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Natural Sciences

72nd Graduation: Doctoral Citations – CoNAS

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ADAKU Christopher
ADAKU Christopher

ADAKU Christopher
Chemical Structure and Properties of Anthocyanins from Selected Plant Species from Uganda.

Mr. ADAKU Christopher investigated a class of bioactive phytochemicals known as anthocyanins from selected indigenous plants, with the purpose of identifying ingredients for the development of nutraceuticals and for application as natural food colourants. This follows the increasing availability of natural health products with unsubstantiated health claims and the health concern associated with the use of synthetic food colourants. During the study, eleven new and seven known compounds were isolated and their properties deciphered. The compounds exhibited colour and stability required for food colourant application and showed remarkable antioxidant activity which is indicative of their potential beneficial health effects. These findings will lead to the development of nutraceuticals and other natural health products with guaranteed safety and efficacy. The isolated compounds can also be used as natural functional food colurants, especially for colouring refrigerated foods such as yoghurt, ice cream and beverages. This study was funded by SIDA through DRGT and MUTHI and supervised by Prof. Byamukama Robert and Prof. Kiremire Bernard (RIP).


ANYWAR Godwin
ANYWAR Godwin

ANYWAR Godwin
Ethnopharmacology, cytotoxicity, antiviral and immunomodulatory profiles of medicinal plant species used by herbalists in treating people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda

Mr. ANYWAR Godwin investigated the cytotoxicity, antiviral activity and immunomodulatory potential of medicinal plant species used by herbalists to treat people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in Uganda. The study was motivated by the fact that PLHIV widely use untested herbal medicines even when already on antiretroviral treatment. The results from this study showed several plant species are mainly used to treat opportunistic infections among PLHIV. Two of the most widely used plant species, Albizia coriaria and Warburgia ugandensis were highly toxic to the human glioblastoma cell line used (U87.CD4.CXCR4). Regression analysis also showed that the plant extracts had varying selective anti-HIV-1 activities in vitro. The plant extracts also elicited different immune responses by stimulating different cytokines from Peripheral Mononuclear Blood Cells (PMBCs). Godwin recommend testing of crude plant extract mixtures used by the herbalists, and isolating and testing pure compounds from the most promising plant species. The study was funded by the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), and DAAD and supervised by Prof. Esezah Kakudidi, Dr. Andreas Shubert, Prof. Robert Byamukama and Prof. Christian Jassoy.


ENEKU John Paul
ENEKU John Paul

ENEKU John Paul
Optimization of the electrical resistivity of magnetron sputtered aluminium and boron co-doped zinc oxide thin films for solar cells.

Mr. ENEKU John Paul investigated co-doping of zinc oxide thin films with both aluminium and boron elements to develop a transparent thin film material of very low electrical resistivity for application as a transparent front electrode in thin film solar cells. This offers a low cost and eco-friendly alternative to the costly and toxic Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) electrode which currently dominates the solar cell market. The thin film based solar cells have the potential to significantly lower the price of photovoltaics based electricity. The investigation established that the co-doped zinc oxide thin film material can be used effectively as a transparent electrode in thin-film solar cells and can replace the costly standard Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). This study was funded by Makerere Universsity and International Science Program (ISP, Sweden) and supervised by Prof. Tom Otiti and Prof. Julius Mwabora.


BUTTIBWA Mary
BUTTIBWA Mary

BUTTIBWA Mary
Utilizing heated pollen and androgenesis pathways for the production of haploids in cassava

Ms. BUTTIBWA Mary investigated how heat-treatment of pollen facilitates production of haploids in cassava. Pollen, a fine powdery substance that comes from the male part of flowers and an equivalent of sperms animals, can be heat-inactivated and used hasten cassava embryo development. Because cassava’s reproduction cycle is too long it is difficult to quickly develop new varieties. The haploid technology can shorten this by 50%. Using heated pollen in pollination fostered the development of cassava embryos that further grew into haploid plants in a short time. The heated pollen germinated on the stigma but no fertilization was achieved; however, embryo development was stimulated. Early embryo rescue techniques rescued immature embryos on an artificial growth medium and re-generated into plants. This work contributes to the genetic improvement of cassava. The study was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture and was supervised by Prof. Arthur Tugume and Dr. Robert Kawuki.


