Click here to view abstract deadline dates


The Society for the Advancement of Science in Africa (SASA) will hold its 4th International Annual Conference in Nairobi, Kenya from  August, 22 – 26 2016.

Major sub-themes are:

  • Engaging international science & technology collaborations.
  • Promoting science & technology research.
  • Translating academic research to innovations.
  • Accelerating Infrastructural development.
  • Transforming the academic curriculum for advancing science, technology and innovation
  • Harmonizing country-to-country variations in science policy and government funding of research.


Faculty, Researchers and Practitioners

Faculty, Researchers and Practitioners from all science research and education disciplines are invited to submit Abstracts for consideration and possible presentation at the Conference. The best 20 Abstracts accepted will be eligible for a complementary registration. Take this opportunity to present your work to an international audience and to network with colleagues, mentors, and peers.


Abstract 1

Ronald Laporte

Dr. Ronald E Laporte

Dr. Ronald E Laporte has a PhD. in Cognitive Psychology in 1977 and a Master’s degree in Epidemiology, 1981. He has 505 publications in Epidemiology, Global Health, and Internet. He was a First Distinguished Teacher, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh 1989. He also got the Lillienfeld Award, APHA for outstanding life time achievement in education, Director, Disease Monitoring and Telecommunications, WHO Collaborating Center, Dept of Epidemiology,  Developer and PI of the WHO multinational Project for Childhood Diabetes, involving 155 centers in 70 countries,  1994 Developer, Global Health Network.  He has numerous funded national and international projects from NIH, and NASA and he is the Kelly West Diabetes Epidemiology Award from the American Diabetes Association.


Abstract 2

Research Methods Library of Alexandria to Boost Scientific Productivity in Africa
Ronald LaPorte, Ph.D, University of Pittsburgh

Email: ronaldlaporte@gmail.com

Ismail Serageldin, Ph.D., Library of Alexandria, Musa Kana, M.D., Eugene Schubnikov, M.D., Faina Linkov, Ph.D.

During the past decade there has been a three-fold marked acceleration of research in Africa. Despite this increase, still only 2.5% of the world’s literature is published from Africa. We want to markedly increase this. Often ,when people see this fact, they argue that more international and national money should be spent. However, it is unlikely in the near future that there will be a marked increase in funding for science.

We have taken a different, potentially very effective, but frugal approach. For 76% of the articles that are rejected, the reason is due to poor research methods. In Africa, there are brilliant young investigators with outstanding research ideas, yet they have problems publishing. The reason for the difficulty is what we call “stataphobia”, which is the fear of statistics and not having access to help. In Africa, in many countries, there are few people trained in research methods. It does not matter how bright a young person is, they cannot publish without a knowledge of statistics.

We therefore have built the “Research Methods Library of Alexandria (RMLA)”. http://ssc.bibalex.org/helpdesk/introduction.jsf

This is a one-stop shopping center for answers to research methods. We have over 2,000 research and youtube presentations, an “ask a research librarian”, numerous courses, free statistics books and software, scientific apps, and a survey portal. It is the largest library of research methods yet created. Everyone can use it for free.

We have just built a network of users. We have identified over 10,000 faculty members in medical schools in Africa and provided information about the program. Over 200 universities have put a RMLA Button on their site so that if one has a question about research methods, they click on the button and are whisked to the RMLA to find answers. We are also planning a top quality scientific journal that is peer reviewed, in the English Language, and of open access. It will also be one of the first “mentored” journals where the editors help authors with good ideas and data.

We are starting with health research, but will shortly expand to agriculture, climate, and computer engineering.

KEY WORDS: Research methods; scientific productivity; statistical analysis; Library of Alexandria.


Abstract 3

Just-in-Time Synthesis and Communication of Scientific Knowledge to Millions of People During the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak
Elegba OY, MD, Kaduna State University, Kana MA, M.D., Bello-Manga H, M.D. Adiri F, M.D., Faina Linkov, Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, Ronald LaPorte, Ph.D, University of Pittsburgh, Ismail Serageldin, Ph.D., Library of Alexandria

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak of 2014 was feared that its spread might rapidly evolve into a pandemic not only in Africa but worldwide.  Rumors, incorrect facts, and mis-information were rampant. A certain reminder that we live in a shared world with shared vulnerability for communicable disease transmission. People and scientists in West Africa and the world did not know where to turn for accurate information. Few trusted their governments, the media and industry. Twitter information was flying, much of it wrong. We recognized this problem and suggested that scientists are viewed typically as unbiased sources of knowledge, therefore we engaged the scientific community in Africa and worldwide to provide high quality scientific information.

The Research Methods Library of Alexandria (RMLA) brought together a multi-disciplinary team of over 60 Scientists from twelve countries to synthesize credible scientific information and share with the world. In addition, we had just created in Nigeria a lecture on Ebola, and this was selected to be the core lecture (http://www.pitt.edu/~super7/52011-53001/52511.ppt) for the Just-in-time (JIT) Ebola lecture. This was one of the first times for any outbreak or disaster that the core knowledge of a worldwide effort came from Africa. People worldwide very much liked the lecture as this African disaster was viewed from the lens of scientists in Africa.

The Just-in-Time Ebola Virus Disease lecture were circulated worldwide in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Malay, Pashtu, Russian, Spanish and Urdu. The multiple translations were cascaded simultaneously to different places. The desired outcome was empowering people with scientific information that will enable them to take actions that will halt the transmission of EVD and the fear that precedes or accompanies it. Our lecture from Africa became the most important Ebola lecture in almost all the different language translations.

Conceptually, the RMLA’s JIT is an innovative and complementary means of translating scientific information into different languages of the world and its just-in-time transmission during international emergencies or disasters. The JIT employs low cost and adaptive electronic technology of mass communication for the dissemination of scientific knowledge to millions of people. This innovation is a valuable tool for the advancement of scientific research and its timely application to improve health, economic and social development. We also demonstrated that a center in Nigeria could mobilize world scientists and be a global leader for Ebola and other disasters.

KEY WORDS: Ebola virus; disease outbreak; just-in-time science synthesis and communication; Research Methods of the Library of Alexandria.


Abstract 4

Irene Atimango, Third year Bachelor of Education student
Institutional Affiliation: Makerere University Kampala, Uganda

In the twenty first century, Africa is experiencing multiple challenges in the provision of social services. Some of these challenges are directly caused by human activities like corruption, civil war, deforestation while others are natural such as droughts, diseases, flooding among others. Like most developing countries, Uganda is no exception. For this conference, the focus of my presentation will be on education and specifically, High school girls and their receptivity to science subjects. From my experience in the classroom over the last two years, I noticed that girls are smart with promising future in the discipline of science and yet they continue to languish behind boys in the national examination and entry to study science in the University or Colleges. To be more specific, I will discuss the challenges that teachers experience in delivering context relevant science lessons to girls in High Schools in Gulu District, Northern Uganda. The presentation will be based on my experiences and observation as a teaching practicum student in the course of two years. I will also draw data from government and non-governmental organization reports highlighting the challenges. My discussion will also bring out some recommendations to be implemented by the local community, government and other development agencies to ameliorate the challenges of education. I believe that my presentation will bring unique experiences to the audience attending the conference since I present not only as victim of civil war, but also as passionate educator in the realm of science trying to make a difference by interesting young girls in science education.

Brief Bio

I am third year Bachelor of Education student at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. I was born and raised in Northern Uganda at the peak of the over twenty year’s civil war and, I have firsthand experiences of what it means to study in the context of violent civil war. I lived in the internally displaced persons’ camps (IDPs) for most parts of my life. I managed to make it to the University through the government merit based scholarship program. During every school vacation, I spend most of my time helping young girls in my community to gain interest in science subjects. I do this by running voluntary homework assistance programs at our home.


 Abstract 5

Enhancing Adaptation and Utilization of ICT in Secondary Schools for Education Quality Improvement: A Case of Agago District, Northern Uganda  
Nyeko Ceaser Otto

Nyeko Ceaser Otto

Nyeko Ceaser Otto, Gulu University, Uganda

Availability of educational resources through access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) significantly leads to improvement in the quality of teaching and learning. In most Ugandan rural schools, the use of computers and access to ICT-related facilities is still a huge challenge.  It is because of such challenges that cities/urban elementary and secondary schools with ICT access have better achievements in national examinations, with their students overrepresented in national Universities and Colleges’ admission annually.

For the SASA 2015 conference, I will present a study conducted in one rural school in Agago[1] district. Adilang secondary school where my project took place is located 452 kms North of Kampala in the newly created Agago district. During the last school vacation from the University, I initiated a sole project that seeks to examine students’ comprehension and effectiveness in the use of computers in the above school. The school lacks computer labs and so, I set out to test the project with four laptops – one being my personal and three were borrowed from friends, and four internet modem. With this equipment, I introduced four senior students (grade 12) to the basic use of computers, internet and email services. Since the school is located just across the road from my parents’ compound, I spent at least three hours daily with the students for two months. The result was amazing: students were able to comprehend and apply basic computer skills (hardware, software, Microsoft words, internet and use of emails etc). Students were also able to conduct basic google search for additional information on topics being taught from textbooks. The teachers (almost 90% without any computer knowledge), were excited by the outcome of this pro bono project and some requested for extension of the program so they too can enroll. With this evidence handy, I concluded that, access, use and encouragement of ICT in rural schools will greatly enhance the quality of education.

At the SASA conference, I will also share the details of this success story and the challenges met during the two months study. I will also recommend solutions to the local community, school, local and central government.

KEY WORDS: Information and Communication Technology (ICT); education quality improvement.


Abstract 6

Development of an Impact Evaluation Model and Toolkit for Community-Based Rehabilitation
Kristie Proscovia Oroma

Kristie Proscovia Oroma

Kristie Proscovia Oroma, BASS, PGD, MSc

This study investigated the impact of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) programs on persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Kayunga District, Central Uganda. The University College (London) collaborated with the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda and the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development. The research supported the participatory development of an impact evaluation model and toolkit for evaluating CBRs.

The Outcome, Timelines, and Actor Mapping  (OTAM) tool was used with the implementers: 22 individual interviews (11 males and 11 females) of age group 5 to 40 years, 12 focused group discussions conducted with children with disability in schools with their parents; and interviews conducted with local stakeholders. Documentation review and 20 most significant change stories were gathered from boundary partners, District CBR Managers, and persons with disabilities. Kyambogo University gave Ethics approval.

The study examined the overall performance of the CBR program using 5 capacity models, which revealed that “capability to commit and engage” had the highest score while “capability to adapt and self-renew” had the lowest score. Respondents ranked the 5 CBR components: livelihood, social, education, health and empowerment according to what components benefited them and which ones needed attention. The 5 CBR components were rated in relation to access, quality and impact. Health and empowerment had the highest score while livelihood, social and education had the lowest score for access and quality. Health, education, social and empowerment had the highest score, while livelihood had the lowest score for impact.

In conclusion, CBR actors seem effective at advocating for the rights of PWDs and on overall disability issues. However, beneficiaries at the grassroots identified lack of awareness on available programs and services, which could benefit them thereby affecting uptake. Low government budgetary allocations to CBR programs and lack of a database management system affect program delivery. Boundary partners should widen the scope of resource mobilization and streamline PWDs leadership. Further research is needed to explore category specific services for PWDs.

KEY WORDS: Community-based rehabilitation; impact evaluation model and toolkit; outcome, timeline, and actor mapping tool.


Abstract 7

Women and Science in Africa
Prof. Suad M. Sulaiman

Prof. Suad M. Sulaiman

Prof. Suad M. Sulaiman, PhD, Health and Environment Adviser, Khartoum, Sudan

The role of women in science has been widely investigated to allow for a wider participation.  Debate was raised more than 4 decades ago. It is documented that only 10% of the posts in elite research institutions are occupied by women worldwide.

The challenges that have kept women out are mainly obligations towards others in family.  Barriers against building a career in science include family, having children, lack of professional networks, and social and cultural obligations are mostly reported as the main reasons. Access to some jobs and specializations is sometimes prohibited for women.

In Africa, most of the work places e.g. universities, government offices, are not adequately equipped with day care facilities for children. The cultural and social customs oblige women to be the family caretakers (housework, cooking, child care, nursing of the sick etc.). As such a working woman does her office work hours and goes back to fill in for her household chores.

The role of women in the promotion to be induced by science in Africa is important.  As 50% of the workforce, her contribution can be outstanding if given the chance and means to act. Together, men and women can support the developmental progress of their people and countries.

