OHCEA

OHCEA NEWS

Meeting with pupils, parents and teachers

Expelling Bats from a Primary School in Kahendero, Kasese Municipality

During the OH Field Attachments in Kasese Municipality, a multidisciplinary team of about fifteen students (Social Scientists (4), Environmental Health Scientists (2), Meteologist (1), Biomedical Laboratory Technologist (1), Telecommunications Engineer (1) Industrial and Organisational Psychologist (1), Soft Ware Engineer (1), Wild Life Conservationist (1), Veterinary Medicine (1), Medical Doctor (1) and Development Worker (1), Veterinarians, Environmental Health officers, Wildlife Health Management Officers, Medical Doctors and Social Scientists) encountered a problem of bats in Kahendero Primary School.

Bats are probable reservoirs of Haemorrhagic Fevers - Ebola, Marburg etc. and rabies. They also emit offensive odours making inhabiting houses where there are colonies of bats difficult.

Previous solutions offered by the Veterinary and Wildlife departments included fumigating the bats and disposing of the dead ones - this was done at Kahendero Health Centre. However, they do return after a period of time and the fumes are toxic to the community especially the occupants of the houses.

One Health Solution offered by the OH Kaseses Multidisciplinary team had three aspects.

Educate the community on the dangers of the bats - the school children, teachers and other interested members of the public were all targeted.

However, bats are also useful to the ecosystem and therefore if it were possible the colonies of bats should be encouraged to relocate back to the bushes and trees instead of colonizing the houses. The students came up with an ecosystem friendly bat repellent made out of ethno substances (eucalyptus bark and leaves and cinnamon) which, when applied to the houses would successfully expel the bats. The pungent smell of the oils from these plants is a good repellent. In order to extract these oils a solution of alcohol was needed and a local gin popularly known as ‘kasese’ was easily obtained. To be able to apply the ecosystem friendly ethno-bat repellent to the buildings paint was used as a base to enable the repellent remain for a longer period of time.

The gaps in the school building between the roof and the walls, which the bats were using to access the school buildings had to be sealed off to prevent them from returning. The students from the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) sealed all gaps in the roof with a cement and mortar base to prevent re-entry by the bats.

One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA) Officialy Launched in Cameroon

OHCEA is a network of 21 Public Health and Veterinary Higher Education Institutions that are located in eight African countries including Cameroon. OHCEA’s main goal is to build capacity in One Health through multi-disciplinary research, training and community service. The Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Montagne became a member of OHCEA in July 2015. A year later, OHCEA expanded the network in Cameroon by adding University of Buea’s Faculty of Health Sciences, and Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. Following one year of implementation of the USAID funded One Health Workforce project in Cameroon, OHCEA was officially launched on 28th October 2016 at the Hotel Mont Febe in Yaoundé.

The launch brought together key One Health (OH) stakeholders in Cameroon government, EPT partners, Development Partners, USU Partners, University Representatives and OHCEA representatives. The representative of the Minister of Health, Cameroon Professor Samuel KINGUE was the chief guest. Also in attendance were officials of the Ministry of Higher Education; some members of the Diplomatic corps accredited to Cameroon; Representatives from Predict; P&R; Faculty members of both Universities, members of the Students One Health club and local media. Prof John David Kabasa, was the Head of delegation of OHCEA. Other OHCEA members included, Prof Tadesse, a Board Member, Dr. Irene Naigaga, Program Manager and Dr. Juvenal Kagarama, One Health Workforce Technical Advisor, Francophone.

In his welcome address, the President of the University des Montagne, Professor Lazare KAPTUE, the host, thanked everyone for honoring the occasion with their presence. He particularly paid tribute to OHCEA for having admitted the two institutions into the network thus giving them the opportunity of building a professional workforce capable of responding to zoonotic diseases. He promised to work with partners to contribute to Global One Health Movement. 

P&R Country Deputy Representative, Serge Nzietchueng outlined the long-term relationship between world population growth and the emergence & spread of pandemic diseases.

P&R Country Deputy Representative, Serge Nzietchueng outlined the long-term relationship between world population growth and the emergence & spread of pandemic diseases.

Professor John David Kabasa delivered the occasion’s key note address on the role of Universities and Education in general in shaping a professional workforce capable of combating emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases.

Professor John David Kabasa delivered the occasion’s key note address on the role of Universities and Education in general in shaping a professional workforce capable of combating emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases.

He cautioned that Africa being a ‘global bio-risk incubator’, there is need to be safe and clean as Africa moves about to integrate and do business in the global world. He called for a dissolution of ‘sectoral and discipline tribalism’, starting with university training, urging that the future is intertwined

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