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Mak unveils a Touchless Handwashing Kit for public shared spaces in response to COVID-19 pandemic

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  • 15 Kits fabricated and donated to health facilities and markets
  • Over 40,000 hand washers recorded from Kits installed in one week
  • A Kit costs UGX 1,600,000 ; half price for large scale production.

Makerere University has launched a Touchless Handwashing (Tw-20) Kit as a responsive technology to the COVID-19 Pandemic resulting from the need to limit contact with surfaces while ensuring diligent hand hygiene.

The technology was launched on 7th August 2020 at the University Main Building during the Scientific function witnessed by the Assistant Commissioner, Innovations and Intellectual Property Management Patrick J. Mugisha from the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation.

One kit was donated to Makerere University Main Building received by the Director Makerere University Estates and Works Department Eng. Dr. Christine Kakeeto and another one given to the University Hospital received by the University Hospital Director, Dr. Josaphat K. Byamugisha.

Also present were the project partners from the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Makerere University Biomedical Engineering Unit, Makerere University Mak-RIF Secretariat and Badaye Technologies.

The university is implementing a project titled,” Development of a Green Low Cost Touchless Handwash Technology ( TW-20 Kit) for public Shared Spaces”, funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovation Fund (Mak-RIF).The participants pose for a group photo during the scientific launch at the Makerere University Main Building.

The project is spearheaded by Dr. Joshua Wanyama as the Principal Investigator (PI) from the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences assisted by Dr. Robert T Ssekitoleko as Co-PI from the Department of Physiology, College of Health Sciences.

Dr. Wanyama said when the first COVID -19 case in Uganda was announced in March 2020, Badaye (a private firm owned by Mak Alumni) embarked on developing and testing the first prototype of the TW-20 Kit to automate handwashing.

He explained that TW as an acronym signifies the,"Touchless Wash" while,"20"signifies the 20 seconds which are minimally recommended by WHO to effectively hand wash with soap.

He said that after the development of the first prototype, the Kit was trialed in the Kasubi-Kawaala suburb and Kawaala Health Centre IV for a month to obtain field based preliminary results for proof-of-concept and feedback from users.

Dr. Wanyama reported that the results were convincing and based on the results, there was need to improve the design of the Kit and thus Badaye partnered with Makerere University to move the project further.Eng. Christine Kakeeto receiving the cable and soap for the kit donated to Mak from the PI Dr. Joshua Wanyama flanked by Co PI Dr. Robert T Ssekitoleko.

“With support from Mak-RIF, the design has been improved and 15 Kits fabricated and installed at different publicly shared spaces in Kampala Metropolitan Area. The results are exciting; we have recorded over 40,000 handwashers from the Kits installed in just one week of Installation”, Dr. Wanyama stated.

The 15 beneficiaries of TW-20 Kits are:- Makerere University, Makerere University Hospital, Mulago National Referal Hospital, Kawempe National Referral Hospital, Luweero town Market, and Kiruddu National Referral Hospital. Others are Kalerwe Market, Kawaala Health Centre IV, Nansana- Masitoowa market, Entebbe Grade B Hospital, Nakasero Market, Nakawa Market, Mbuya market and Mukono Health Centre IV.

“With the current progress on handwashing hygiene adherence, we have reported a need to increase the number of kits installed and also scale out to different points and this is where we need a hand from different developmental partners and Mak-RIF to expand our collective impact in the COVID 19 fight”, The PI Dr. Joshua Wanyama submitted.

The Assistant Commissioner Innovations and Intellectual Property Management in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Patrick J. Mugisha said the ministry was practically more set to coordinate the research innovation ecosystem in the country by engaging different players, the biggest being the academia.[L-R] A representative from Badaye Technologies, Dr. Josaphat K. Byamugisha -University Hospital Director, and Commissioner Patrick J. Mugisha interact after the launch

He said for a long time the country has had many questions put forward to the academia for doing a lot of research and the economic tangible output of their research.

“Now something is up in the cooking within the university setting. They have realized the need to take advantage and establish a functional Innovation Fund Management and Intellectual Property office. I want to thank the PI and team, Badaye Technologies and Makerere University for giving them the platform to make this possible. I want to thank Mak –RIF for the hard lobbying for money and making the office functional.” Commissioner Mugisha appreciated.

He urged every stakeholder to turn around the fortunes of Makerere university by embracing the value of Intellectual Property saying, incentives are available and what they should do is to invent, value research, have startups, link the university to industry and lots of royalties and payments will be coming into the university.

As a ministry Mr. Mugisha pledged support and endorsement of the technology, take over the entire development team on Innovation and IP Management as well as the technical aspects since a lot is expected to come out of this innovation.

