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Veterinary & Biosecurity

CoVAB Conducts COVID-19 Detection & Management Training

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The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), Makerere University is undertaking a three days training for over 70 Biomedical Laboratory Technology finalist students to equip them with skills to handle the testing, management and handling of COVID 19 cases.

The training in the detection of COVID 19 using Rapid detection kits is one of the activities lined up in the campaign by the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) aimed avoiding a surge of  COVID 19 cases in Schools ahead of the opening of the Schools in the coming week.

The College, one of the leading training institutions in laboratory technology is taking a lead role in supporting the training function during the campaign where so far 200 volunteers have been trained.

Some of the trainees demonstrate sample collection.
Some of the trainees demonstrate sample collection.

‘We hope that the training will provide the needed skills set to personnel to be deployed  in detecting cases of COVID 19 in the Schools, said Prof. Samuel Majalija at the  launch of  the training held in the Biomedical Laboratory at the College on Wednesday 5th January 2022.

Professor Majalija said the training supervised by the Ministry of Health is conducted by competent technologists certified by Africa Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) and he expressed optimism that the trainees would be equipped fully and deliver as expected.

Prof. Samuel Majalija (2nd R) with some of the officials at the launch of the training on 5th January 2022.
Prof. Samuel Majalija (2nd R) with some of the officials at the launch of the training on 5th January 2022.

It is expected that by the end of the campaign, the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Health and Bio security will have trained 2000 volunteers drawn from a number of medical laboratory training institutions in the country.

The campaign is aimed at complementing Government effort in ensuring that schools remain open.  The other planned interventions will include psychosocial support to students, advocacy and publicity.

Some of the trainees engage in a discussion.
Some of the trainees engage in a discussion.

The training launch activity was witnessed by other stakeholders in the campaign that included Mothers Union, Fathers Union, Scriptures Union, Uganda Girl Guides and Scouts Associations, Muslim Women Association, Muslim Students Association, Contort Foundation and Women Vision among others.

According to the Ministry of Education and Sports, Schools are set to open on the 10th of January 2022.  The interventions therefore will go a long way in ensuring the safety of the staff and students in the Institutions of Learning.

Representatives from Mothers Union make their remarks during the launch of the training.
Representatives from Mothers Union make their remarks during the launch of the training.

Veterinary & Biosecurity

Scientists Urged to join the Uganda Police Force

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The Team from the Uganda Police Force Directorate of Forensic Services L-R: ASP Mutesi Lillian Doris, Director-SSP Andrew Mubiru and ASP Dr. Kisitu with staff and students of CoVAB after their meeting on 14th January 2021 at Makerere University.

Final year students in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) have been advised to take up employment opportunities that exist in the Uganda Police force. The force which is progressively getting professional has a number of openings for scientists in the Directorate of Forensics and related services.

The call was made during a meeting held Friday 14th January 2022 in the College Conference room under the coordination of Dr. Sylvia Baluka, Senior Lecturer School for Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources with the aim of introducing students to the Uganda Police Force as an option in their quest for employment after University.

The team comprised Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Andrew Mubiru from the Directorate of Forensic Services, ASP Mutesi Lillian Doris, the Head DNA and Serology, Directorate of Forensic Services and ASP Dr. Kisitu.

While addressing the students, the team leader SSP Andrew Mubiru said they were in the College to interest the students to join the Uganda Police Force upon completion of their University program.  He said this was an option available to the graduates with the only difference from other employment opening being the fact that the forces were more organized and orderly.

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Veterinary & Biosecurity

CoVAB Open Day Showcases Research and Innovations

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The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio Security (COVAB) with support from the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) held an open day during which a number of research outputs and innovations were disseminated.
The event held on Monday 15th November 2021 in Makerere University brought together a number of stakeholders to hear from the college about research and innovation that has been going on for the past three years with over 7 billion shillings spent on 60 Mak-RIF supported research projects over a three-year period.
While presiding over the event where ten of the projects were disseminated, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Monica Musenero Masanza commended the leadership at the college and the University as a whole for the flexibility and outlook that has enabled the realigning of university business to the National development Plan III which she said emphasizes science led economic social transformation.

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation – Dr. Monica Musenero Masanza


Dr. Musenero emphasized the importance of the output from the University indicating that many of the strategic industrial value chains were aligned to colleges in the University. She enumerated them to include the engineering economy, mobility, beauty and apparel, the digital economy, agro-security and the pathogenic economy.
‘We have created a prototype along many value chains and Makerere has to play a core role taking on a new mantra as a University for Technology advancing the country’ she said urging the institution to aim at making more influence on the economy. The Minister cited the example of the two centres of excellence in CoVAB like the Bio Security centre which was to be supported to become a national centre of excellence.