INUWA Badamasi
INUWA Badamasi

INUWA Badamasi
Effect of xenoestrogenic substances on fish health and reproductive potential of Nile tilapia, Nile perch and lungfish from two-distinctly polluted sites of Lake Victoria: the “more polluted”

Mr. INUWA Badamasi studied the effect of xenoestrogenic substances on fish health and reproductive potential of Nile tilapia, Nile perch and lungfish from two-distinctly polluted sites of Lake Victoria: the “more polluted” (Kasenyi, Ggaba, Port bell, Jinja) and the “less polluted” (Kasensero, Bale, and Bukakata). The motivation for this research was the decline in the wild fish stocks population of Lake Victoria, attributable to several factors, including pollution. Specifically, the study examined the liver conditions and gonadal development of fishes under different levels of pollution. Severe liver alterations were higher in fishes from more polluted compared to those from less polluted areas. Indeed, the chemical contamination of Lake Victoria could have caused the liver lesions and other changes in the fishes. Overtime, such chemical contamination could lead to negative impacts on the consumption of fish and fish products if actions are not taken to mitigate the risks. This study was funded by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education and supervised by Assoc Prof Charles Masembe and Dr. Robinson Odong.


KITO Luliro Silas
KITO Luliro Silas

KITO Luliro Silas
The Numerical Range of Linear Relations and Stability Theorems.

Mr. KITO Luliro Silas studied the numerical range and stability theorems of linear maps on some mathematical spaces with the purpose of establishing the existence and uniqueness of solutions (solvability) to linear relation inclusions. In this study, he explored the effects of small alterations on certain maps between special spaces that are of mathematical interest in solving certain differential equations. The study found that within a certain degree of change, a small alteration on the map will not affect a particular set of characteristics of the map. These results are useful but not limited to; solving problems formulated when modelling airflow around an obstruction for example calculation of forces and moments on aircrafts, modelling fission weapon detonation, determination of mass flow rate of petroleum through pipelines, predicting weather patterns and ocean currents, solving fluid dynamics problems that require computation of fluid properties such as flow velocity, pressure, density and fluid temperature as functions of space and time. This study was funded by SIDA and was supervised by Assoc. Prof. Gerald Wanjala, Dr. Saul H. Nsubuga, Dr. Vincent. A. Ssembatya and Dr. Alex B. Tumwesigye.


KYOMUHANGI Annet
KYOMUHANGI Annet

KYOMUHANGI Annet
Reduced Modules Relative to Functors

Ms. KYOMUHANGI Annet’s study focused on the description of reduced modules and their dual using functors. She introduced and studied properties of a functor that measures how far a module defined over a commutative ring is from being reduced. She also found a machinery that allows one to associate a nil ideal to every ring. Since reduced modules are dualisable, Annet studied properties of their dual known as coreduced modules. She further introduced functors that describe coreduced modules and studied their properties. Moreover, she found that reduced modules simplify computations of local cohomology while coreduced modules simplify computations of local homology. The study was funded by Makerere-Sida bilateral programme (2015-2020); Project 316: Capacity building in Mathematics and its applications. Ms. Kyomuhangi was supervised by Dr. David Ssevviiri and Dr. Alex Samuel Bamunoba, both from Makerere University.