KEY WORDS: Role of women ion Science; challenges; barriers; job access.


 Abstract 8

Determinants of Monitoring and Evaluation of System Performance of NGOs in Uganda, 2015 
Steven Ochola

Steven Ochola

Steven Ochola
Master’s in Management Studies, Postgraduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management,    BSc in Forestry
E-mail: stevenochola@gmail.com

 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is a management support function critical for guiding projects/programs to gain valuable insights on the extent of delivery, stimulate discussions on causality and provide actionable corrective-measures for quality assurance. This study examined the relationship between determinants of M&E system performance in ten NGOs in Uganda with the following objectives: (i) To investigate the relationship between human capacity and performance of M&E systems; (ii) To assess the relationship between M&E framework and performance of M&E systems; and (iii) To examine the relationship between budgetary allocation and performance of M&E systems.

 A cross-sectional survey research design employing mixed methods of data collection was adopted. The sample consisted of 88 respondents selected by simple random and purposive sampling techniques from a population of 90 employees from ten NGOs. A response rate of 90.91% was registered.

Human capacity, M&E framework, and budgetary allocation were found to explain variability in M&E system performance by 35%, 27% and 9% respectively through regression analysis. Furthermore, utilization of M&E in the NGOs studied was characterized by absolute underutilization, unsystematic utilization and moderate utilization in informing planning and implementing processes to produce beneficiary acceptable positives changes.

The study concluded that the constructs (human capacity, M&E framework and budget allocation) explained the variability in M&E system performance but at different magnitudes. It supports systems theory, which states that the performance of a system as a whole is determined by the functioning of each element of the system. It is recommended that the NGOs studied should focus on evoking demand for M&E information internally and externally, which inevitably would trigger supply of quality M&E information and its utilization amongst stakeholders.

KEY WORDS: NGOs; Monitoring & Evaluation systems; System Performance.


Abstract 9

A Study of the Impact of Gentrification on Small Ethnic Retail Grocery Stores in Regent Park
Morris DC Komakech

Morris DC Komakech

Morris DC Komakech, BscPT.,BScN.,MPH, University of Toronto, Canada
Email: mokoms@gmail.com

The Regent Park Revitalization is classical example of municipal efforts at urban community rejuvenation with inevitable gentrification. Regent Park is a 1950s Toronto neighbourhood characterized by large public housing stocks that are home to diverse ethnic populations. Local businesses comprising small ethnic retail grocers (SERGs) have symbolized the ethnic diversity and has sustained ethnic social spaces for identity formulation and food security.  This study examined the impact of the gentrification process on formal and informal relationships that allow for ethnic food security in Regent Park. Access to ethnic foods and nutritional practices are health equity issue, and determinants of chronic illnesses.

A qualitative research method with an exploratory interpretive approach guided the research. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, transcribed and analyzed. We conducted sixteen (16) one-on-one interviews with residents of Regent Park and ten (10) interviews with owners/managers of SERGS. The University of Toronto provided Ethics approval.

The process of gentrification was disrupting important ethic formal and informal relationships that sustained intimate relationships between residents and SERGs. These relationships were the foundation of ethnic food security because it allowed a social credit scheme that low income and impoverished residents relied on for ethnic food security. The availability and access to ethnic foods is a determinant of health and identity symbol for ethnic residents in Regent Park. The social credit scheme offered dignified access to ethnic foods, which residents valued over food banks.

It is important to study the health impact of gentrification on marginal ethnic communities. Revitalization destroys significant social spaces, ethnic symbols and neighborhood relationships that formulate and sustains ethnic identities. In Regent Park, the impact of gentrification on SERGS directly affects access to ethnic foods, which potentiates alteration in nutritional practices of the ethnic communities leading to high prevalence of chronic diseases.

KEY WORDS: Gentrification; Small ethnic retail grocery stores; Disruption; Marginalization; social credit scheme; Ethnic food security; Health equity; Chronic illnesses.


Abstract 10

Pathology of Placenta in Fetal and Neonatal Thrombocytopenia: Roles of Th17 Immune Responses, Anti-Platelet Antibodies and Angiogenic Factors
Issaka Yougbare(1,2), Wei-She Tai1, Darko Zdravic(1,2), Brian Vadasz(1), Heyu Ni(1,2,3)
(1)Department of Laboratory Medicine, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto
(2)Toronto Platelet Immunobiology Group, Canadian Blood Services
(3)Departement of Physiology and Medicine, University of Toronto , Toronto , Canada

Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) is a life threatening disease often leading to severe bleeding diathesis and/or miscarriage although the incidence of miscarriage has not been adequately studied. FNAIT is due to a maternal immune response against fetal platelet antigens. Antibodies and Th17 cytokines may target antigen positive trophoblasts and cause miscarriage, but this hypothesis has never been explored. Our hypothesis is that Th17 cytokines and platelet antibodies impair trophoblast invasion and placental function.

To verify our hypothesis, β3 integrin deficient female mice were immunized with wild-type (WT) platelets and bred with WT males. Placental vascularization and function were investigated by micro-computered tomography (CT) and echography. Angiogenic and Th17 cytokines, placental growth factor (PlGF) and fms-like tyrosine receptors (Flt-1) were detected by ELISA.

Our findings include:

  • Growth restriction and fetal loss only occurred in immunized mothers around embryo day E14.5.
  • Placentae of affected fetuses had significantly reduced vascularization and maternoplacental perfusion, as demonstrated by ultrasound and biotin perfusion. CT scans also confirmed a shadowy development of placental sponge capillaries.
  • Increased Th1 and Th17 responses were observed in immunized mice. These pro-inflammatory responses may contribute to trophoblast Flt-1 overexpression, which decreases plasma PlGF/sFlt-1 ratio.
  • E14.5, the end of organogenesis is concomitant with trophoblast invasion into spiral arteries, the remodeling of which is critical for healthy pregnancy.
  • Cytokeratin-7, a trophoblast marker was significantly decreased in the placentas of immunized mice, suggesting poor invasion. Interestingly, maternal intravenous immunoglobulin therapy ameliorated survival of FNAIT fetuses.


In conclusion, Th17 cytokines and β3 integrin antibodies impaired placental pro-angiogenic signaling and function and reduced trophoblast invasion may cause poor materno-placental perfusion and fetus loss in FNAIT.

Key Words: Fetal and Neonatal thrombocytopenia; immune responses; anti-platelet antibodies; angiogenic factors.


Abstract 11

Demystifying Cloud Computing Security Issues and Associated Risks of Adoption in the Virtualized Environment
Paschal Uchenna Chinedu

Paschal Uchenna Chinedu

Author: Paschal Uchenna  Chinedu
Institutional afflation: Federal University of Technology Owerri, FUTO Nigeria
Email: puchinedu@yahoo.com

As with any emerging technology, cloud computing offers a rare opportunity to rework security and IT controls for a better tomorrow. In an environment where information systems security and privacy has become paramount to enterprise customers, risk of unauthorized access to information in the cloud poses a significant concern to cloud computing stakeholders.  In order to combat the unavoidable threat concerns of the cloud computing stakeholders, this research prescribes the deployment of a cloud computing threat model. The proposed model was identified as relevant to all other computing environments. A survey was designed to identify and rank the various security, privacy, and forensic issues plaguing fears to the full adoption and deployment of this new computing paradigm. The survey was geared at the Nigeria marketplace among practicing IT professionals and organisations.

The research highlights and ranks some of the operational concerns for cloud users in Nigeria, and further suggests measures to raise the level of awareness and engagement around those concerns within the constituencies of various consumers of the services. However, the research further advocates that proper implementation of security, privacy, and forensic measures should not just be seen as the cloud providers’ sole concern, but the responsibilities of all consumers of the services. Thus, the paper prescribes techniques which could help cloud users maintain control of their data at rest or in transit within the cloud networks rather than outsource to external vendors as usual.


Abstract 12

Promoting Women’s Interests in Science Careers
Abbel Mujongola

Abbel Mujongola

Author: Abbel Mujongola

To solve the gender disparities in education, several policies were enacted by the Government of Uganda since 1990. These include affirmative action (1.5 points for entry to tertiary institutions), National Strategy for Girls’ Education (NSGE), Promotion of Girls’ Education (PGE) scheme, Equity in the Classroom (EIC) program, Girls’ Education Movement in Africa (GEM), and Girls and Focusing Resources for Effective School Health (FRESH).

With the above policies, the total enrollment of students (irrespective of gender) in Uganda’s universities and other institutions of higher education has improved from 1,888 in 1965 to 3,581 in 1970, 7,000 in 1980, 17,578 in 19991, and 34,773 in 1998. In 1991, female enrollment was only 28% and in 1998, the figure was 33%. The percentage of female students in tertiary institutions grew from 43.5% in 2008 to 43.8% in 2012.

 There is evidence that government policy initiatives have encouraged total enrollment of female students in Uganda’s schools. However, the percentage of female students enrolling in science programs in universities, higher institutions of learning and in science research, has not improved significantly. This pattern may be attributed to the fact that the female students are more willing to take up arts programs. In human resources, female scientists may not be assigned tasks in the presence of male scientists. This could be the reason for the fewer female science graduates in the country.

The design of policies for improving the interests of the girl child (target group) towards science careers and research requires strengthening research training especially in identifying the multi-level causal links such as parental influence, the influence of peers, the nature of subjects offered in high schools and, to some extent, gender roles and beliefs. The development of projects to aid policy formulation regarding the improvements in women’s interests in science careers in Uganda could also provide a solution to the problem.

Key Words: Science careers; gender disparities; education policies.


Abstract 13

Big Ideas of Science Education
Prof. Suad M. Sulaiman

Prof. Suad M. Sulaiman

Suad Suleiman
Science Education Programme, IAP (Global Network of Science Academies), Sudan

In response to concerns that many students did not find their science education interesting or relevant to their lives, a report of a workshop was published in 2009 1.  It identified some guiding principles, ten big ideas of science and four ideas about science and its applications.

Part of the problem recognized was an overcrowded curriculum that appeared to be a set of disconnected facts to be learned. Thus, part of the solution was to conceive the goals of science education not in terms of the knowledge of facts and theories, but as a progression towards understanding key ideas of relevance to students’ lives during and beyond their school years. These were identified as the ‘big ideas’ that should be understood by all students – not just those who go on to study science or take up science-based occupations beyond school – and equally by all, regardless of gender, cultural background or disabilities.

Rapid changes are taking place in education generally and science education in particular. Students are using digital technologies inside as well as outside the classroom; new frameworks for the curriculum are being implemented; computers are being used to extend the range of assessment; and there is further advance in understanding learning and how to bring it about.

To prosper in this modern age of innovation requires the capacity to grasp the essentials of diverse problems, to recognize meaningful patterns, to retrieve and apply relevant knowledge.

Finally, the global issues faced by humanity, such as climate change, health and population growth, create an urgent need for young people to have a basic understanding of the relevant scientific ideas, technological and ethical issues and powers of reasoning, to be prepared to face these issues.

Science education has the potential for helping the development of the required abilities and understanding by focusing on developing powerful ideas of science and ideas about the nature of scientific activity and its applications. Recognizing this provided part of a strong rationale for revisiting the big ideas identified in 2009 and particularly the implications for change in science education practice required for their implementation.

Working with Big Ideas of Science Education (2014) –  a report resulting from a further seminar and work by the same group – adds to  the earlier effort in setting out in greater detail the rationale for working towards big ideas and the implications of this for curriculum content, pedagogy, student assessment and teacher education.

Two key challenges concerning student assessment and teacher education were stated:

Student assessment:

In many countries there has been a constant increase in testing and the use of test results to set targets for teachers and schools, in the false belief that this will improve learning. Conventional tests and examinations present a series of disconnected questions or problems, which all too often encourage teaching of disconnected pieces of knowledge.

Teacher education:

When planning lessons, it is important for teachers to have in mind how the goals of individual lessons fit into a wider picture of more powerful ideas that can help students make sense of a broad range of related phenomena and events.

Understanding aspects of the world around helps individuals in their personal decisions that affect their health and enjoyment of the environment as well as their choice of career. The practice of questioning, seeking evidence and answers, and sharing views with others also contributes to building confidence and respect for themselves and others. Furthermore, the satisfaction of being able to see patterns in different situations and connections between them provides important motivation for learning during and beyond formal education.


