threat to the work done so far by the COVID-19 task force.

The district task force was lauded for promptness in diagnosis, which was said to be the reason Uganda has continued to present good reports in comparison to her neighbours. The team was encouraged to continue strengthening the COVID-19 surveillance and create a buffer of the region.

Dr. Lamorde encouraged the task force to engage the Call for Life Interactive Voice Response (IVR) programme run by the Academy for Health Innovation within IDI for patients who have been released from quarantine.

“The system helps with triage as only the clients who are in the most danger or present a risk to the community will be followed up by health workers. This will help solve the issue of transportation to monitor clients after release,” he said.

As part of the national response in the fight against COVID-19 in Uganda, the Academy for Health Innovation is working tirelessly through a partnership between IDI and MOH. Through this agreement, a team of software engineers and medical professionals have developed a pilot project that will facilitate the management of the large numbers of COVID-19 patients. This pilot project is an adaptation of the Call forLife (C4Life) project that has successfully facilitated the management of Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS patients. It uses basic mobile phones (Katorch) through a voice automated call system known as IVR; a computer assisted patient management system. It is accessible, easy to use and has the potential to be widely applicable. lt is an intelligent technological health innovation that supports front line workers to track all COVID-19 patients; these include recovered patients, those that have left quarantine and contacts of the patients.

MOH is already tracking over 240 people who have completed their mandatory quarantine using this system. These individuals have begun receiving these voice automated calls to monitor their conditions such that they can self-evaluate and report any symptoms.

By Tracy Ahumuza, Corporate Communications Specialist, IDI

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Makerere Medical Journal: Golden Jubilee Edition 2022

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Cover Page of the Makerere Medical Journal Golden Jubilee Edition 2022.

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Golden Jubilee edition of this phenomenal journal. Yes, The Makerere Medical Journal marks 50 years of publication with this year’s edition and all this has been made possible by the endless efforts and contributions of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences Staff and students because without your research submissions and financial support, the journal wouldn’t have made it this far. To you reading this, thank you for contributing to the sustainability of this great project, year in year out.

Here’s a quote to ponder on as you delve into this year’s well-crafted articles and it’s by Zora Hurston (1891-1960), “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” And doesn’t that just define our purpose as researchers?!

This edition’s articles cover pertinent topics ranging from Antimicrobial Stewardship, COVID-19 interventions, Oral Health amongst others. It also features student projects, write-ups on student-led organizations and societies that are making a difference in the life of a health sciences’ student and many more interesting writings. Featured in this issue are international manuscripts from countries like Nigeria and we were also honored to work with other universities within the country and feature some of their students’ articles.

I would like to extend my most sincere gratitude to my team of editors that engaged in a rigorous peer review process to ensure that the articles published are up to standard. As the editorial team, we are quite pleased to see the number of undergraduates involved in research steadily increasing and all the efforts that have been put in by the different stakeholders to see this happen are commendable.

With that said, I hope you enjoy every second of your read!!!

LINDA ATULINDA,
MBChB IV

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF,
Research and Writers’ Club 2021-2022

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Call for Applications: HEPI Masters Support Fellowship

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Panelists L-R: Professor Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, Professor Francis Omaswa, Professor Jehu Iputo and Professor Joel Okullo at the HEPI-ACHEST Health Professions Education Symposium, 17th June 2022, Makerere University.

Applications are invited for the Health Professional Education Partnership Initiative (HEPI-SHSSU) Masters fellowship programme support from postgraduate students of:

  • Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS)
  • Kabale University School of Medicine
  • Clarke International University
  • Faculty of Health Sciences, Busitema University

The programme will support graduates in their final year of training leading to the award of a Masters degree on any of the Master’s graduate training programs at the stated University for a maximum of 19 successful candidates.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 30th September 2022.

Inquiries and Applications must be submitted to hepishssu@gmail.com

See attachment for more details 

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Call for Applications: Faculty Research Training

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The Principal MakCHS-Prof. Damalie Nakanjako (6th R), Prof. Sarah Kiguli-PI HEPI (R), Prof. Francis Omaswa-ED ACHEST (8th R), Dr. Safina Museene-MoES (5th R), Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze (3rd R), Prof. Joel Okullo (9th R), Prof. Josephine Namboze (7th R), Prof. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde - ACHEST (2nd R) and other Health Experts at the Symposium on 17th June 2022, MakCHS, Makerere University.

Applications are invited from faculty at Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kabale School of Medicine, and Clarke International University to undertake training in research.

Limited research funding will be available for research focusing on community-based, clinical, operational, health professions education, epidemiological, biomedical, and research in Communicable Diseases (e.g. HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, etc.) or non-communicable diseases of importance to Uganda.

Up to 15 applicants will be selected and they will undergo a brief (2 days) didactic training in research proposal development prior to embarking on their research projects. Up to 4,000 US dollars per applicant (depending on budget) will be available to support the research.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 3rd October 2022.

Inquiries can be forwarded to the PI, HEPISU Program on hepishssu@gmail.com

See attachment for more details

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