MAYANJA Edison
MAYANJA Edison

MAYANJA Edison
Mathematical Models for HIV-HCV Co-infection Dynamics under Various Control Strategies

Mr. MAYANJA Edison formulated mathematical models to study the dynamics of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection. The HIV-HCV co- infection mathematical models which had been developed before, either ignored infection stages or considered HCV in only two stages of infection: the acute and chronic infection. However, the chronic stage of HCV is very long and consists of infected individuals that are asymptomatic yet infectious. Thus, this required deep analysis that had not been fully elucidated. In his study, he analysed the HCV chronic stage split it into: before onset of cirrhosis and its complications (Latent stage) and after onset of cirrhosis (Advanced stage). He used these mathematical models to investigate how HIV infection impacts the dynamics of HCV infection and vice versa. The study revealed that, increasing the rate of enrolment on HIV treatment reduces HCV prevalence and vice versa. Transmission probability per sexual contact and average number of sexual partners acquired per year were equally likely to result into increased HIV and HCV infections and these parameters were the most sensitive in increasing each of HIV and HCV infections. The study was funded by SIDA and was supervised by Prof. Livingstone S. Luboobi, Prof. Juma Kasozi, and Dr. Rebecca N. Nsubuga.


NABAWANDA Olivia
NABAWANDA Olivia

NABAWANDA Olivia
Flattened partitions: Pattern Avoidance and Behavior of Permutation Statistics.

Ms. NABAWANDA Olivia studied a sorting procedure (run-sort function) on permutations, where runs are rearranged in lexicographic order. The aim of the study was to investigate the behavior of the run-sort function with different permutation statistics namely runs, descents, peak-values and left-right minima. Olivia used Mathematica, a computation/mathematical software to generate the necessary data, which in turn she used in combination with bijective proofs and generating functions as the main tools. New combinatorial interpretations to several counting sequences namely A124324, Catalan, Fibonacci, Motzkin and Powers of two among others were provided as already indexed on the On-line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS) database, hence contributing to the existing body of knowledge. She also proved that the descent generating polynomials for these permutations are real rooted, and satisfy an interlacing property similar to that satisfied by the Eulerian polynomials, which are known to be real-rooted. Moreover, the run-sort function was found to possess interesting probability distribution properties. The research findings exhibited an interplay between discrete mathematics, probability theory and complex analysis. The study was funded by SIDA and supervised by Dr. Alex Samuel Bamunoba, Prof. Paul Vaderlind and Prof. Fanja Rakotondrajao of Antananarivo.


NALULE Rebecca Muhumuza
NALULE Rebecca Muhumuza

NALULE Rebecca Muhumuza
Hierarchical Models and Spatio-Temporal Processes In Data Analysis

Ms. NALULE Rebecca Muhumuza studied Hierarchical Models and Spatio-Temporal Processes in Data- Analysis with the aim of analyzing data which possesses both temporal and spatial dependence. She developed a non-linear general spatio-temporal model by extending Serfling’s model. Rebecca applied the theoretical findings to data of an outbreak of influenza in Southern Germany between 2001 and 2007. She also extended the random effect model by introducing the correlation coefficient between random effects in its definition. She again considered the problem of Bayesian estimation of heterogeneity parameter in the generalized random effects model where a comparison between the obtained results with the existing approaches was made. Rebecca used the findings for consensus building in meta-analyses of measurement results for the Newtonian constant of gravitation data and for the effectiveness of antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis in preventing HIV infection. The study was funded by SIDA and was supervised by Prof Olha Bodnar, Dr. John Bosco Asiimwe and Dr. Rebecca N. Nsubuga.


NANFUKA Mary
NANFUKA Mary

NANFUKA Mary
The use of Splines for solving ill-posed problems, with application to the Cauchy problems for the Heat and Helmholtz equations

Ms. NANFUKA Mary developed a regularization procedure based on splines. The procedure was used to solve the Cauchy problems for the heat and Helmholtz equations, which are ill posed problems. The Cauchy problem for the heat equation had been previously solved by the Fourier transform method. The method, assumed that the time derivative, represented a periodic function which is not realistic. Thus, as an alternative, Mary approximated the time derivative by a cubic smoothing spline. The spline method effectively bounded the errors in the output solution according to the stability estimates. The Cauchy problem for the Helmholtz equation was regularized, by introducing a bounded approximation of the second derivative in the x-variable using cubic smoothing splines. A bound for the approximate
derivative was derived. The stability estimates, showed that the method worked pretty well and produced accurate results. The newly developed method was applied to an industrial setting for determining the surface temperature of steel and good results were achieved. The method is recommended for use for the solution to inverse problems that occur in the engineering and medical fields. The research was funded by Sida and supervised by Dr. Fredrik Berntsson, Dr.Godwin Kakuba and Assoc Prof. John Mango.