Abstract 14

Fostering Youth Development with Science Education

By: Akena David Roy

Akena David Roy

 Uganda has one of the fastest growing youth populations in the world, composed of about 70% of the country’s population. Despite the fact that so many projects have come in place to solve the sky rocketing problem of unemployment, high poverty levels, and low levels of innovation there has been low possibility of success registered.

To determine the extent and implications to which science education would impact towards fostering youth development, we have undertaken the following study. Questionnaires and Interview guides were used. Coding and data entry was done using EPI data 3.1 while SPSS16 was used for analysis. The research was carried out in the sub-county of Anaka, Nwoya District located in Northern Uganda (region greatly affected by the 20-year war insurgencies by the LRA)

 A sample of 100 youth respondents of which 40 registered business success in the various activities of trading, farming, manufacture, etc. and the remaining 60 had difficulties to break even. Analysis was based on qualitative and quantitative methods. Success from the group of the 40-youth was attributed to the use of science knowledge to boost and promote creativity in business so as to develop a competitive edge.

Application of science knowledge to run economic activities opens grounds for innovation and creativity which yields success that pushes for development, hence it is very vital for fostering youth development and solving the impediments that accrue.

KEY WORDS: Youth Development; Science eduction; Economic activities.


Abstract 15

Caring for “Parentless Children”: A Salutogenic Exploration of the Experiences of Workers in Children’s Homes in Ghana

Ernest Darkwah

University of Bergen, Norway

The caregiving needs of Children without Parental Care (CWPC) in Ghana, as in other African countries, may well differ from those of children who have care from their biological parents in the same contexts. This is due to the often difficult conditions under which CWPC lose the care of their parents. The implication is that the jobs of people who work as caregivers in institutions that provide care for these children could be especially challenging. However, research and policy attention seems to have concentrated much on the safety, well-being and protection of the children to the neglect of the people who are employed to give them care. The lack of sufficient attention to the work situation of such caregivers has the potential to undermine efforts aimed at improving the lives of these children because their health and well-being are necessarily tied to the health and well-being of their caregivers.

This qualitative study is therefore intended to explore the experiences of people who work as caregivers to CWPC in children’s homes in Ghana from the salutogenesis theoretical standpoint. Forty-two workers of three different Children’s homes located in the northern and southern sectors of Ghana are targeted for participation. The rationale is to use this exploration to identify stressors, resources and factors such as variations in traditional cultural norms regarding child upbringing, organizational forms and funding sources of child-care institutions that may weigh in on the jobs of such workers. Data collection will involve participant observations, two focus group discussions, face-to-face interviews and document analysis. The collection of data from multiple sources using a combination of different qualitative methodology will help triangulation and improve the trustworthiness of the findings obtained. Using Nvivo 10, data will be analysed and Thematic Network Analysis (TNA) will be conducted to bring out emerging salient themes in the text at different levels.

KEY WORDS: Parentless children; Care giving; Care givers; Salutogenic exploration; Thematic network analysis.


Abstract 16

Lamwaka Alice Veronica

Lamwaka Alice Veronica

Diabetes Mellitus in Northern Uganda:  Evaluation of Risk Factors and Development of Assessment Tool for Early Diagnosis

Author: Lamwaka Alice Veronica

Institution: Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Gulu University, Uganda

The current diagnosis method of Diabetes mellitus (DM) is invasive and expensive in terms of the diagnostic kits and human resource for diabetes care. The study reported herein was conducted to determine the prevalence of DM, assess the general knowledge, attitude and practices on diabetes among the population of Northern Uganda, and use the data obtained to develop a simple, cost effective, non-invasive risk factor score tool for early diagnosis of DM. The tool is meant to identify individuals at high risk for undiagnosed diabetes and subsequently enroll these individuals in the entire health care system.

 The objective of the study was to develop a Risk Factor Score Tool for early diagnosis of Diabetes mellitus.

A multi-stage, cross-sectional survey involving 1260 subjects who met the selection criteria was carried out between the years 2010 and 2013 in the districts of Gulu, Kitgum, Lamwoo, Agago, Pader, Amuru and Nwoya in Northern Uganda. The data were collected using self-administered questionnaires to identify common presenting complaints and risk factors. A blood glucose test was then administered to confirm the diagnosis. A stepwise logistic regression analysis of case notes of known cases was done. The tool relies mainly on known risk factors that are easy to measure and non-invasive. It incorporates the following variables: age, cognitive impairment, abdominal obesity, hypertension, family history of diabetes, neuropathy, regular alcohol intake and smoking, large baby greater than 4kg, malaria attacks, body mass index, and regular infection. The validity and effectiveness of this tool were evaluated in the general population of the study area.

The crude prevalence of total DM was found to be 17.4% and almost 4/5th (872) of the cases were previously undiagnosed. This diabetes risk score tool was able to identify diabetes patients with 87% sensitivity and 77.7% specificity in predicting undetected diabetes. It was also observed that published risk scores by other researchers were not applicable to the population in Northern Uganda due to differences noted in the presenting complaint and detected risks to developing the disease such as cognitive impairment, episodes/frequency of malaria attacks and neuropathy.

It was concluded that the risk factor score tool developed in this study (hereafter known as ‘Northern Uganda DM Score Tool’ is a simple, cost effective, and non-invasive tool that will facilitate early diagnosis of diabetes in a large population in Northern Uganda within a short period of time. Further research is recommended to refine the tool so that it can be used in identifying people at risk of developing DM throughout Uganda.

KEY WORDS: Risk factors; Diabetes mellitus; diagnostic tool; ethnographic data; Northern Uganda


Abstract 17

A cluster random research to assess the impact of strengthening research training to improve

Komurubuga Hamfred

Komurubuga Hamfred

project development and education in Uganda.

Author:  Komurubuga  Hamfred


Research training and project development are important interconnected variables. It has been highly recognized that they share common drivers and increase of research training has in turn lead to increased project development. The study assessed the research training education impact on project development

Methods; From 2009-2014. A cluster randomized research was done in different villages of Bunyoro the western part of Uganda and basically interviewed 1240 people between 18-60 years.


Many projects were developed to perform as research training were introduced and are more others are formulated to help the local people. Such organizations included National Agricultural Advisory Organization ( NARO) in Bulindi Hoima, Caritas Foundation for Catholic Church, Bunyoro Kitara Development Association ( HODIFA), Hoima Fisheries Farmers Association (HFFA), Link Organization Uganda in Bujumbura Hoima among many others.

Many individuals locally started by developing different projects both for commercial use and home use. The projects formed along  included piggery, fish ponds, fruits growing and processing plant, poultry farms among others and many demonstration farms were opened at least in each Sub county and divisions with each possessing at least  two to help equip locals with exemplary skills and expertise.

The development of different projects has helped positively through providing jobs to both the elite and illiterates .i.e. 70% are practice farming, improving people standards of living atleast by 40%, enhancing house income by 35%, providing balanced food as families can grow their different food in small plots, providing extended services to farmers, linking market for commercial produced products among others.


Abstract 18

Sumaya Nakityo

Sumaya Nakityo

Inter-generational Sexual Relationships as a Driver of Teen Pregnancy in Post Conflict  Northern Uganda

Authors: Nakityo Sumaya and Trina Daniels, MD

Institutional/Organizational Affiliation: Makerere University, Kampala

Since 2006, Northern Uganda is gradually returning to a peaceful state as defined by absence of gun violence. However, domestic and sexual violence have remained pervasive leading to high teenage pregnancies. This study examines high prevalence of teen pregnancies as a form of sexual violence that characterizes inter-generational and transactional sexual relationships in Northern Uganda district of Pader. I conducted this study during a seven-month period working in a Not-for-Profit Maternal-Child health Clinic in Kitgum Town.


This study examined records of teenage mothers (13 – 18yrs) who reported at the maternal health clinic between January 2010 and January 2015. We identified 213 teen pregnancy cases from the records based on age recorded on medical chart at time of admission. The medical charts were screened for those that also contained the estimated age of the suspected father of the fetus/baby for which the teen mother sought care. The second phase of the study followed up with 20 of those mothers in their rural communes for a one-on-one interview.


Of the 213 records, 77% of the matched cases had couples’ age difference > 15 years, 12.5% had age differences > 10yrs, and 10.5% had age differences between 4-10years. This confirms that predominant sexual relationships in post conflict Northern Uganda comprises of inter-generational relationships. Given the high teen pregnancies and abortions at the clinic, this pattern should be of concern to policy makers and local authorities because it is disrupting the development of teen girls. In addition, the teen mothers identified abject and humiliating poverty, sense of insecurity, and lack of proper parental protection as the reasons they are trapped in inter-generational relationships. The findings contradict other findings where intergeneration relationships were motivated by transactional sex. Further, the high rate of HIV and STD prevalence among the pregnant teens, demonstrate their inability to negotiate for safe sex; to restrain their older partners from indulging in risky multiple sexual behaviours; and demonstrate that older males are a repository of sexually transmitted diseases. At the conference, I will share some proposed intervention strategies and recommendations for government and other stake holders.

Key Word: sexual violence, teen pregnancy, inter-generational, transactional sex, Northern Uganda

Professional Profile – I am Ms Sumaya Nakityo a student of Social Works at St Lawrence University in Kampala. I recently worked in field research in collaboration with Dr. Trina Daniels in Kitgum Hospital to study patterns of teen pregnancies and its social drivers. I conceptualized this study after realizing that most of the patients at the abortion clinic were teen mothers. Some were as young as 14 years old who were presenting with history of multiple pregnancies (Gravida and Parity). I hope to complete my studies and become a teen counselor at abortions and sexual health clinics, and an advocate for policies to prevent inter-generational relationships and practices. My interest in research is rooted in understanding gaps in health policies that permit inter-generational relationships at national and local government levels. I recognize that inter-generational relationships are mediated under repressive regimes that make young girls vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies, HIV and STIs.


Abstract 19

Reasons for Missing Appointments Among HIV positive mothers in Ugandan health Units

Author: Goret Nakate, Uganda

Institutional Affiliation: Electoral Commission, Kayunga District, Uganda


Success of any EMTCT program will not only depend on its accessibility but on the adherence of the prescribed interventions by the targeted HIV+ Mothers and their exposed babies. In 2013 MOH reported 50% of mother-baby pairs are lost to follow up.  Interventions to limit loss to follow up are key in achieving targets of the EMTCT program. This study aims at understanding reasons for missing clinic appointments among HIV+ mothers enrolled in the EMTCT programs in 9 health units. Our findings will believe will guide EMTCT program interventions to improve retention of in-care.


Nine health facilities were supported with air time to actively call patients in EMTCT 5days after missing their clinic appointments.  A patient tracking form was used to capture patient social demographic characteristics and reasons given for missing appointments. Reasons for missing appointments were categorized into social, health, and work related. Collected Data was entered in Excel and analyzed using STATA version 12


A total of 138 mothers were followed up 135 (98%) of which were reached. The mean age of mothers was 17 (SD 16.70). Fifty percent (50%) mothers reported social related reason as the main cause of failure to adhere to appointments; 37.12% reported health related reasons and 6.82% reported work related reasons, respectively. Nine (9%) did not give any specific reasons.  Temporary travel to village was the commonest (48%)social related response while poor mothers health(45%)  and being busy at work( 44%) were the main causes of missing appointments in the health and work related categories respectively


Social related reasons are a major hindrance to appointment adherence in EMTCT programs probably due to rural-urban migration.  Prior assessment to determine adherence should be conducted to allow for services to be tailored to meet client’s social, health and work circumstances.


EMTCT-Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS

PLWHA-People Living with HIV/AIDS


Abstract 20

Dr. Catherine Pauline Anena

Dr. Catherine Pauline Anena

Title: Overcoming Barriers to Women’s Interests and Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Careers: the case of Uganda 

Abstract prepared by

Author: Catherine Pauline Anena

Lecturer, School of Women and Gender Studies Makerere University Kampala

email: anenaodongo@yahoo.com


It is a known fact that women are under-represented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers across the world, and the situation is not different in Africa or Uganda in particular. Over the years, much effort has been put to uplift the level of interest and participation of women in STEM related disciplines and careers. In the case of Uganda for instance STEM related subjects are compulsorily taught in school upto senior 4 for both boys and girls, but still, fewer girls than boys perform well in these subjects or opt for STEM careers thereafter.  Efforts to rectify this imbalance in Uganda have included sensitization of communities, enhancing access for girls to education at different levels, lowering entry requirements for girls in science disciplines at tertiary institutions, making visible female role models in sciences, among other strategies. Despite these efforts however, participation rates for women in STEM careers have not yet equaled that of men. This paper, puts across several factors that explain the slow growth in interest and participation of women in STEM careers in Uganda. The paper argues that the key factors responsible for this imbalance are not being addressed or are being cursorily attended to with minimal impact. The paper then advances some suggestions for remedying the situation, based on findings of a study conducted in Uganda in 2014.