College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio Security (COVAB) – Prof. John David Kabasa


In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe noted that there was tremendous transformation going on in the colleges adding that he was excited to witness what he always wanted the University to be. While congratulating the researchers from CoVAB for the good work done, the Vice Chancellor noted that universities were increasingly getting tasked to show what they are doing for society for instance their contribution towards the realization of the Strategic Development Goals. ‘As a university we have a role to transform the nation’ he said adding that we were duty bound to be part of the solution to our society.
The Chairperson of the Mak RIF fund Makerere University Prof. William Bazeyo congratulated CoVAB for choosing to associate with development that was to take Uganda to the next level through research and innovation and the determination to cause change. He commended Prof. John David Kabasa, the Principal CoVAB for taking lead in the research effort on issues affecting the people, citing the Tick project as an example.
Prof. John David Kabasa, the Principal CoVAB while welcoming guests on behalf of the management and staff of CoVAB said as scientists, they were ready to take off given the various grants they receive. He commended the Minister for Science Technology and Innovation for the support rendered to the college more so the revamping of the research infrastructure more so the centre for Bio security.
He presented to the Minister some of the projects that were being disseminated and they included the following;

  • Developing Monitoring System for Quantifying and Mapping antibacterial used in Livestock Farming Systems in Uganda by Prof. Lawrence Mugisha.
  • Developing Novel Phytonutraceuticals from wild edible fruits and vegetables for Mitigating Malnutrition among pregnant women and School going children by Dr. Anne Juliet Nalunkuma Kazibwe. The study established that women and children had issues of malnutrition due to poor feeding. There were a number of deaths related to malnutrition. The researchers identified the wild fruits like enderema, matungulu, katunkuma, nakati , mushrooms and added value based on a feeding value. They came up with a cocktail packaged in products like bagiya, cookies, porridge powder to supplement diet.
  • Establishment of a platform to strengthen production of safe and healthy dairy and chicken derived foods using one health to counter antimicrobial resistance and drug residues in Uganda. (PLAS-SAFE). Dr. Paul Ssajjakambwe and team have established a platform called (PLAS-SAFE) to strengthen the production of safe chicken and diary derived foods using one health drug residue approach. This is expected to support health, trade and research which are some of the key strategic directions of the country.
  • Developing a community-based model for integrating bioenergy and poultry production using rice agro-waste (Integrated bioenergy agriculture model) by Prof. David John Kabasa. The study was aimed at addressing the challenges of accessing wood fuel arising from destruction of nature. They came up with briquettes made from rice husks.
  • Optimization of the dosage, adjuvant and route for the candidate anti-tick vaccine with Dr. Kokas Ikwap as the Principal Investigator.
  • An Assessment of veterinary drug residues in milk, chicken and eggs and development of a residue monitoring plan for these foods in Uganda and Dr. John Kateregga.
    Cytokines as novel therapeutic agents in the management of late-stage Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense sleeping sickness: a preclinical trial (CaNTMS) by Dr. Charles Drago Kato.
  • Strengthening veterinary clinical research, training and outreach at Makerere through a learner-centered herd-health and community action research program (SHARP) for improved animal welfare, health and productivity by Prof. James Okwee-Acai. The study was aimed at documenting the baseline animal health, welfare, productivity indices in peri urban Kampala and Wakiso Districts. It aimed at strengthening the capacity of veterinary clinical research, training and community outreach as well as improved animal welfare, health and productivity.
  • Optimizing SMART Dairy Technologies for Efficient Sustainable Productivity of Dairy Farmers in Uganda Dr. Robert Tweyongyere.
  • Agrochemical residues in meat and milk of cattle in the acaricide-tick-resistant infested areas, A case study of Gomba District by Dr. Peter Waiswa. The study established that majority of the farmers use chemicals to kill ticks instead of the conventional acaricides due to the effectiveness of the drug. The study established that milk and beef from the study area contained agrochemical residues and that although they were below the recommended maximum residue limits, this could reach critical levels if no intervention was done to stop the vice.

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Health

Uganda One Health Epidemiological Bulletin Sept-Nov 2021

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Cover page of the Uganda One Health Epidemiological Bulletin, Volume 1, Issue 1, September - November 2021

Africa One Health University Network (AFROHUN) formerly One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA) seeks to promote global One Health Workforce development services beyond the traditional One Health disciplines and institutions. AFROHUN received a five-year USAID sub-award funded through a consortium led by the University of California Davis to implement the One Health Workforce – Next Generation (OHW-NG) Project.

Under OHW-NG, Uganda is training personnel at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Makerere University (MAK). The country office is based at the Makerere University College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB).

Number of personnel trained

Students

  • 62 MAK
  • 246 MUST

Faculty

  • 20 MAK
  • 20 MUST

The One Health Institute (OHI), Makerere University

Since 2016, Makerere University has conducted a didactic preservice online course in Infectious Disease Management. The 21-30-day course trains students on management of infectious and zoonoses emergencies using a One Health approach. Additional competences enhanced are: Gender, Bio-risk Management, Disease Outbreak an Emergency Response, Disease Control and Environmental Health, Managing Antimicrobial Resistance, Community Engagement and Community Public Health.

Pre-service cadres undertake a ten-day field activity. Here, undergraduate students apply their knowledge and skills to identify, design and implement interventions to public health issues in communities using a One Health approach.

Graduate students undergo a two-month OHI graduate fellowship program in host institutions including FAO-ECTAD, President’s Initiative on Epidemics, FHI (Family Health International) 360º, Red Cross Community Pandemic Preparedness Program (CP3), and the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI). At host sites, fellows receive mentorship in outbreak investigation, data collection and analysis, leadership, scientific writing and communication.

Please see Downloads for the full Bulletin.

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