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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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Communication to Students regarding fees payment for Sem I 2020/21

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Students walk past the School of Agricultural Sciences along University Road, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. Date taken: 6th October 2014. Diploma Holders are eligible for admission to Mak Degree Programmes under the Government Sponsorship Scheme (not exceeding 5% of the intake capacity).

To All Students

Please take note of the following important dates you should look out for:

  1. All Loan Scheme (HESFB) and State House sponsored students should enroll within the first two weeks to enable the Finance Department to invoice their sponsors.
  2. All Government sponsored students must enroll immediately on AIMS system and submit their personal bank accounts to their Hall Wardens to enable processing of food and living out allowances. Only enrolled students will be paid. You are therefore advised to enroll as soon as possible.
  3. The fees policy requires that a continuing student should pay at least Ugx. 200,000 to help the University run and this is expected to be paid by 19th March 2021, beyond which a surcharge of Ugx. 20,000 shall be levied.
  4. All students MUST generate payment Reference Numbers (PRN) to be able to make payments. Students have to log into their portal using this link https://student.mak.ac.ug/ as directed from their admission letters, enroll and generate the PRNs. It is the PRN which you present to the bank to effect your payments.
  5. The deadline for free registration is 9th April 2021, (end of 6th week) beyond which, UGX. 50,000 will be levied.
  6. The deadline for the FULL fees payment is 7th May 2021, (end of 10th week) beyond which, a surcharge of 5% on the outstanding balance will be levied.

For Freshers 2020/2021

This is to remind you that the deadline for change of Programmes/Subjects for 2020/2021 Academic year will be Friday 5th March, 2021. There will be no further extension of the exercise. Applicants can only change after receiving a letter of authorization from the Academic Registrar.
However, note the following;

Bachelor of Journalism and Communication is full. Thus no applicants for change to this programme will be considered for 2020/2021 Academic year.

Bachelor of Dental Surgery has 7 slots for Direct Entrants (‘A Level) available for change of programme for Private Sponsorship for 2020/2021 Academic year.

Further details regarding this communication can be found in the documents attached below:

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Request for Expression of Interest: AFROHUN Communication and Visibility Plan

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Africa One Health University Network (AFROHUN) formerly One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA)

Africa One Health University Network (AFROHUN) is an international network of public health, veterinary medicine, pathobiology, environmental sciences, medicine and global health institutions of higher education. AFROHUN is located in 18 universities in 9 countries in Africa.

Formerly One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA), AFROHUN is working to transform the training environment and approaches in universities, in a bid to develop a workforce without disciplinary barriers. Enabling students to understand and appreciate the contribution of disciplines outside their own; in predicting, detecting and responding to the kind of complex health challenges we are witnessing today. This is the next generation workforce that we need in the face of increasing outbreaks of epidemics, pandemics and complex health challenges.

Considering the strategic role that AFROHUN plays in One Health workforce development, it is important that it is visible, well-understood and highly regarded. It is important for AFROHUN to document, package and share her story and impact trail. Visibility, understanding and high regard are critical for maintaining stakeholders’ confidence in the network’s work in order to harness, sustain and enhance the multiple stakeholders’ interest.

Towards this end, AFROHUN is planning to engage an experienced communications consultant to develop a multi-faceted Communications and Visibility Strategy. The strategy will provide a broad framework that will guide communications and visibility in AFROHUN and will identify the issues that need to be addressed to build awareness, improve knowledge, build mutual understanding with key stakeholders and generate support for the network’s initiatives. The strategy will provide guidance on how to capture, package and share the network’s story, document and share lessons learned and best practices as well as the impact of building a one health workforce, to the management of disease outbreaks and health emergences. The strategy will also play a critical role in driving the network’s business plan.

AFROHUN therefore, invites proposals from eligible, qualified and experienced individuals and firms for provision of consultancy services to develop an institutional Communications and Visibility Strategy.

Terms of Reference for the Development of the AFROHUN Communications and Visibility Strategy

The Terms of Reference for the development of the Communications and Visibility Strategy shall include but not limited to;

  1. Communication review, including an analysis of the current perception and positioning of the network and its initiatives among key constituencies and stakeholders. Review of communications and visibility documents as necessary.
  2. Analysis and mapping of stakeholders and target audiences, to inform prioritization processes.
  3. Undertake primary and secondary research to assess the network’s external and internal communications strategies/activities and determine gaps.
  4. Facilitate processes to ensure stakeholder participation in the strategy development.
  5. Developing a 5-year Communications and Visibility Strategy, including detailed objectives and priorities, and implementation plan, based on AFROHUN’s strategic activities and programs.
  6. Recommend tools for monitoring and evaluation of the Communications and Visibility Strategy.

A complete expression of interest package should be emailed to:

mnattimba[at]afrohun.org  and copied to secretariat[at]afrohun.org

Deadline for submission: 1700hrs, 19th March 2021.

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DRGT Crosscutting Course: Philosophy of Method

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The ED National Planning Authority-Dr. Joseph Muvawala and Director DRGT-Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi (Centre) pose with some of the Postdoctoral Fellows that took part in the PhD Convention on 14th November 2019, CTF1, Makerere University.

The Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), Makerere University in collaboration with the School of Liberal and Performing Arts, Department of Philosophy and Development Studies, announces the PhD Cross-cutting Training Course: Philosophy of Method.

  • Course Duration: 15th to 26th March, 2021
  • Who should apply: PhD Students only
  • Latest Date of application: 5th March, 2021

This course unit is among the required crosscutting courses for PhD students to expand their academic and practical comprehension of the concepts of science, knowledge and research; acquaint the students with the philosophical principles behind the quantitative and qualitative methods of research; enhance the students’ awareness about ethical conflicts in relation to research; and provide a forum for each student to discuss, and improve their own research proposals.

Please forward written applications with evidence of admission to the PhD Program and indicate;Gender, Department, School, College, telephone and e-mail contact address electronically to: conference[at]rgt.mak.ac.ug.

Selected applicants will be informed via e-mail/Telephone by Wednesday, 10th March 2021.

Please see Downloads for Course details

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