Abstract 21

Correlation of sonography of thyroid nodules with ultrasound aided fine needle non

Rita Nassanga

Rita Nassanga

aspiration cytology at Mulago Hospital, Uganda

Author: Rita Nassanga


Thyroid nodules are found in 41% of adults on ultrasound (US) and they carry a risk of malignancy that approximates 10%. Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy with more deaths annually than all other endocrine cancers combined. In Uganda the reported relative survival of patients with thyroid cancer after 5 years of diagnosis is 12.5% compared to 96.6% worldwide. Ultrasound is a standard imaging modality for nodules. Ultrasound guided Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (US-FNAB) is a reliable test for cytologic evaluation of thyroid nodules, however, inadequate samples may occur with the Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) technique and  thus Fine Needle Non Aspiration (FNNA) technique is recommended for a better diagnostic yield. The objective of this study was to correlate sonography of thyroid nodules with US guided FNNA cytology findings.

Materials and Methods

A cross sectional study was done in the Radiology department of Mulago Hospital. Final US aided-FNNA cytodiagnoses were benign, suspicious for malignancy, malignant, and inadequate. Sonographic characteristics included anteroposterior(AP) diameter, margins, echopattern, vascularity, calcifications and cervical lymphadenopathy. The smears were stained using Diff quick and Papanicolaou staining methods. All exposure variables were analyzed alongside the Cytology results using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS, version 18; SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA).


181 participants were enrolled and final diagnoses were concluded in 177 of the participants (analysed) while 4 participants were excluded due to inadequate samples. The participants’ age range was 19 to 83 years (mean age – 42 years ) and 93% were females. 5% (n=9) were malignant, 18% suspiscious (n=34) and benign (n=134). The sonographic characteristics that were significantly correlated with final cytology diagnosis were a taller than wide AP diameter, microcalcifications, heterogeneous and hypoechoic echopatterns. Heterogeneous, hypoechoic and central vascularity had the highest sensitivity while wider than tall, anteroposterior diameter, no lymphadenopathy, and macro/no calcifications had the highest specificity.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Sonographic features of microcalcifications, taller than wide AP diameter, central vascularity and hypoechogenicity warrant US-FNNA. A bigger study correlating thyroid sonography with histological diagnosis is recommended.


Abstract 22

Women Leadership in Science: From Challenge to Success 

Eucharia U. Kenya

Eucharia U. Kenya

Author: Eucharia U. Kenya

Institution: Embu University College, Embu, Kenya

Closing the leadership gap for women is one of the challenges of our time. Unfortunately, advances in formal training have not always translated to equal advances in leadership for women in science-based careers. Women have additional challenges that men are less likely to encounter and these include, among others: Discrimination, stereotyping, dual-career and lack of equal opportunities in most sectors.

Information for this paper is based on desktop review of major studies conducted in this area of study that seeks to identify and lend practical solutions to the challenges women face in getting the right balance for work and family as they strive to pursue a science career. The presentation will discuss these issues through an approach that explores 10 key areas that optimize success: education, mentor and role modeling, recognizing that the key to success is the same for women and men, understanding that women are programmed for success, appreciating that women are viewed as being more credible, finding stamina to stay the course and not quit, believing in one’s self and remaining focused on the task, learning to build and maintain functional teams, and investing in people.  The author’s experiences that spans over 30 years will enrich the discussion.

One of the greatest sources of empowerment is knowledge.  Being in a position to acknowledge that the path has been worked by others before you is always a means of inspiration.  The major successes we learn about seem to come from the world of business. The presentation encourages women to do science with a business approach.

KEY WORDS: Women leadership; women additional challenges; empowerment; kenya.

Professional Profile – Professor Eucharia Kenya

Prof. Eucharia Kenya is currently the Deputy Principal in charge of Planning, Administration and Finance, at Embu University College.  She is a Professor of Biotechnology with expansive international experience and expertise on Biosafety and Biosecurity issues.  Previously she taught at the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, for over 10 years.  During this period, she supervised over 30 postgraduate students and published several peer-reviewed papers.  She has attracted substantial grants that have benefited many students in the greater East African Region and fostered collaborative projects and partnerships that have contributed in strengthening capacity in different aspects of biotechnology.

She is a very active player in the agricultural biotechnology sector in Kenya and served as a member of the steering committee under the Ministry of Agriculture, that developed the ‘Agricultural Biotechnology Awareness Strategy for Kenya (2008)’.   She was deeply involved in the discussions that culminated in the enactment of the Kenya Biosafety Act (2009) and has also participated on regional efforts at harmonizing these laws.

As an educator, she has participated in many outreach activities to key biotech stakeholders including policy makers & technocrats, parliamentarians, scientists, teachers, farmers and the media. These activities have covered areas spanning General Biotechnology, Risk Communication (Safety of GM technology), Media Relations (for Scientists), the Art of reporting Science (for journalists), Policy formulations and Regulatory landscaping and Practice in Africa, with reference to adoption of GM Technology/Biosafety and Biosecurity.

Prof. Kenya is a founding member of the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa, a flagship project of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

On the international scene, she has been very active in the activities of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and is a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention Coalition.  Her thrust in these organizations is to articulate the need for increased capacity strengthening and enactment of laws that will enable African countries gain from international efforts by the global community in making everywhere safe for human existence.


Abstract 23

Beverly Marion Ochieng

Beverly Marion Ochieng

Perceptions of Health Stakeholders on Task Shifting and Motivation 

of Community Health Workers in Different Socio-Demographic Contexts in Kenya (Nomadic, Peri-Urban and Rural Agrarian)

Authors: Beverly Marion Ochieng1*, Edith Akunja1, Nancy Edwards2, Diana Mombo1, Leah Marende1, Dan CO Kaseje1

Institution: Great Lakes University of Kisumu

The shortage of health professionals in low income countries is recognized as a crisis. Community health workers are part of a “task shift” strategy to address this crisis. Task shifting in this paper refers to the delegation of tasks from health professionals to lay, trained volunteers. In Kenya, there is a debate as to whether these volunteers should be compensated, and what motivation strategies would be effective in different socio-demographic contexts, based type of tasks shifted. The purpose of this study was to find out, from stakeholders’ perspectives, the type of tasks to be shifted to community health workers and the appropriate strategies to motivate and retain them.

This was an analytical comparative study employing qualitative methods: key informant interviews with health policy makers, managers, and service providers, and focus group discussions with community health workers and service consumers, to explore their perspectives on tasks to be shifted and appropriate motivation strategies.

The study found that there were tasks to be shifted and motivation strategies that were common to all three contexts. Common tasks were promotive, preventive, and simple curative services. Common motivation strategies were supportive supervision, means of identification, equitable allocation of resources, training, compensation, recognition, and evidence based community dialogue. Further, in the nomadic and peri-urban sites, community health workers had assumed curative services beyond the range provided for in the Kenyan task-shifting policy. This was explained to be influenced by lack of access to care due to distance to health facilities,

The study concluded that inclusion of curative tasks for community health workers, particularly in nomadic contexts, is inevitable but raises the need for accreditation of their training and regulation of their tasks.

KEY WORDS: Health care task shifting; Health professionals’ shortage; Motivation strategies; Curative tasks.


Abstract 24

The Centrality of African Indigenous Knowledge in Development

Author: Prof Njoki Wane

Dr. Njoki Wane

Dr. Njoki Wane

Institution: University of Toronto, Canada

In the past few years, indigenous knowledge as a body of knowledge has been viewed as significant in the development discourse. Many Indigenous scholars have argued on the centrality of indigenous knowledge and its importance not only in development, but in all fields of education, even science. For example African Indigenous Education prepares youth for adulthood with an emphasis on spiritual and moral values, social responsibility and the importance of a collective way of thinking (Adeyemi, 2003; Boateng, 1996). Are there any scientific bases on how Africans prepared their youth? Are there any convergences between these two bodies of knowledge? Also, in the world of development, one of the latest strategies is the inclusion of indigenous knowledge base of the local people. Are there scientific justifications for doing this?

This presentation is an entry point to a discussion on the importance of African Indigenous Knowledge in the development. In this presentation, I argue that there is a need to go beyond the dichotomies’ tension that exists between indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge. In order to move beyond the dichotomy, it is necessary to view Indigenous Knowledge as a body of knowledge that is both theoretical and practical.

KEY WORDS: Indigenous knowledge; Centrality; Development discourse; Youth and adult preparation; Dichotomy western-indigenous knowledge.


Abstract 25

Linkage-to-Care Services for HIV Positive Clients After HIV Counseling and Testing in Ugandan HIV Clinics

Author: Nakandi Lydia 



Institution: Electoral Commission, Kampala, Uganda

 Linkage of HIV positive clients to care after HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) provides a gateway to care and treatment services, which improves the patients’ quality of life. Linkage services are however still weak in UPMB facilities, which leaves many HIV positive clients not enrolled after testing. This study seeks to assess the effectiveness of strategies used by UPMB HIV clinics for linking newly diagnosed HIV-positive individuals into HIV care.

Data were obtained from routine clinic registers from seven UPMB health facilities on patients who were diagnosed with HIV at the antenatal care, maternity and outpatient departments between January and June 2013. Median time to enrollment was calculated by comparing the date of HIV diagnosis in the HCT register to the date of enrollment in the Pre-Anti-Retroviral (ART) register. Factors that affect enrollment and strategies to improve enrollment after HCT were obtained from health care worker interviews.

 Out of 1,441 patients diagnosed with HIV in the study period, 905 (62%) enrolled into care and treatment. From a sample of 96 client records, the median time between testing and enrollment was zero (0) days (IQR 0–2). The major barriers for enrollment were long distance from the health facility and patient not being ready for enrollment. Key strategies to improve linkage to care included good counseling and follow-up by nurses and community volunteers through home visits and phone calls.

 Only 62% of diagnosed HIV patients from seven UPMB health facilities had enrolled into care within 90 days of diagnosis. Improving linkage to care and treatment after HIV diagnosis is needed to increase access to ART.

KEY WORDS: Linkage to care services; HIV counseling and testing; Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau.


Abstract 26

Validity of Sonographic Measurement of the Optic Nerve Diameter in Detecting Raised Intracranial Pressure Among Adult Patients Undergoing Brain CT Scan at Mulago Hospital.  

Author: Balyejusa Stephen Wilson, MD

Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda

 The optic nerve is part of the central nervous system (CNS). A rise in intracranial pressure (ICP) can directly affect the peri-optic nerve space, leading to an increase in nerve diameter. The optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) is influenced by cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) pressure variation. Ultrasonography may prove to be a reliable means to measure ONSD and has been proposed as a non-invasive method to detect raised ICP due to various etiologies.

The objective of this study was to determine the sonographic measurement of the optic nerve sheath diameter among adults at Mulago hospital, and establish the diagnostic accuracy of ONSD sonography in detecting raised ICP.

The methodology employed is a descriptive cross-sectional study. Adult patients at Mulago Hospital due for Brain CT scan were consented to have the ONSD of both eyes assessed by ultrasound scan. All patients who had brain CT scan underwent optic nerve ultrasound. Patients with normal and raised ICP were identified. The findings were related to ONSD.

324 participants were recruited. Results were analyzed using SPSS II with the assistance of a statistician. ONSD sonography has a sensitivity of 88.3%, specificity of 66.7%, positive predictive value of 55.0%, and negative predictive value of 92.4%. The upper limit of the ONSD was 4.5mm.

It is concluded that ONSD sonography is very useful in screening, diagnosis and follow- up of patients with raised ICP, and should be considered as a relatively cheaper non-invasive initial diagnostic tool in the diagnosis of raised ICP.