OCHEN William
OCHEN William

OCHEN William
Measurement and Modelling of Residual Stress in Porcelain Tiles Formulated from Different Quartz Particle Sizes in Uganda

Mr. OCHEN William studied residual stress in porcelain tiles formulated from different quartz particle sizes in Uganda. He measured residual stress using X-ray diffraction method, and modeling based on finite element method using abaqus software. His study was prompted by numerous complaints concerning the strength of the locally manufactured tiles. His study found out that residual stress decreases with an increase in quartz particle size over a range of 45-200μm. The decline in residual stress is attributed to the formation of cracks, which affects strength and hardness of the tiles. He further noted that upon sintering at 13000C, tiles with quartz particle size of  90μm exhibited properties that satisfied the ISO 13006 standard. His study therefore recommends the idea of fine quartz milling in a range of not more than 90μm. This study was funded by DAAD and supervised by Prof. Florence Mutonyi D’ujanga and Dr. Bosco Oruru.


OKELLO Omwonylee Joseph
OKELLO Omwonylee Joseph

OKELLO Omwonylee Joseph
Limiting Behaviours of the Longest Gaps Between Occurrence Epochs in Poisson Processes.

Mr. OKELLO Omwonylee Joseph investigated the asymptotic properties of longest gaps between occurrence epochs in Poisson processes using the theory of large deviations, based on the laws of large numbers. To do this, the global estimation of the distribution functions of longest gaps was derived with the help of discretization argument and the Slivnyak’s formula of Palm theory. The derived global estimation was then used to achieve Laplace transform asymptotics of the longest gaps. Through the application of Fenchel-Legendre transform, it was found out that the longest gaps satisfy two large deviation principles with exponential and power rate functions. Since this study was about the probabilistic analysis of rare events, the results not only fill the literature gaps but also provide a very useful planning tool to insurance companies, risk analyst, department of disaster preparedness, operation managers and others. The study was funded by SIDA and was supervised by Dr. Xiangfeng Yang; Dr. Richard Awichi Opaka and Dr. Fred Mayabala.


SSENYUNZI Richard Cliffe
SSENYUNZI Richard Cliffe

SSENYUNZI Richard Cliffe
Modelling Precipitable Water Vapour Using Global Navigation Satellite System Data over the East African Tropical Region.

Mr. SSENYUNZI Richard investigated the temporal and spatial variability of the zenith total delay and precipitable water vapour (PWV) data over the East African tropical region. The PWV data was collected from 13 geodetic permanent GNSS stations for the years 2013 to 2016. Lack of key variables such as the atmospheric water vapour, has been affecting the accuracy of weather predictions over the East African tropical region. The lack of this important parameter has been partly due to insufficient data and very scarce and unreliable tropospheric water vapour monitoring instruments in the region. In this study, the PWV, pressure and the weighted mean temperature linear models have been developed. The site-specific models developed can be utilized to supplement the GNSS and the weather stations data over the thirteen stations since they can provide estimates of nearly a similar degree of precision compared to the measured values. The study was funded by the African Development Bank and supervised by Prof. Florence Mutonyi D’ujanga and Dr. Bosco Oruru.


WAMONO Felix
WAMONO Felix

WAMONO Felix
Contributions to reduced rank regression modelling with applications to small area estimation.