The Mak-RIF Engagement Officer Ms. Carol Kamugira said Makerere University asked Government for help to get the research output off the shelves into the society and government responded to support high impact research and innovations in health agriculture, engineering among others. Patrick J. Mugisha(Left), Dr. Robert T Ssekitoleko(Second Right) interact with Carol Kamugira (Extreme Right))

“ We got a big funding of shs.30 billion per year for the next three years. A special and very urgent call for COVID-19 funding came up. So Dr. Wanyama and Dr. Ssekitoleko were among those brilliant people that responded with a great project that you could see an impact in a short time.

We received 300 applications and very few people were selected for the COVID-19 call. It is very amazing to see that something small like handwashing practice that had been forgotten for a long time has attracted the attention of the whole world. We are happy to see that the result are already on the ground”, Ms.Kamugira appreciated.

Julius Mugaga working with Badaye Technologies explained that the technology allows one to wash hands without touching anything but using normal jerricans, water and liquid soap.

He said the major component of the Kit is the spout where water and soap comes from but the system is built with solar, a battery and can be plugged in electricity.

“This system dispenses soap, gives you time of about 10 seconds to rub before it can give you rinsing water. It is precise, in that, it will always give you enough soap and water, no excess no less. Also every time the system gets used, we can monitor two parameters-: performance in terms of the kit technical operations and defaults and performance of how many people are using it at a time” Mr. Mugaga said.Julius Mugaga demonstrating how the TW-20 works.

This means that if given to an institution, one can monitor the behavior of the users without being on site because the report will come out daily, weekly or as requested.

The other advantage of this kit is that because it gives data, one can compare the data with other users in different sites to see the performance as a country eg the performance of a sector, a hospital, school or a market.

‘” With that data we are trying to make sure that handwashing can be remotely and digitally be monitored. We have started receiving orders and we are happy that public parastatals are putting in orders but we are in research phase .

The system is good for a community of 50+ people. So, schools, markets, hospitals, universities need this because they crowd where its difficult to regulate handwashing.

The kit has an audio guide while one is washing hands, it gives instructions in English, Luganda but it can be customized according to what needs of organization for example passing on information for business for every person who washes hands.” Mr. Mugaga explained.

Mr. Magaga also said, the Kit can be supplied at a cost of UGX 1,600,000 but this can be reduced to half for large scale production.

Report Compiled by :

Jane Anyango,
Principal Communication Officer, CAES.

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PUJAB Notice to Schools for 2023-2024 Academic Year

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

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University informs all Head Teachers of A’ level schools that the Public Universities Joint Admissions Board (PUJAB) application forms for UACE 2022 Senior Six candidates for the 2023/2024 Academic Year admissions are ready for collection from the university from Friday 2nd December 2022.

The application forms should be collected from the Academic Registrar’s Office, Senate Building, Level 3, Makerere University. Application forms are issued on payment of a non-refundable application fee of UG Shs. 52,000/= per applicant.

You are advised to obtain a payment Reference Number(PRN) to enable you pay the application fees following the procedure below:

  1. Go to https://pay.mak.ac.ug
  2. Fill in the details of the school i.e. name (including Centre Numbers) e.mail, and phone number. Click ‘next’.
  3. On the next page scroll through the items and click on PUJAB.
  4. Adjust the Unit to the number of forms required.
  5. Generate PRN, print and present to any bank near you with the amount and pay.
  6. Present receipt to the issuing officer at Makerere University.

The forms are for UGANDANS only.
Please note that only Head Teachers or their authorised representatives will be served.

The closing date for receiving the completed application forms is Friday 20th January 2023.

signed

Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza
ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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Mr. Lawrence Alionzi elected 88th Guild President

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Allionzi Lawrence

On Wednesday 30th November 2022, Mr. Lawrence Alionzi (Reg. No.19/U/0486) from the College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology was elected the 88th Guild President in elections conducted virtually.

According to the Guild Statute, elections of the Guild President and all other guild leaders shall be conducted by the guild electoral commission in accordance with the provisions in section 7 of the students guild statute.

The Chairperson of the Guild Electoral Commission Mr. Nsobanyi Edrine declared the results of the elections in the document below:

Swearing in of Guild President, Guild Representative Councilors, Senior Common Room, College Councils, Debating Union and Games Union will be conducted on Monday 5th December  2022 according to the standing election guidelines.

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Prof. Nawangwe applauds the partnership between Makerere University & Mastercard Foundation

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Scholars posing in a group photo with the offcials at the end of the luncheon on 29th November 2022, Makerere University Guest House.

By Bernard Buteera

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, has applauded the partnership that exists between Makerere University and Mastercard Foundation. He said this during the Networking luncheon he hosted in honour of Mastercard Foundation Scholars at Makerere, who won the Resolution Fellowship project at Baobab summit in Kigali.

“Mastercard Foundation is one of the biggest partners for Makerere University and we are so proud of this partnership which has borne a lot of fruit” Prof. Nawangwe said.

The Vice Chancellor thanked the Scholars of Mastercard Foundation for being creative and innovative, and for making Uganda and Makerere University proud, when they won 6 out of the 9 Resolution projects that were given grants at the Baobab summit in Kigali.