KEY WORDS: Sonography; Optic nerve; intracranial pressure; Uganda


Abstract 27

The role of KidzAlive Intervention in Facilitating the Full Delivery of Pediatric HIV Services in South Africa: Learned Lessons from a Work-in-Progress

Stephanie Thomas1, Sandy Watt2, Ganzamungu Zihindula3 & Matlaleng Lithebe4

Zoe-Life Authentic Abundance- Unit;

College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa

The KidzAlive intervention is a flagship of the Zoe-Life organization. The intervention focuses on addressing the challenges of pediatric HIV facing the public health sector of South Africa. The program was introduced in 2008 and to date it has been implemented at a few facilities in different provinces across South Africa.

Based on its technicality and uniqueness, the intervention has proven to be a positive solution to the pediatric HIV problems.  Data collected from sites where the intervention has been implemented show a strengthened health system. High uptake of HCT, increase in disclosure between caregivers and children, reduction in new infections and an improved adherence to treatment by children and adolescents.

This report therefore suggests that the rollout of the intervention countrywide will contribute toward a total eradication of pediatric HIV in South Africa.

KEY WORDS: KidzAlive, Pediatric HIV, Zoe-Life, Service delivery, South Africa


Abstract 28

Barriers to Diagnosis, Treatment and Retention in Care of HIV-infected Children Age 0-14 in South Africa: A Critical Review

1Stephanie Thomas, Ganzamungu Zihindula2, Matlaleng Lithebe3 & Sandy Watt4

Zoe-Life Authentic Abundance- Unit 1

College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa

A third of South Africa’s population is below the age of 15 years and more than 410,000 children aged 0-14 are living with HIV. Only 45.1% of these children had access to ART, implying that 54% of children living with HIV have no access to treatment and had potentially not been tested.

This research was conducted in order to identify and classify the level-based barriers to addressing pediatric HIV in South Africa and to propose a solution to reduce the prevalence of the epidemic.

The study used existing qualitative and quantitative data and other international organizations’ reports for analysis. A total of 14 documents were critically reviewed and analysed qualitatively through content analysis. The findings identified challenges at four levels including: Facility, Community, Provincial and National levels. The report’s results recommend a multi-sectorial collaboration, training and mentoring of health care providers in pediatric HIV services provision, as well as a prioritization of children’s health from national to district level.

Key words: HIV treatment, Retention in care, Pediatric HIV, South Africa, Access to ARVs, Barriers to diagnosis


Abstract 29

Lessons from the Field: Six Major Barriers to the Implementation of Family Support Intervention in Addressing Pediatric HIV in Semi-Rural Areas of South Africa

Ganzamungu Zihindula1, Matlaleng Lithebe2, Stephanie Thomas3 and Sandy Watt4

Zoe-Life Authentic Abundance- Unit 1

College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa

South Africa is home to approximately 1.4 million children and adolescents infected with HIV and even more socially, psychologically, economically and emotionally affected by the virus, yet only less than 50% of them are on treatment. The Zoe-Life has developed a tool called “Family Support Intervention [FSI]” to facilitate HCT uptake, disclosure and adherence to treatment by children.

This study was conducted in order to identify and document the main barriers that have failed the implementation of FSI.

A qualitative study was conducted at the one-thousand hills community helpers, located in the Valley of Thousand Hills in KwaZulu-Natal province, and data were collected through in-depth interviews with 15 children’s psychosocial and health service providers. Data analysis was done through thematic analysis.

The study’s findings identified six main barriers namely: lack of training of staff in pediatric HIV, community care givers feeling untrusted with the facilitation of the groups, non-supportive management, very short time to meet with the groups, transport to the facility, and the non-prioritization of children health services.

We conclude that the implementation of public health programs such as FSI and specifically pediatric HIV in South Africa faces countless challenges, yet the goal of any health care system is to provide universal access to age-appropriate, efficient, effective and quality health services, in order to improve and promote people’s health and specifically that of children. Recommendations for improvement will be made.

Key Words: FSI, Pediatric HIV, Barriers to treatment, 1000 hills, South Africa


Abstract 30

Access to Health Care Services by Refugees in Southern Africa: A Literature Review

Ganzamungu Zihindula1, Anna Meyer-Weitz2 and Olagoke Akintola3

School of Applied Human Sciences, Discipline of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban- South Africa.

School of Human and Social Development, Nipissing University, North Bay, Canada

Programs for Appropriate Technologies in Health (PATH) South Africa & Zoe-Life Authentic Abundance

This study was conducted in order to understand the dynamics of each country in Southern Africa by documenting barriers facing refugees in accessing health care services and aiming to make policy recommendations based on findings.

A desktop search was conducted through which papers using both qualitative and quantitative methods were gathered for analysis. A total of sixty-four (n=64) papers were generated out of which only twenty-two (n=22) were considered for analysis. NVIVO software was used for analysis as it allowed the coding and grouping of findings under themes. The emerging themes included: availability, affordability and acceptability.

These results suggest that access to formal health care services remains a challenge for refugees in Southern Africa. If identified barriers are not addressed they will continue to affect the health of both the citizens and refugees negatively.

Key Words: Refugees, Health care services, Health seeking behavior, Refugees’ rights policies, Southern Africa


Abstract 31

HIV/AIDS Perceptions and Vulnerability of DRC Refugees in Durban, South Africa

Ganzamungu Zihindula, Kwaku Oppong Asante and Anna Meyer-Weitz

In South Africa, public perceptions of HIV/AIDs and people living with the virus have changed significantly but the refugees’ communities are mostly left out, creating a sense of fear and vulnerability.

Using an exploratory qualitative approach, this study explores HIV/AIDs perception and vulnerability among refugees living in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

A semi-structured interview was conducted with 31 purposively sampled participants consisting of 24 males and 7 females, aged 23 to 60 years. The results from thematic analysis revealed that low perceived risk of HIV infection, fear of knowing HIV status and its associated stigma, lack of HIV prevention information and inadequate knowledge about HIV were identified as factors that make refuges vulnerable to HIV infection.  These findings underscore the need for culturally appropriate HIV treatment, awareness, and education and prevention programs for refugees living in South Africa with particular focus on gender and power dynamics within relationships.

Key Words: HIV/AIDs perception, Vulnerability, Refugees, South Africa and the DRC


 Abstract 32

Policy on Refugees and Access to Health Care Services by Congolese Nationals Living in Durban South Africa

Ganzamungu Zihindula1, Olagoke Akintola2, Anna Meyer-Weitz3

School of Applied Human Sciences,

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa.

This paper examines the experiences and factors hampering access to health care services by Congolese nationals living as refugees in Durban, South Africa and the effects of South Africa’s health policy on their rights to health care.

Qualitative data used for this study come from interviews with 31 refugees and 4 doctors employed by governmental hospitals and operating private practices around Durban city. Data analysis was done through Framework analysis.

The findings suggest that refugees fail to access health care services due to four main reasons: lack of awareness of the health policy on refugees, a gendered perspective in policy knowledge, denied right to health care services, and denied treatment based on policy. The results lead to a conclusion that policies on refugees in South Africa remain a challenge calling for governmental entities and other organizations that deal with refugees to raise awareness of the policy in order to facilitate the latter’s access to health care services in South Africa.

Key Words: DRC, Health policy, Refugees, Access to healthcare services, South Africa


Abstract 33

The Invisible Voices: Trauma, Distress and Everyday Experiences of DRC’s Refugees Denied Access to Healthcare Services in Durban, South Africa

Ganzamungu Zihindula1, Lucinda Johns2 Olagoke Akintola3 and Anna Meyer-Weitz4

School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041

This research was conducted in order to explore the experiences of previously traumatized and stressed refuges who are denied access to healthcare services. With focus on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s nationals based in Durban, South Africa, the study documented valuable information related to unmet mental health needs of the refugee community.

A qualitative research methodology was adopted. Thirty-one (n=31) in-depth interviews were conducted gathering extensive data that were analyzed through thematic analysis.

The findings revealed that refugees with mental health needs are not receiving related healthcare services. Their denied access and utilization of mental healthcare care is driven by medical xenophobia, discrimination, communication and documentation. These aspects were identified as the main causes of multiple trauma and distress among the already traumatized refugee community.

We conclude that addressing the above-mentioned barriers and providing refugees with psychological rehabilitation should be prioritized. This could ultimately improve their ability to conduct daily activities and contribute to their socio-economic development and that of the entire country.

Key Words: Mental health, Trauma and distress, Access to healthcare, Refugees, Psychological rehabilitation, DRC and South Africa


Abstract 34

Influence of Sensitization on Nodding Disease intervention in Akwang Sub County, Northern Uganda

Oroma Helixs

Diocese of Kitgum-Church of Uganda, Northern Uganda  

Helixs Oroma

Helixs Oroma

Nodding disease is an illness that primarily affects children between the ages of 5 and 15 years. In 2009 the Uganda Ministry of Health (MoH) observed that in Kitgum and Pader Districts, there was a progressive disease characterized by head nodding, seizure, mental retardation and stunted growth.  The disease is also known to reduce the victims’ memory capacity hence keeping them out of school.

My presentation will focus on the intervention that we carried out in the community of Akwang sub-county, Kitgum District. The objective of the intervention was to dispel the phobia that the disease was contagious or caused by witchcraft, and empower the affected households with livelihood/basic hygiene skills to adequately cater for the patients.

 We recruited 150 households with nodding disease patients. The households were divided into five groups comprising 30 members (parents of nodding disease patients).  The five groups were given lists of questionnaires to complete about the nodding disease, their views on possible causes, and care strategies. The survey outcome was tabulated into key themes. It is the key themes that helped us identify the challenges being faced by the community in handling nodding disease patients.

Basing on the survey outcome, we designed a training toolkit for the five groups. The training toolkits focussed on dispelling the myth that the disease is caused by witchcraft or contagious and providing proper care for the patients. We liaised with Kitgum District health office to avoid duplication of service. The outcome/follow up of the intervention will be discussed.

Key Words: Nodding disease, Nodding syndrome, Income generating activities, Care for nodding patients.


Abstract 35

Prevention Strategies to Reduce New HIV/AIDS Infections in Atanga Sub County, Pader District

Otim Denis

Diocese of Kitgum-Church of Uganda, Northern Uganda 

According to the Department of Health Pader District, Atanga Sub County has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection in Pader Pistrict, Northern Uganda. The reason for the high rate of infection is attributed to its central location on the highway to Gulu district and Southern Sudan. Trading activity is skyrocketing in this centre with many truck drivers plying the route to Southern Sudan spending nights in this centre. As such, prostitution is on the increase.

For our intervention, we were able to recruit one thousand people for the project. First, we conducted a survey through distribution of questioners to two hundred couples and six hundred mature single boys and girls who were preparing for marriage to understand their sexual life, fidelity/infidelity, and their attitude towards use of condoms.  The finding from the survey was foundational to understanding the mental attitude of participants/community in relation to safe sex practices.

Basing on the above, we derived a training skills code named “faithful house training”. The objective of the faithful house training was to make participants understand the risks of having multiple concurrent sexual partners. It was also meant to bring participants into a proactive discussion of the dangers of embodying some traditional myths and practices such as, a man is only considered strong when he has more than one wife/sexual partner and many children. The intervention involved voluntary and “forceful” counseling and testing of participants. The training was residential and lasted one week with a three years’ follow up.

I will discuss the results of the intervention which among others includes: no new infection among our participants in a span of three years, increased household income due to shared productivity among couples participating in our program, change of mental attitude towards voluntary counseling, and testing to dispel discordance of status etc.

Key Words: HIV/AIDS, voluntary counseling and testing, Discordance, Concurrent sexual partners.


Abstract 36

Promoting Women’s Interest in Science Careers

Gertrude Ongwara

Preceding research shows that educational progressions and careers are linked with one sex more than another. This is more appreciated within the fields of science, where male are often more toughly connected with these areas than female.  While data from developed countries confirm that progress is possible when effective strategies and sufficient resources are applied, in Africa significant gaps in women’s interest in science continue to widen. Even among those who claim to hold gender-neutral views, research shows that they still hold implicit opinions that are gender-biased. Precisely, results mention that men decide to abandon scientific career ambitions due to financial constraints, whereas women abandon them as a result of public worthiness in their career choice. Most recent study depicts that the underrepresentation of women in science is usually accredited to their experiences during the fundamental and secondary years. Even though several researches document how women are lost from science during these critical years, it is not clear on what happens to the few of them who move to the tertiary levels with the intention of pursuing careers in the sciences.

This proposed research will use a cross-sectional analytical design. It will target college students with initial interest in scientific careers to investigate the factors that influence their choice during college, as well as how these factors hinder the progression through those careers. The research will also cover the social psychological barriers that block women’s interest, performance, and advancement in science, and also strategies put in place in Africa to promote women’s interests in science careers.

