By Jacinta Nakaye
Makerere University’s CAPAZOMANINTECO Project has showcased its efforts in addressing global diseases that are transmissible between humans and animals through research and community awareness in Africa.
This was featured on 23rd October 2017, when the Project hosted two officials from Norwegian Program for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) secretariat, for a discussion on the implementation of the project and its planned activities.
While in the CAPAZOMANINTECO Research Office- Makerere University, Dr. Matthias Ploeg and Ms. Theresa Madubuko, a Public Health specialist were warmly welcomed by the project’s Principal Investigator, Prof. Clovice Kankya, who introduced the project undertakings.
“CAPAZOMANINTECO beneficiaries have been in position to conduct research on a number of Public Health issues such as; research on Brucellosis in cattle and goats in Uganda’s Nakasongola district, research on Ebola and Marburg Viral haemorrhagic fever, Typhoid and cholera in Kasese, Brucellosis knowledge and practices in South-Sudan, Salmonella infections, and Echnococosis in South Sudan ,” he reported.
Prof. Kankya added that with that research, the project has worked hand in hand with health bodies to control Zoonotic tuberculosis, strengthen timely diagnosis, effective treatment, sensitizing communities on those public health issues, and also foster inter-sectoral collaboration.
“I am honored to also inform you that one of our PhD research fellow at the Department of Biosecurity Ecosystems and Veterinary Public Health, Dr. Luke Nyakarahuka, who has some publications focusing on the serious problem of Marburg is now in Kween District-East of Uganda assisting the taskforce against the Marburg viral disease,” he stressed.
The networking collaborative project involves 4 partners with Makerere University as the grant recipient, Norwegian University of Life Sciences- Norway, University of Bahr-El-Ghazal- South Sudan, and University of Zambia, and one of the 9 projects funded by NORHED.
NORHED aims at increasing higher education and capacity building in low and middle income countries to increase incomes and reduce poverty.
Prof. Kankya also noted that the project activities stem from capacity building through education and training of students to improve on the technical support in addressing issues of public health as well as challenges brought by infectious diseases in the region.
“We aim at improving health and wellbeing of the people in member countries through research, education, focusing on Zoonotic disease management and also the issues of food safety. But most importantly, we use a one health approach so that we have a multidisciplinary intervention as well as a gender perspective,” he said.
Dr. Matthias thanked Prof. Kankya for the spearheading the Public Health team through the CAPAZOMANINTECO project and for joining in the fight against Zoonotic Diseases. He also commended the team for the support towards meeting the project goals.
The meeting was blessed with attendance by masters, PhDs, Post Doctorate fellows supported by the project together with the support team members.
This was followed by a guided tour around the Central Diagnostic Laboratory and the Biosafety level 2-3 laboratory constructions at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB) – Makerere University.
The Capacity building Zoonotic diseases Management Using Integrated Ecosystems and gender focused approach (CAPAZOMANINTECO) project has so far trained 6 PhDs, with each member country in Africa having 2 students under the project, 6 trained staff at PhD, 2 staff at Post-Doctoral level, and 9 Masters who have already completed. This five year project was launched on 25th September 2014 at Makerere University.