Prof. Nawangwe addressing the guests at the event.
Prof. Nawangwe addressing the guests at the event.

“I would like to thank the young people whom we are celebrating today, who made me proud as the Vice Chancellor of Makerere, when they swept almost all the awards at the global stage” Prof. Nawangwe said. He further revealed that during the summit in Kigali, they kept reading Makerere University during the awarding of projects, and at some point he pretended not to be happy, because he was in the company of other Vice Chancellors, but inside of him he was beaming with joy.

”The Resolution social venture projects are extremely important in many ways; Firstly, they encourage young people to be creative and innovative, so that they are able to come with initiatives and projects, which enable them to create their own jobs, instead of moving around looking for jobs which have become fewer, while the population is growing.” Prof. Nawangwe emphasised.

On his part, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, and also the Chairperson of the Steering Committee of Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Prof. Umar Kakumba, applauded Mastercard Foundation for the support it renders to young people not only in Uganda and Makerere University, but also all over the world.

Prof. Kakumba addressing the guests at the event.
Prof. Kakumba addressing the guests at the event.

Prof. Kakumba further enumerated the different initiatives Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University which had created profound effect to the young people in Africa and Uganda in particular.

“As a country and specifically as Makerere University, we cannot run away from the idea of developing young people, because they are the current and next generation of leaders, innovators and change makers. We have a duty to skill, mentor and provide them with the continuous capacity to innovate and create economic opportunities for themselves and other young people.” Prof. Kakumba said.

Prof. Kakumba called upon the Makerere University community to emulate what Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program was doing in terms training and skilling the young people at Makerere University.

Prof. Kakumba inspecting some of the products produced by Scholars.
Prof. Kakumba inspecting some of the products produced by Scholars.

”The rest of the university faculty should emulate what Mastercard Foundation ScholarsProgram was doing, for instance every student of Makerere University should have a mentor, and also undergo entrepreneurship training.” Prof. Kakumba pointed out.

Prof. Kakumba further revaled that going forward Makerere University was going to adopt a strategy where the University would make Entrepreneurship as a first choice career pathway.

”We are all aware  of the challenges of youth unemployment in Africa and Uganda in particular. As an institution of learning, Makerere University needs to normalize entrepreneurship as a first choice career pathway for all the graduates.” Prof. Kakumba said.

The Country Director, Mastercard Foundation – Uganda, Mr. Adrian Bukenya, revealed the Foundation was happy with the partnership with Makerere University, which  dates back to 2013 with the establishment of the Scholars Program.

Mr. Adrian Bukenya speaking at the event.
Mr. Adrian Bukenya speaking at the event.

”Mastercard Foundation is proud of the partnership with Makerere University, which began with the Scholars Program in 2013, that has educated and empowered over 1000 young people to study at Makerere University.” Mr. Bukenya said.

Mr. Bukenya pointed out that the Foundation was happy to support young  people beyond the Scholars Program, to ensute that every young person transitions to diginified and fullfilling work.

”As a Foundation we want a world where young people are included and are thriving and their leadership and contributions matter. A future where young people are driving transformative change and achieving their full potential.” Mr. Bukenya said.

Ms. Pauline Gangla,the Head of  the Scholars Program, Eastern and Southern Africa Partner Network at Mastercard Foundation, thanked Makerere University for both the academic and entrepreneurship the university had imparted on the Scholars of Mastercard Foundation.

Ms. Pauline Gangla, addressing the gathering at the event.
Ms. Pauline Gangla, addressing the gathering at the event.

“I would like to thank the University for the Academic Support and entrepreneurship training given to the Scholars of Mastercard Foundation, here at Makerere University. During the summit it was evident in the way the Scholars pitched their projects, the level of confidence they exhibited was very high.” Ms. Gangla revealed.

Ms. Gangla pointed out that the Foundation was very keen on safe guarding measures, to ensure safety and security of the young in the University.

“The Foundation was keen on safe guarding measures, where there is zero tolerance to any form of misconduct against young people. Young people should be treated with respect and dignity within the University and their communities.” Ms. Gangla pointed out.

Prof. Namaalwa speaking during the event.
Prof. Namaalwa speaking during the event.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator, Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, thanked the University and the Foundation for the visionary partnership which has created profound impact in the University and the country in general.

“We are here to celebrate innovation and creativity exhibited by Mastercard Foundation Scholars over time since 2017, when Scholars started competing in the Resolution Venture Challenge, and all these are fruits of the visionary partnership between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University.” Prof. Namaalwa revealed.

Prof. Namaalwa pointed  out the Scholars Program at Makerere University was proud of the 21 Resolution Social Venture (SVC) projects and 46 Scholars Entrepreneurship Fund (SEF) which Scholars has established and were making profound impact in their communities. She further revealed that projects had created both personal social development for the Scholars and their communities. She thanked the Vice Chancellor and the entire management, the Steering Committee, the Mentors and all other stakeholders who had supported scholars to grow their projects.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer, Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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