It is expected that this study will contribute to knowledge on the ongoing research efforts on education, and the information obtained from the study may be useful to agencies working in promoting women’s interest in science careers in Africa.

Key Words: Women, Science Careers, Cross-sectional analysis, Socio-psychological barriers.


Abstract 37

Building a Health-Promoting Schools’ Conceptual Framework Model as a Strategy to Address Barriers to Learning and to Promote Healthy Development of School-Aged Children in Rwanda

Egide Kayonga Ntagungira1, PhD and Prof. Patricia Struthers2

1University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Republic of Rwanda

2Extraordinary Professor, University of Cape Town, School of Public health, South Africa

After suffering almost total collapse. Rwanda has made impressive post-genocide progress. Many children of school-going age are now attending school, but regrettably, only half complete primary school. High numbers of orphans, disabled children and a growing number of children from child-headed households still suffer the consequences of the poverty inherited from the past. Other challenges such as HIV/AIDS, STIs, malaria, tuberculosis, enteric diseases, mental health problems, hunger and malnutrition, drugs and substance abuse, unwanted pregnancies, lack of support services, inflexible curricula and poor teaching methodologies contribute to learning breakdown.

The objective of this research study is to investigate the development of a health-promoting schools model to provide an appropriate strategy to address barriers to learning and to promote healthy development of school children in Rwanda. A mixed methods research design approach was used.

The study followed sequential implementation. In Phase 1, we identified the components for the model through four case study schools in Kigali City. The sample included 60 teachers, pupils, principals and parents from schools and nine key informants who were policymakers from the Ministries of Education, Health and Social Welfare, line institutions and the UNICEF. Focus group discussions, semi-structured, in-depth individual interviews, a transect walk and observations were used to collect data that were analysed through content analysis. Eight themes emerged out of the data. These themes informed the development of a health-promoting schools model. In Phase 2, we explored the degree of understanding of this proposed model in 92 public primary schools across the country through a cross-sectional survey. All the participants understood the model and its components.

The health-promoting schools model that has been developed could provide an appropriate strategy in Rwanda to address barriers to learning and to promote healthy development of school-aged children since it takes a holistic ecological approach to address barriers to learning at multiple systemic levels of influence.

Key Words: Health promoting schools, barriers to learning, promote health development, school-aged children, Rwanda.


Abstract 38

Remuneration of Health Care Workers and Moonlighting Practices in Urban Health Facilities of Cameroon

  1. B. Nkoumou Ngoa

University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon

Since the 1980s, moonlighting (the practice of having an additional form of employment outside of one’s primary workplace) of health care workers (HCWs), and the dissatisfaction of these HCWs with respect to their remuneration and working conditions have noticeably increased in Cameroon. Amongst others, moonlighting practices have adverse effects on the poor population in terms of inequity of access to health services.

This study evaluated the effect of financial remuneration of HCWs on the moonlighting practice in urban health facilities in Cameroon. It used a probit model. Incomes for the second jobs were observed only for those HCWs that were moonlighting. They will be imputed for all HCWs of the sample, but this method involves a selection sample bias. To address it, the two-step Heckman model was used. Data from 827 HCWs employed in public (46%) and private (54%) health facilities of Yaoundé were Douala are used for the study.

It was found that the remuneration of HCWs in their primary jobs has a negative but not significant effect on the decision to moonlight. Further, the remuneration of HCWs in the second job has a significant positive effect on the moonlighting decision (ME=72.72%).

            In conclusion, strategies to increase the remuneration of HCWs are not the main solutions to address the undesirable practice of moonlighting in urban Cameroonian health facilities. In order to retain HCWs in health facilities, non-financial incentives must also be developed.

Key Words: Health care workers; moonlighting practices; urban health facilities; Cameroon.


Abstract 39

Strengthening Research Training:  MicroResearch Training and Benefits at a Medical College in Ethiopia

Prof. David Zakus

Prof. David Zakus

Prof. David Zakus, BSc, MES. MSc, PhD

Professor of Distinction

Faculty of Community Services

School of Occupational and Public Health

Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Research is critically important to health development worldwide, and Africa in particular due to the current low level of research development, though it is growing.  A new type of research education has been put into practice in East Africa in the last five years, called MicroResearch, developed by scientists at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.  Recently (in November, 2014), it was introduced into Ethiopia at St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College as part of a large Canadian Government and University of Alberta sponsored program on Maternal and Child Health.  This two week program (of half days) was widely embraced both by administrators and participants.  As project director during this time I witnessed the great potential benefit to the 30 participants, the host institution and the nation at large.

This presentation will present an overview of the curriculum, its implementation, the demonstrated benefits to participants and the potential benefits to the organization, nation and region.

Key Words: MicroResearch training; health development; East Africa; Ethiopia.


Abstract 40

Fostering Collaborative Science Education Among African Institutions: Evidence from the “Host-Dependent” Science Education Model in Ghana 

Stephen Frimpong

Stephen Frimpong

Stephen Frimpong

Socio-economic Research Associate

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ghana

To foster collaborative capacity-building in science education and strengthen research in second cycle

institutions in Ghana, the government of Ghana in 1990 introduced a “Host-Depend” Science Education Model that established well-resourced science laboratories referred to as Science Resource Centers in selected senior high schools of high reputation across the country. The selected senior high schools hosting the science resource centers were to partner with less endowed schools to enable the less endowed senior high schools to use the facilities and, in some cases, serve as the center for writing external examinations for the dependent schools’ candidates. Although, the performance of science students in such “Host-Dependent” Science Education Model has generally improved, the gains in such improvement are mainly witnessed in the host institutions without corresponding improvement in the performance of the dependent schools.

In this study, the performance of 36 dependent schools in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination are assessed against their host institutions. A total of 84 science students (42 students from host institutions and the other 42 from dependent institutions) were randomly sampled for assessment of their understanding in laboratory concepts of science and to identify constraining factors to their effective utilization of the science resource centers. The classical linear regression model was used to simulate factors determining performance among schools in these models.

The preliminary result indicates significant differences in the understanding of laboratory concepts in science between science students in dependent and host schools (42% vs 17%, p=0.02). It was also identified that superiority by host school students, excessive peeping, hooting, shouting and insults at dependent school students upon arrival at host schools, also discouraged students in dependent schools, affecting their confidence, concentration and performance.

Key Words: Collaborative science education; host-dependent science education; science resource centers; constraining factors; Ghana


Abstract 41

Evaluation of a High Resolution Melting Point Assay (HRMA) for the Detection of Salmonella SPP in Domestic Animals in Kenya

Rinter Karimi, Joseph Kamau, Gerald Juma, and Atunga Nyachieo

Department of Biochemistry, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Salmonella species has been identified in Kenya as a common cause of bacteremia among immunocompromised individuals and infants, and in some cases has proven fatal.Various methods including culture and serological methods are currently available for the detection of Salmonella spp. Nevertheless, these methods are rather less sensitive and time consuming. More specific and recently developed DNA-based methods, though quite promising in speed, specificity and sensitivity, none has been identified in Kenya, for rapid diagnosis of Samonella spp. in domestic animals up to species level differentiation.

A rapid and sensitive diagnostic test is therefore required to measure the disease burden and allow prompt initiation of therapy in infected domesticated animals or animal products to avoid Salmonella transmission to the human population. A total of 697 fecal samples from domesticated animals including pigs, cattle, and poultry were used for the isolation of Salmonella serovars by culture and then confirmed by PCR. This was then followed by the design and development of a high resolution melting point assay (HRMA) method for the detection of the isolated Salmonella spp.

The HRMA primers were designed by a primer design software targeting three hyper-variable regions in 16S RNA gene. The Salmonella spp isolated were then used to evaluate the serovar differentiation capability of 16S PCR coupled with high-resolution melt analysis.The sensitivity of the developed technique was then evaluated by comparing the HRMA results against the currently used conventional methods such as PCR and culture.

The results indicate HRMA is more sensitive when compared to modern methods such as PCR or traditional ones like culture and morphological identification. HRMA not only detects presence but also discriminates the specific isolate (species), and could be a useful molecular diagnostic that could enhance the current prevalence surveillance, diagnostic, and treatment, of Salmonella species from domestic animals.

Key Words: High resolution melting point assay; salmonella SPP; molecular diagnostic; morphological identification; Kenya.


Abstract 42

Using African Indigenous Food Crops as Local Remedy Against Chronic Diseases:       Implications for Healthcare Systems in Ghana 

Suleyman Demi

Suleyman Demi

Suleyman Demi

University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

African Indigenous Food Crops (AIFCs) face imminent extinction due to negative perceptions about them (Voster et al., 2007). The decline in consumption of AIFCs has been implicated in the emergence and spread of chronic diseases in Africa (Rasche et al., 2007). The objectives of this paper are twofold: 1) to examine the potentials of AIFCs in addressing chronic diseases, particularly those associated with environment and lifestyle changes in Ghana, and 2) to determine the prospects and constraints facing the promotion of AIFCs in Ghana.

Using the theoretical prism of indigenous knowledge, this paper employs the methodology of document analysis to achieve the stated objectives. The study revealed the presence of abundant AIFCs, particularly indigenous green leafy vegetables, which contain various nutrients including phytochemicals and antioxidants that are good for preventing as well as minimizing the impact of chronic degenerative diseases in Ghana. However, knowledge of AIFCs is limited and depends on the following: location of the individuals (whether in rural or urban areas), age of the person (younger or elderly), gender (male or female) and occupation (on-farm jobs or professional workers).

The key factors identified as responsible for the low patronage of African indigenous foods include: stigmatization of African indigenous foods, lack of intergeneration knowledge transfer, impact of Western/formal education, impact of industrial agriculture, globalization of the world food system, and changes in lifestyle due to urbanization. The study recommends that Ghana Education Service should consider reviewing its curricula to stress the teaching of African indigenous knowledge, particularly regarding wild foods and their preparation, in schools and colleges.

Key Words: African indigenous food crops; remedy against chronic diseases; healthcare systems; Ghana.


Abstract 43

The Impact of Armed Conflict on the Development of Science Education Program in Northern Uganda 

Hon. Betty Pachutho Udongo (Ph.D.) B.Ed. (Science) Dar-es-Salaam University, MSc (Botany) Makerere University Kampala, Ph.D. (Science Education) Western Michigan University

Hon. Betty Pachutho Udongo (Ph.D.)
B.Ed. (Science) Dar-es-Salaam University, MSc (Botany) Makerere University Kampala, Ph.D. (Science Education) Western Michigan University

Hon. Dr. Betty Pachutho Udongo, PhD, University of  Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Armed conflict affects over 30 countries, and 80% of the world’s wars are in Africa and Asia. Destruction of educational infrastructure represents one of the most serious developmental setbacks for countries engaged in armed conflicts (UNESCO, 2003).

This study analyzed the impact of armed conflicts on the development of science education program in Uganda. The policies under study were “Compulsory Science Policy” and the “75% Sponsorship for Science-based Courses” at government universities during the 25 years of armed conflict in Northern Uganda.

The study employed a mixed method design where both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. Quantitative data were obtained from analysis of government policy statements. Qualitative data were obtained from surveys and interviews. The population samples were drawn from policy makers, central and local government officials, students and teachers from the war-ravaged Northern Uganda.

The findings revealed that Uganda did not have a Science Education Policy to guide the implementation of science education programs. The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy was launched in 2009, four years after this study was concluded. This meant that in the past, the implementation of science programs could have been haphazard, thus the observed poor performance in science subjects at all levels and the low enrollment in science-subjects at institutions of higher learning. The situation has been worst for students from Northern Uganda. This negative trend has implications for human resource development in science career such as medicine, engineering and agriculture which are key for economic development of the region.

Recommendation for developing future science education programs include: 1) curriculum reform and introduction of ethno-science, 2) retraining and retooling of science teachers in new trends in science education, 3) career guidance, counseling and mentoring in science careers 4) culturally relevant technology education, and 5) increased funding for evidence-based research in science education.

Key Words: Impact of armed conflict; development of science education; science education policy; Northern Uganda 

A science education scholar, a girl’s education practitioner and advocate for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and youths,  Hon. Dr. Udongo Betty Pacutho is a former Member of the 7th Ugandan Parliament representing Nebbi District in Northern Uganda where she served as the Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Committee of Defense and Internal Affairs between 2001- 2006.  She obtained a Doctorate in Science Education at Western Michigan University,USA in 2009.

