The OHCEA Uganda One Health Institute at Full Steam

Thursday, 28 July 2016 - 5:06pm
OHCEA Network Country: 
Cohort A: May 2nd - June 18th 2016

The One Heath Institute is a center where the knowledge of young interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral teams of professionals (undergraduate and graduate) in their final year of study and at the start of their careers is transformed and are given ability to detect, prevent and respond to infectious diseases.

This does not only include the scientists who are the primary core responders in cases of infectious disease outbreaks, but also the humanities who have important roles to play like bridging the gaps in understanding community culture, beliefs and gender, bridging communication gaps, technology and innovative gaps etc. An advertisement was made and students across eight colleges and schools in Makerere University applied.

These were: College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources & Biosecurity (COVAB), College of Health Sciences (CHS); College of Agriculture & Environmental Science (CAES); College of Humanities & Social Science (CHUSS); College Engineering Design & Art and Technology (CEDAT); College of Computing & Information Science (COSIS); College of Business & Management Sciences (COBAMS) and School of LAWS. We took on 89 entrants - 69 undergraduates and 20 graduates in two cohorts A and B which run from 2nd May - 18th June and 30th May - end of July respectively.

We thus set out to skill our future workforce firstly with the theoretical courses on the One Health principles of Infectious disease prevention and mitigation. This was followed by simulation practice, field attachment, and field-based community change projects for undergraduate students.  While the graduate students on the other hand, were to get a simulation practice and a multidisciplinary fellowship placement giving experiential training, and mentorship-training model after attending the theoretical courses. They were also to identify One-Health gaps at their posts of placement.

The theoretical principles of Infectious disease prevention and mitigation undertook the modules of Leadership; Gender risk management; Outbreak investigation; Bio-risk management; Antimicrobial resistance, Health policy analysis. To introduce the undergraduates into the field-based attachments, the modules on Community engagement & interaction were given. The modules were each of 12 hours and teaching involving interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral teams of faculty from Makerere University. We had group engagements, discussions, case studies and role-plays.

In addition there were disease and outbreak situation simulation, which involved experts from the National Task force that responds to epidemics in Uganda (Dr Moses Ssekamatte, Dr Deus Lokoye National expert in drug resistant Tuberculosis Dr Anna Rose Ademun - Commissioner for Veterinary Diagnostics).

The theoretical course was supported by staff from University of Minnesota who reviewed modules, provided mentorship and study materials. These inculded Dr Heidi Kassenborg, a veterinarian and Foodborne illness Prevention and Response Consultant who worked with the Bio-Risk modules and Disease Outbreak investigation teams. Dr John Amuasi a Public Health Systems and Policy expert also supported the teams. 

 May 30th - July - on going

Support from University of Minnesota in reviewing modules

  (Left - Right) Dr Sam Okech and Dr Paul Ssajjakambwe - Bio-risk management. Dr Heidi Kassenborg and Dr Andrew Tamale - Module leader - Disease Outbreak Investigation

 Planning strategy with Dr John Amuasi before delivering Health Policy Analysis module on June 13th (Left - Right) Miss Ruth Mubeezi, Dr Sylvia Baluka, Dr Richard Mugambe, Dr Peninah Nsamba (Focal Person) and Dr John Amuasi

 Dr Agnes Yawe and Dr Irene Naigaga from OHCEA Secretariat, Dr John Amuasi, Dr Musewa Angela an OHCEA Graduate fellow (taking notes), Dr Esther Buregeya Focal Person and Mr Chrispus Mayora

As a conclusion to the theoretical modules, Professor John David Kabasa, Principal, Makerere University College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity and Co-PI OHCEA gave an educative talk entitled “Growing One Health Capital and One Health Practice in Africa”

Keynote Talk on ‘Growing One Health Capital and One Health Practice in Africa’ being delivered to cohort B by Co-PI OHCEA, Prof John David Kabasa who is also the Principal of COVAB

At the end of the theoretical course, the undergraduate teams were placed in groups of 8-10 students at Lyantonde, Sanga and Rubirizi all in western Uganda. These towns are unique in various ways; Sanga has the wildlife-domestic animal - human interface near Lake Mburo National Park, Lyantonde has a large population of pastoralists.