Mr. WAMONO Felix studied the problem of decomposing residuals in the GMANOVA-MANOVA model with rank restrictions on parameters with applications in small area estimation. Firstly, Residuals in the GMANOVA-MANOVA model with rank restrictions on the mean parameters was considered. The main objective was to define residuals useful for evaluating the reduced rank restriction model. We decomposed linear spaces into four subspaces as it can be done for the Extended Growth Curve model with two “profiles”. The new residuals were defined by orthogonal projections on these subspaces. It was discussed how the new residuals could be used to test model assumptions. Secondly, Survey data from Uganda, including the 2014 Uganda Population and Housing Census data was analysed using small area estimation methodology. The GMANOVA-MANOVA model with rank restrictions on parameters was used to estimate the small area means. This study was funded by SIDA and was supervised by Prof. Dietrich von Rosen, Prof. Martin Singull, Assoc. Prof. Leonard Atuhaire and Dr. Innocent Ngaruye.


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Natural Sciences

Call For Applications For Masters Scholarship Under The Biosorption For Sustainable Small-Scale Gold Mining In Uganda (BioGold) Project

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The JICA Building, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) as approached from the Mary Stuart Road Roundabout, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

BioGold Project is a three-year collaborative project among five academic institutions including, Kyambogo University, Makerere University, Gulu University, University of Pretoria and University of Continuing Education, Krems, Austria funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation under the APPEAR Partnership. The project will combine principles of biosorption and chemical remediation to treat contaminated wastewater, tailings, rehabilitate contaminated soils so as to protect vulnerable ecosystems surrounding artisanal gold mining (ASGM) areas in Uganda. This study will design biochar composites from locally available biomass to enhance mercury removal from wastewater and tailings as well as rehabilitate mercury-contaminated soils making them fit for agriculture. The project envisages to train and build capacity of young researchers in Uganda. As such the project has been allocated an MSc. position under Component II, to support to full-time student to undertake studies in Austria. The successful MSc candidate is expected to undertake research on characterizing, optimizing biochar and modify the biochar to improve the sorption capacities.

The project consortium is now inviting qualified and interested persons to apply for nomination for the award of the scholarship. The project has strong preference for female candidates, therefore strongly encouraged to apply.

Eligibility criteria

In addition to APPEAR requirements https://appear.at/en/implementation/embedded-scholarship-application, the applicants should:

  1. Not be older than 30 years (women not older than 35)
  2. Demonstrate interest and capability to work in the priority themes
  3. Present a concept note to provide understanding of the subject
  4. Have a minimum of second- upper class bachelor’s degree in any of the following programmes: BSc in Chemistry, BSc in Environmental Science, & BSc in Environmental Engineering

Benefits

The successful applicants will receive a full scholarship (up to 24 months) which includes;

  1. Return air ticket and visa costs to Austria
  2. Monthly stipend of €1000 while in Austria to cater for personal welfare, accommodation and local movement
  3. Research related expenses.

Application process

  1. A complete application form
  2. A one-page motivation letter
  3. Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages)
  4. A completed Master Scholarship Application Form for Embedded APPEAR Projects
  5. Copies of Academic documents
  6. Photocopy of the passport and/or ID
  7. Recommendation letters from two academic referees.
  8. All applications must be sent electronically to Dr. Mary Kaggwa (marykaggwa@kyu.ac.ug) and copied to Dr. Peter Akoll (peter.akoll@mak.ac.ug) and Dr. Denis Nono (d.nono@gu.ac.ug) not later than 5.00pm East African Time on 20th June 2024.

Members of staff with former students interested in biochar technology and its use in heavy metal removal are requested to share the advert with them.

Full Advert and Application form may be accessed below.

Note: Only successful applicants will be contacted.

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Natural Sciences

Mak Researchers Set Out to Address the Challenge of African swine fever in Uganda

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Professor Charles Masembe, CoNAS, Makerere University. Image:ASF

The Project is supported by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

Overview

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral haemorrhagic disease of domestic pigs; and has recently spread to new areas including Eastern Europe and in Asia as far as Papua New Guinea. This disease has neither vaccine nor treatment and is currently a big challenge to many smallholder pig farmers in Uganda. In Uganda, ASFV genotype IX has been reported to cause outbreaks on a regular basis and is an impediment to development of the swine industry. The disease was previously reported with a mortality of 100%. However different forms of the disease have recently been observed in domestic pigs. Indeed, some studies have shown that pigs that survive ASF become resistant to the same viral isolates although they do not produce classical neutralizing antibody. These observations could have the key for vaccine development strategies.