Dr. Udongo has founded a number of organizations and companies both in Uganda and USA; NEBSTAR (www.nebstar.org) a non-profit Organization in Kalamazoo, Michigan, NUGEN (Northern Uganda Girls Education Network), Nebbi Standard Academy (NEBSTA) College to provide second chance education for war and AIDS orphans, the Prayer Clinic International (www.prayerclinic.org) which is a faith-based Non-profit Organization based in the United States, the Global Bazaar which is a business venture she established in 2008 and  also in the United States and NuVision Business Investment Solutions (NUBIS)U Ltd. She was a Consultant for UNOPHONE Uganda/Norway- “The Village Phone Project” 2002, VADIUM Technologies, USA – “Simple Unbreakable Encryption” for Digital Data Security,  2008 and AHEAD (Advancement of Higher Education and Development)  “The Uganda Education Pipeline Project” 2008.

She has several accomplishments; she is a former lecturer of Makerere University Business School and Makerere University School of Education, Department of Science and Technical Education. While at Makerere University, she served as the coordinator for Biology Program and the Assistant Coordinator for FEMSA (Females Education in Maths and Science in Africa). She was also an Executive Member of FAWEU (Forum for African Women Educationalist) and participated in recruiting girls from Northern Uganda for the Bursary scheme. She was also involved in a mentoring program for girls in conflict areas.

Dr. Udongo was among the first educators trained under the Ministry of Education as National facilitators for Life-skills Education which was aimed at empowering children and youth to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. She has participated in a number of projects under UNICEF-Uganda such as the Sara Communication Initiative project which was specifically aimed at empowering the girls to say “NO” to HIV/AIDS and the Child-friendly School project which was aimed at reducing school-drop-outs especially among girls. She participated in the establishment of COPE (Complementary Opportunities for Primary Education) centers for school drop outs.

Dr. Udongo is multi-talented and has cross-cutting skills. Her accolades include; Presidential Nalubale (L.Victoria) Medal of Honor Award, March 8th 2012, Uganda for her contribution toward Girl-Child Education and Women Empowerment. The Department Graduate Research and Creative Scholar Award, Western Michigan University, 2007-2008. Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWE) “Model of Excellence” from Northern Uganda Award, 2000. Finally, the “Pearl of Africa” Award, May 2013 for Leadership, Education and Charitable Contribution.

She established a retail shop called Global Bazaar which sells African Arts and Crafts to raise funds to support orphans at Nebbi Standard College in Nebbi, Uganda. She organized the first International Business Investment Conference and Expo 2012 at Amyway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapid, Michigan from 26th -29th April 2012 where the Deputy Speaker of Ugandan Parliament, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah was the guest of honor. The second International conference took place at Hilton Garden Inn O’Hare Airport in Chicago, from the 26th – 31st May 2013.  Contact: Email: udongob@yahoo.com; Tel: 256-775582283


Abstract 44

Physical Activity Among Urban Ugandan High School Students at Risk of Developing Sedentary Lifestyles

Author: Rose Amisiri

Rose Amisiri

Rose Amisiri

Kyambogo University Kampala, Uganda  

The education system in Uganda places more emphasis on successful exam results than it does on improving the health and physical development of its students. As a result, students are required to spend a significant amount of time engaged in homework and tutoring, which deprives them of opportunities to engage in physical activity. Consequently, Ugandan students become susceptible to leading sedentary lifestyles, which is a predisposing factor for obesity.

This study examined physical activity among first year high school students from a selected middle class urban community in Kampala, Uganda. School-related contributors of obesity, such as the number of hours per week spent on homework, number of hours per week students received tutoring, and the number of courses in which students were enrolled, were studied for a period of 1 year. This study also contrasted the number of hours per week spent in physical activities with the number of hours per week spent on homework.

It was found that students spent significantly more time engaged in homework than in physical activity. Furthermore, a negative correlation existed among hours per week spent on homework, hours per week engaged in tutoring sessions, number of courses taken, and physical activity. This negative correlation indicated that an increased course load and an increased amount of time spent on homework and tutoring were associated with lower levels of physical activity.

Based on the results of this study, the findings suggest that Ugandan high school students should be encouraged to balance physical activity with school studies in order to prevent sedentary lifestyles. This study has profound implications for education policy makers and curriculum designers.

KEY WORDS: Physical activity; Obesity; Students; Urban areas; sedentary lifestyle

Professional Profile

Rose Amisiri is a third year student in the Bachelors of Science in Sports and Leisure Management Program at Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda.  Her research interests are physical activity and health promotion among youth. She has completed several internships within urban high schools in Kampala City, where she encouraged high school students to increase their daily amount of physical activity. Rose recently completed a research study about physical activity among urban high school students at risk of developing sedentary lifestyles in Uganda. The results of her study indicated a negative correlation between physical activity and the amount of time students spent engaged in school-related variables.  Rose will be graduating from Kyambogo University this December.


Abstract 45

Use of Public Health & Afrocentric Methods to Increase Cancer Screening in an Immigrant Population 

Oluwatobi Rilwan Olaiya

Oluwatobi Rilwan Olaiya

  1. Nnorom1,2, O. Olaiya3, N. Shi1, A. Gebreyesus1, L. Gebremikael1

TAIBU CHC1, Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto)2, York University3

Numerous studies have demonstrated that immigrant populations are generally less likely to undergo cancer screening, compared to the Canadian-born population. TAIBU Community Health Centre serves the Black community in the Greater Toronto Area as well as the local, largely immigrant, populations of Scarborough. TAIBU’s cancer screening rates were previously low but are improving steadily over time, by applying public health frameworks and integrating them with our organizational values (mainly Afrocentric) in order to improve our internal screening practices and ultimately, community outcomes.

Our objectives were to increase breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening rates at TAIBU CHC. For this purpose, the following comprehensive strategy was used to increase screening rates: (1) Establishment of a staff Preventive Taskforce; (2) Assessment of barriers and promising practices including: provider audits, education, a patient call-back system, identification of community partners to reduce transportation costs, informing patients of the availability of same-gender provider options for screening procedures; (3) Establishment of a Quality Improvement approach using the Plan-Do-Study-Act framework; and (4) Provider and patient engagement using an Afrocentric “collective village” values-based approach.

The results of this study showed that cancer screening indicators at TAIBU CHC were relatively low in the 2012/13 fiscal year (Breast: 24.84%; Cervical: 56.01%; Colorectal: 24.57%) and increased substantially in the 2014/15 fiscal year to 63.05%; 57.25%; and 64.79%, respectively. Although CHC indicators are based on services offered, a cross-sectional chart review was also conducted to assess completion rates. Among the patients offered breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening, 90.10%, 96.75% and 83.64% completed the screening tests, respectively.

We conclude that  by establishing a Preventive Taskforce of TAIBU CHC staff who designed a comprehensive, evidence-informed cancer screening initiative grounded in organizational cultural values, we were able to almost triple breast and colorectal screening rates in an otherwise under-screened immigrant population.

Key Words: Cancer screening; immigrant populations; breast, cervical and colorectal cancer; Afro-centric methodology.


Oluwatobi Rilwan Olaiya is a nursing graduate from York University and is currently pursuing a

degree in Biology. He has a passion for preventative medicine and primary health care; sitting in his nursing lectures learning about health disparities he always believed, we should prevent more and treat less.

His presentation will explore how population health frameworks and community-centered approaches/Afrocentric approaches, can lead to quality improvement. Numerous studies have demonstrated that immigrant populations are generally less likely to undergo cancer screening, compared to the Canadian-born population. TAIBU Community Health Centre serves the Black community in the Greater Toronto Area as well as the local, largely immigrant, populations of Scarborough. The research presented will demonstrate how a Taskforce of front-line workers was composed to assess and optimize internal screening practices and ultimately, improve community outcomes.

Our objectives were to increase breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening rates at TAIBU CHC. For this purpose, the following comprehensive strategy was used to increase screening rates: (1) Establishment of a staff Preventive Taskforce; (2) Assessment of barriers and promising practices including: provider audits, education, a patient call-back system, identification of community partners to reduce transportation costs, informing patients of the availability of same-gender provider options for screening procedures; (3) Establishment of a Quality Improvement approach using the Plan-Do-Study-Act framework; and (4) Provider and patient engagement using an Afrocentric “collective village” values-based approach.

The results of this study showed that cancer screening indicators at TAIBU CHC were relatively low in the 2012/13 fiscal year (Breast: 24.84%; Cervical: 56.01%; Colorectal: 24.57%) and increased substantially in the 2014/15 fiscal year to 63.05%; 57.25%; and 64.79%, respectively. Although CHC indicators are based on services offered, a cross-sectional chart review was also conducted to assess completion rates. Among the patients offered breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening, 90.10%, 96.75% and 83.64% completed the screening tests, respectively.

We conclude that  by establishing a Preventive Taskforce of TAIBU CHC staff who designed a comprehensive, evidence-informed cancer screening initiative grounded in organizational cultural values, we were able to almost triple breast and colorectal screening rates in an otherwise under-screened immigrant population.

Key Words: Cancer screening; immigrant populations; breast, cervical and colorectal cancer; Afro-centric methodology.


Abstract 46

Michaela Hynie

Prof. Michaela Hynie

Community-Based Approaches in Health and Well-Being in East Africa.

Prof. Michaela Hynie

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Associate Director, York Institute for Health Research, York University

Community based approaches to health and well-being are valued because they increase the local relevance, appropriateness and acceptability of social and health strategies through the engagement of populations in defining and addressing local needs (Israel et al., 1998; Nichter, 2008). However, community based approaches vary widely in terms of who is defined as community, how community is engaged, and the kinds of activities (e.g., health interventions versus research) that are enacted using community based approaches. This symposium includes presentations from three different projects highlighting the different approaches to community engagement in health and well-being that we have been undertaking in East Africa. All share an approach that combines research and intervention, a focus on local and community based solutions, and strategies to ensure sustainability. We will then reflect on the challenges and strengths of international partnerships conducting community based health related research in this region.


Michaela Hynie is social and cultural psychologist in the Department of Psychology, York University, Associate Director of the York Institute for Health Research (YIHR) and founder and Director of the YIHR’s Program Evaluation Unit. Dr. Hynie is interested in engaged scholarship; working in partnership with students, communities and organizations, both locally and internationally, on research addressing complex social issues. Her work centres on the relationship between different kinds of social connections  (interpersonal relationships, social networks) and resilience in situations of social conflict and displacement, and interventions that can strengthen these relationships in different cultural, political and physical environments. This includes work on culture, migration and health inequities; climate change adaptation; and social integration of refugees. Dr. Hynie’s work has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Grand Challenges Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Lupina Foundation, and a range of health and human services agencies.


 Abstract 47

Synthesizing Local and International Social Work Theory and Practice in Rwanda 

Susan McGrath

Prof. Susan McGrath

Joseph Hahirwa, Charles Kalinganire, Charles Rutikanga, Alexandre Hakizamungu (University of Rwanda); Regine Uwibereyeho King (University of Manitoba), Suzanne Dudziak (St. Thomas University), Nimo Bokore, Michaela Hynie and Susan McGrath (York University)

This three-year research project funded by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada seeks to promote professional social work practice and education as part of the social reconstruction efforts in Rwanda to improve health and well-being.

The objectives of our project are: 1) documentation of the social work practices with Rwandan practitioners, 2) synthesis with regional practices to create new understandings and knowledge, 3) promotion of public understanding of the role of social work, 4) the engagement of Rwandan policy makers in responding to needs and issues, and 5) contribution to global social work knowledge.

We are a team of academics at the University of Rwanda (UR) and 3 Canadian universities (York, Manitoba, St. Thomas) with an advisory group of social work practitioners in Huyé Rwanda who are affiliated with the Centre for Social Work Education and Practice, which was established at UR in 2011. This is a qualitative study involving interviews with 19 social work practitioners and a series of focus groups and workshops.  The workshops of the team members with local practitioners have created a thematic analysis of the key concepts that inform local practices. The overarching analysis is about framing these findings in the context of contemporary theories in critical international social work including social development and identifying points of synthesis.  This work is expected to inform social work practice globally and of interest particularly in post-conflict settings.