On the other hand, Rubirizi has the wildlife-agriculture interface. The field activities involve site visits, community education and awareness campaigns and home visits. Students held end of activity reflection and planning discussions every day and were engaged in writing brief weekly reports. While in the field, students were supervised and guided by a multidisciplinary team of both faculty and field-based supervisors with the help of the local councillors or village/ community leaders.

Like the theoretical modular training, the field attachment was supported by partners from Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterianry Medicine, Dr Marieke H Rosenbaum (DVM, MP, Public Health and Community Medicine, Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health), while Dr. Heidi Kassenborg supported the field attachments at Lyantonde and Rubirizi.

 Dr Okech, Marieke Rosenbaum, Dr R. Nuwamanya (COVAB), Dr Moses Ssekamatte (MOH), Dr Fred Kindi in brown strips (CHUSS),  Mr P. Ssebulime in grey jacket (Wildlife, COVAB) and Focal Person OHCEA Peninah Nsamba (extreme right)

 Group Photo just before flag off.

Students were engaged in several community-based projects and interventions; some of them highlighted here.

Water filtration by the Lyantode Team

The problem was the common water source used by both human and cattle that had dirty muddy water. The team set up a water filtration system

 Valley Dam where dirty water is collected for household use

Clean water obtained and Team at work

Fencing of the hospital garbage site by the Sanga Team

This garbage dump was accessible to dogs, chicken and children on the hospital site which is a public health hazard.  The team cleaned up the disposal area, put a new layer of cement to make it more durable and fenced it providing a barrier.

Team Rubirizi at  work - Team at work reparing th hospital dump site

Outreach to schools by the Rubirizi Team

This team gave career guidance and health education on malaria, HIV-AIDS, personal hygiene and wildlife-human interaction at Kafuro Primary School. While at Kichwamba High school they inaugurated a One Health Club that will be paired (twinned) with the Makerere University One Health Club.

 Team Rubirizi had a school outreach at Kafuro Primary School which is adjacent to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

 ONE HEALTH JUNIOR CLUB to a model school Kichwamba High School in Rubirizi district.

Team in Sanga

This group demonstrated a hands-free wash system (Tippy-tap) that utilizes a foot pedal. They were also involved in focus group discussions with the district officials on how to improve health

 Mr Mendoza of Team Sanga reporting finding to District Councilors

One Health Graduate Fellowship Attachments

On Friday 20th May 2016, there was a Stakeholders Workshop at COVAB where delegates from the following institutions met 14 Graduate Fellows (Cohort ‘A’) who were going to be part of their family for the next 3 months:

AFRISA, PREDICT-2 Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF), Ministry Of Health (MOH), Infectious Disease Institute (IDI)-Global Health Security, Central Public Health Laboratories, Amref Health Africa, MakFST, (Makerere University Food Science and Technology), ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), National Drug Authority (NDA), and OHCEA Secretariat and Country Office

One Health Institute Fellows and stakeholders during the stake holders meeting on 20th May 2016

 Mr Jacob Emong Graduate Fellow (in center) (Infectious Disease Management IDM MSc program) at the PREDICT-2 offices being introduced to the Uganda Head Veterinarian and PREDICT-2 Country Coordinator, Uganda, Dr Benard Ssebbide (far right)The discussion included what (roles, duties, work etiquette ethics commitment reporting etc) the OHI expected from Fellows at their stations and the roles of the supervisors were explained. It was an interactive meeting and the Fellows were given time to interact with their hosts.

The Graduate Fellows on cohort A started their attachments on 23rd May, where they will be stationed until 23rd August. Cohort ‘B’ started placements on 22nd June and will run until September 22nd 2016