The Principal Investigator of ASF-RESIST, Dr. Charles Masembe; an Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), CoNAS, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda
The Project Principal Investigator (PI), Prof. Charles Masembe.

The research project

Through a project titled “African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda”, a team of researchers led by Prof. Charles Masembe from the Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences at Makerere University registered the need to correlate clinical studies of ASF virus with full genome sequences and virus structural data to identify potential candidate genes for vaccine development. The team set out to isolate and characterise highly virulent and low virulent ASF viruses circulating in the swine population in Uganda using next-generation and Electron Microscopy to inform the development of ASFV vaccines and other therapeutic strategies. The team also set out to sequence the whole genome of low and high-virulence African swine fever viruses circulating in the domestic pig population in Uganda; compare the whole genome sequences of low and high-virulence ASF viruses in Uganda, and to find genomic variations and their effects on the virulence and viral evolution. Whole blood and organ tissue samples together with clinical-epidemiological information, were collected from acute and chronic cases of pigs in reported ASF outbreaks in the districts of greater Masaka, Greater Gulu, Mukono, Wakiso, Kakumiro, and additionally in other districts were outbreaks were reported during the study period. The project was supported by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere Research and Innovations Fund (MakRIF). Other members on the project are; Assoc. Prof. Vincent Muwanika (Co-PI), Dr. Rose Ademun (Scientist), Dr. Mathias Afayoa (Scientist), Dr. Tony Aliro (Field Scientist), Mr. Peter Ogweng (Field Scientist),  Mr. Mayega Johnson Francis (Lab Technologist), Okwasiimire Rodney (Lab Technologist), and Mr. Bright Twesigye (Administrator).

The Project team at the research dissemination workshop in Gulu District. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
The Project team at the research dissemination workshop in Gulu District.

Dissemination of the research findings

On 15th May 2024, the project team held a workshop at Doves Nest Hotel in Gulu District to disseminate the research findings, and to fact check by mapping pig farms, abattoirs, slaughter slabs, and pork restaurants in both Gulu District and Gulu City for on-going and future research.

The workshop was officially opened by the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Gulu District, Mr. Okidi Cosmas James on behalf of the CAO. In his remarks, Mr. Okidi appreciated the project team, noting that the workshop was timely since piggery as a poverty alleviation programme had been embraced by most farmers as a replacement for cattle. Sharing his experience, he expressed concern over the increasing threat of ASF, a factor he said was undermining the growth of the swine industry in Uganda.

Prof. Masembe interacts with the participants during the workshop. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Masembe interacts with the participants during the workshop.

During the meeting, the Project PI, Prof. Charles Masembe presented the status of ASF research in Uganda and globally, highlighting the complexity of ASF, dangers of ASF, ASF diagnostic advances, importance of keeping pigs and scientific efforts to control ASF, including the advances in the development of the ASFV vaccine. 

Other presentations focused on ASF control and prevention mechanisms, potential role of production systems in ASF transmission, community involvement in disease control, spatio-temporal spread of ASF at the wildlife-livestock interface, the role of carrier pigs in ASFV transmission and maintenance, biosecurity implementation and challenges. All these presentations evoked discussion points from the participants. Participants expressed the need to understand how ASF is transmitted, and the extent to which farmers can trust veterinarians since they are considered to spread the disease. They highlighted the need to institute quarantine during ASF outbreaks and called for sensitization on the acceptable methods for disposing off infected pork. Another concern arising from the meeting was the need to understand if ASF is zoonotic and if not, why ASFV infected pork should not be eaten. Participants also sought guidance on why farmers should continue to keep survivor pigs if they spread ASFV, and why the government has not constructed slaughter slabs in all villages to control the spread of ASFV.

Participants in an exercise to map out pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants in their respective sub counties to support the research process. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
Participants in an exercise to map out pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants in their respective sub counties to support the research process.

Recommendations by participants;

  1. Strengthening community awareness through different production departments in the district and city by organizing workshops as closer to the farmers as possible for example at every parish or ward.
  2. Makerere University ASF research team should collaborate with Gulu University, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Studies so that ASFV diagnosis and research is jointly done at the University which is nearer to the farmers for quick response to ASF outbreaks.
  3. City, District, and sub-county leaders should formulate a by-law to enforce the implementation of ASF control and prevention methods.
Mapping pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
Mapping pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants.

During plenary, participants were tasked with mapping pig farms/farmers, abattoir/slaughter slabs and pork restaurants in their respective sub-counties in Gulu District and Gulu City, in addition to generating a comprehensive farm/farmer list in the two areas. Mapping was successfully done and presented for purposes of clarity by each team representing a particular sub-county. The participants were then given a template to populate on the farm/farmer list since they could not recall all farms/farmers name and their mobile phone contacts.

Participants pose for a group photo. Prof. Charles Masembe, Department of Zoology, Entomology, and Fisheries Sciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)-funded "African swine fever virus (ASFV) severity and viral genomic structural features: opportunities for development of a vaccine in Uganda” project research dissemination, 15th May 2024, Doves Nest Hotel, Gulu District, Northern Uganda, East Africa.
Participants pose for a group photo.

Remarks by Gulu District RDC

In his closing remarks, the RDC of Gulu District, Mr. Oryem Auric thanked the research team for choosing the district for the workshop, noting that the feedback from the participants indicated that the workshop was very beneficial to them. He pledged to dedicate some of the free airtime offered to his office on Radio Mega, a popular FM Radio Station in Gulu City affiliated to Radio Uganda, towards the popularization of the project activities. He reiterated that the objectives of the project were in line with the current Government of Uganda programme on wealth creation through the Parish Development Model and the 4 acre model of which piggery is one of the means recommended for poverty alleviation by the President of Uganda. He called on the farmers to embrace and utilize the knowledge acquired to improve their farms and increase their household incomes.

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Natural Sciences

CoNAS Annual Report 2023

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Cover page of the CoNAS Annual Report 2023. College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) is one of the 10 constituent Colleges of Makerere University with over 2,000 students and 153 members of staff spread across 2 schools and seven departments namely: School of Physical Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Geology and Petroleum Studies) and School Biosciences (Departments of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology; Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences; and Department of Biochemistry and Sports Sciences). The College is the cradle of basic sciences at Makerere providing a foundation for all applied sciences offered at the University. This report is a presentation of the performance of the College in 2023.

Key highlights include performance of the College at the 74th graduation of Makerere University, the award of an Honorary Doctor of Science to Prof. Leif Abrahamsson for his contribution to the development of Mathematics in the East African region, the development of an E-Supervision Web Portal (https:/mastersresearch.ug/) to support the tracking of Masters Research supervision processes, the formation and operationalization of the Biology Society of Uganda (BioSU), support rendered towards the development of aquaculture in the country, the development of five high-value nutritious products (baby food, sauce, maize meal, snacks, and seasoning) using Mukene through the NutriFish Project, the development of an application for tracking fish catches as a measure to prevent overfishing, development of solar tent driers – greenhouse-like structures that reduce the risk of contamination – provide clean and efficient storage and drying, especially during the wet season subsequently reducing post-harvest losses, equipping students and members of the general public with skills needed in the installation and maintenance of solar energy Photovoltaic systems and biogas plants, the Joint African- Nordic Conference in Mathematics, as well as the 2023 Eastern Africa Algebra Research Group and Women in Sage workshops. The report also highlights the research grants received in the course of the year, conferences held, community engagements, activities by students, awards received by the different members of staff, staff publications, and matters of Human Resources at the College.

Management conveys appreciation to all development partners and the Government of Uganda for the support extended towards the different projects at the College. We also thank the University Council and Management for creating a conducive environment for both staff and students to explore their full potential.

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