Susan McGrath  Bios

Susan McGrath is a Professor in the School of Social Work at York University where she served as Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies from 2004-2012. She has extensive experience as staff and volunteer in the non-profit sector including serving as President of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration and chair of the board of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. Professor McGrath works internationally currently as the lead of three research projects all funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council: a global network of refugee researchers and practitioners, a collaborative social work project in post-genocide Rwanda and a ‘big data’ initiative studying forced displacement in Iraq. In 2014, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her contributions.


Abstract 48

Benoite Umubyeyi

Benoite Umubyeyi

A Community Based Intervention for Maternal Depression in Rwanda 

Donatilla Mukamana1, Benoite Umubyeyi1, Marie Claire Gasanganwa1, Providence Umuziga1, Laetitia Nyirazinyoye1, Darius Gishoma1 Fidele Ngabo2, Yvonne Kayiteshonga2, Jean Damascene Iyamuremye2, Jeanne d’Arc Dusabeyezu2

Michaela Hynie3,  Yvonne Bohr3, Susan McGrath3, Marcia Rioux3,  Regine King4, and

David Cechetto5

1University of Rwanda; 2Ministry of Health, Rwanda;  3York University; 4University of Manitoba; 5Western University

Mental health problems place a huge burden on individuals and societies, accounting for 13% of the burden of disease worldwide. For women, pregnancy, childbirth, and the year following childbirth are associated with an elevated risk of mental health problems.

The current project evaluates the effectiveness of a sustainable and low-cost intervention to prevent and reduce the impact of post-natal depression (PND) in new mothers in Rwanda. Because of the importance of social support as a determinant of PND, we are training community women leaders in active listening and asking them to regularly visit all new mothers in their communities.  The goal is to increase support to new mothers, and decrease the prevalence, severity and impact of PND.  We are also supplementing training to student nurses and midwives to recognize and screen for maternal mental health problems. If proven successful, we can improve screening for maternal mental health, and build this low cost program into existing health monitoring programs across Rwanda to reduce the burden of PND on mothers, their children, and their communities.


Abstract 49

Community University Partnerships to Build Participatory Digital Assistive Technology Solutions in Kenya

Foad Hamidi, Patrick Mbullo, Melanie Baljko, Susan McGrath and Michaela Hynie

Patrick Mbullo

Patrick Mbullo

The growth of a vibrant technical sector has earned Nairobi the title of “Silicon Savannah”. However, this growth has had little effect on the prevalence of digital assistive technology (DAT), technology specifically designed for people with disabilities. Despite lowering costs around the world and the recognition of DAT’s importance in lowering boundaries to education, employment and basic life needs, this much needed technology is still largely unavailable in schools, libraries and houses of people with disabilities around Kenya.

We present an overview of current Kenyan strategies to increase accessibility to DATs and the early stages of a project designed to use university-community engagement to build new opportunities.


Patrick Mbullo is an MA Candidate at the Social Anthropology Department, York University and a holder of BA Anthropology from Maseno University, Kenya. Besides, Patrick is a Director and co founder of Partners in Community Transformation (PCT), Pamoja CBO and Kit-Mikayi Technical Training Institute in Kenya. As a development worker, Patrick has with a wealth of knowledge and experience in projects design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, community organizing, community HIV/ AIDS programming, and sustainable livelihood projects and training. His research interests include politics of development interventions in the global South, community participation in research projects and interventions that target vulnerable groups.


Abstract 50

Community Health Worker Training and Education in a Refugee Context 

F Beryl Pilkington,1 Isabella Mbai,2 Izzeldin Abuelaish,3 Judith Mangeni2

1 School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Canada

2 School of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya

3 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Almost 350,000 refugees live in camps in Dadaab, Kenya. Mostly (up to 90%) of Somali origin, some have been there for over 20 years. Basic health services are provided by humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) assisted by refugee health workers whose on-the-job training does not prepare them for the challenges faced in these resource-meager communities. We conducted a qualitative study to determine gaps in community health workers’ education.

The overall goal of this research, funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre, was to produce new knowledge to inform the creation of an education model for building health care capacity in disadvantaged communities in Kenya (and ultimately, Somalia) by utilizing the cross-sector experience and expertise of Canadian and Kenyan universities and NGOs.

Field research was conducted to assess the level of interest in the proposed degree program on the part prospective students, as well as the knowledge and skills that community health workers (CHWs) require in order to build the capacity of community health services in Dadaab. Four community researchers conducted focus group discussions with refugees who were NGO-certified CHWs, and with prospective students. In addition, 12 individual interviews were conducted with various service providers in hospitals and health posts who train health workers, and government staff working in hospital administration and health post operations.

Findings to be presented include key health challenges faced in the refugee camps and surrounding area; the areas in which CHWs felt they needed additional training; and CHW training needs from the perspective of government and NGO staff based in the camps. Also, next steps will be briefly described.

Key Words: Refugees; Community health workers; Health care capacity building; Kenya; Somalia


Abstract 51

The Status of Childhood Diabetes at Naguru General Hospital in Central Uganda 

Grace Atim Ann

Grace Atim Ann

Atim Grace Ann

Naguru General Hospital, Uganda

This paper presents the increasing challenges of childhood diabetes and the need to raise public awareness of the health risks of this epidemic. Although Uganda is one of the least developed countries in the world, it is currently experiencing unprecedented level of childhood diabetes related illnesses and deaths (childhood mortality rate). In addition, childhood diabetes is one of the contributory factors reducing the already existing low life expectancy rate in Uganda.

This case study was based on childhood diabetes cases’ children from Naguru General Hospital in Kampala city, Central Uganda. The purpose of this research is to establish the rate of increase in child diabetes in this facility from 2010 to date and asses the gaps between policy, research information and dissemination on the epidemic in order to adopt an appropriate public awareness strategy.

Information was obtained by review- based documents available in English language only; on national and international health policy documents, programs, projects and action plans. Some data was obtained using Internet search engines, News bulletins, interviews with key informers and WHO resources. The data obtained were refined and summarized to form this presentation.

Preliminary findings indicated that childhood diabetes is one of the major health challenging risks as it is on the rise. It was also observed that childhood diabetes in Uganda calls for a stern policy, communication, coordination and community participation through community outreach activities.

In conclusion, childhood diabetes in Uganda is a serious national health epidemic which calls for: collective cooperation and partnership which include collaborative health research efforts, sound financing, high level community commitment, gender main streaming for equality, institution capacity development, and zero tolerance to corruption.

Key words: Diabetes, Childhood; Health; Awareness; Gender main streaming; Epidemic; Outreach.


Grace Atim Ann is a Senior Administrator with Skytechno Consults Uganda Limited. Grace holds a Bachelors of Adult and Community Education from Kyambogo University-Uganda, with focus on Education, Health, Gender, Community Development and Environmental Education. She has a 13 years’ experience of development work in Uganda, most of her work has been in institution of higher learning and non-Formal Education. She has facilitated, supported and advocated for the department of Education, Health, Gender, and Community Development. Grace has varied professional competencies including Leadership, programme designs, Monitoring and Evaluation, Participatory Development Approach such as Participatory Rural Appraisal, Documentation skills, Basic Interpersonal Communication, and Facilitation skills.


Abstract 52

Investigating Factors Influencing Maternal Mortality in Karamoja Region, North Eastern Uganda 

Stella Owiny

Stella Owiny

Stella Owiny


The saying “No woman should die while giving birth” is a catchphrase that will always keep health workers, NGOs, and humanitarian and civil organizations on their toes so as to reduce maternal mortality rate (MMR). MMR is the annual number of female deaths per 100,000 live births from any cause related to pregnancy or its management. 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries like Uganda. The MMR rate for Uganda stands at 360 per every 100,000 births (World Bank, 2013). Karamoja region has the highest MMR which stands at 750 per 100,000, live births (UNICEF, 2013) a figure 55% higher than Uganda’s national average. Karamoja region found in North-Eastern Uganda is predominantly characterized by pastoralist groups, chronic poverty with the least development indicators in the country. This creates a challenge to achieve the initial-set target of 5% annual average MMR reduction, Millennium Development Goal, 2015.

The purpose of this research is to determine and rank factors influencing MMR particularly in the Karamoja region. A task therefore was undertaken to scrutinize these factors and provide insights on how to explicitly handle this challenge for a better strategy adoption in the region.

Data was collected using questionnaires and an interview guide provided to health workers which was administered to target respondents. This research covered 500 mothers aged between 15 – 45 years in Health Centre II in the three districts of Abim, Kotido and Napak. Employing quantitative method of data analysis, the investigation results from the respondents indicated that 75% of MMR was due to illiteracy, low level of health education (15% access to health facilities), poverty (5%), poor roads (5%) and insecurity.

In conclusion, health education should be emphasized and extended to all mothers in the most remote areas of Karamoja and increasing the number of health facilities/workers will reduce the MMR.

Key Words: Maternal mortality; north eastern Uganda.


Owiny Stella is a Nurse practioner working as a senior Nursing officer in Ntimba Health Care Clinic and Laboratory, Kireka, Kampala. Stella   is a graduate  of  Kampala  international  University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, Jinja School  of  Nursing  and  midwifery  where  she  attained  her  diploma  in midwifery. Besides  this,  Stella  attained  certificates  on  integrated management  of  childhood  illness,  cold  chain  and  vaccine  management, family planning methods from Path Finder International Uganda. All this built her a strong will in nursing practice and has 10 years of working experience; she is also a member of Uganda Nurses and midwifery council.


 Abstract 52

Harriet Namwanje

Harriet Namwanje

Improving Health Research and Disease Surveillance Education 

Harriet Namwanje

Uganda Management Institute


Improving health research during epidemics such as cholera and typhoid, and enhancing disease surveillance are critical to Public Health in Uganda. This study primarily conducted interviews with Wakiso health sector health surveillance officers to: i) determine the extent to which health surveillance information gathered by the different levels of healthcare delivery divisions in districts is utilized; ii) to evaluate the roles played by the different stakeholders in enhancing the quality of  surveillance information; and iii) to identify the gaps entrenched within the disease surveillance system throughout various levels of the local governments.

We conducted one-on-one interviews with District Health Officer and ten health professionals who are trained in disease surveillance for the district of Wakiso in Central Uganda. We studied district health surveillance data and analyzed the practices and methods used in amassing and storing that information. Approval was given by the Uganda Management Institute (UMI).

Most respondents at the local units confessed the collection of this data was just a mere fulfillment of a routine requirement rather than a source of reference in case of an endemic. Indeed, some health units did not even have a copy of what had been submitted to the district and lack of stationery was cited as an excuse. Remarkably, at the district level, data aggregation and compilation was mainly done for submission to the Ministry of Health for record purposes. Still, there was limited evidence on the use of surveillance information for planning and other decision-making actions. Many health workers regarded the collection of surveillance data as an inconvenience and did not appreciate the value therein. As a result, performance of this role was ineffective, generally resulting in a lot of inconsistencies in the process. This led to major gaps such as, limited knowledge on surveillance by most of the health workers, lack of feedbacks from the higher levels, failure to utilize surveillance information for monitoring disease trends, influencing policy, and thus inadequate funding for surveillance.

Predictably, a concerted commitment of resources by relevant authorities would minimize the above gaps and significantly enhance the capacity of various stakeholders in averting epidemics.

Key Words: Disease; Monitoring; Surveillance; Uganda; Local Government; Healthcare.




Harriet graduated with a business degree in Procurement and Supply Chain Management from Makerere University and currently persuing a post graduate diploma in Financial Management from Uganda Management Institute.

Despite her business education background, she has worked with the health sector in various hospitals and health centres carrying out administrative duties, handling health data/records and finances. This has given her opportune prospects to interact with the healthcare professionals such as the medical doctors, gynecologists, dental surgeons among others. She co-founded a community based organization Namabale Noarh’s Ark; a women empowerment charity organization in a very remote area in Mudende, Uganda. This organization has conducted 12 seminars, 7 workshops and planted 100 fruit trees in more than 20 homes and religious entities.


Abstract 53

Topic: “I didn’t just stumble into sciences”: Life experiences of three girls with science combination at Advanced levels of Secondary school in Uganda

Sunday Lamwaka

Institution affiliation: Gulu University, Uganda 

 Author: Sunday Lamwaka


My presentation will focus on an exploratory phenomenological study I conducted with among girls in High school in Gulu District. The aim of the study was to establish key underlying factors for the low enrollment of girls in science courses in High school. Society view girls who enroll in science courses in High Schools as deviants and nonconformists. The mainstream science discourse and related careers such as Technology, Agriculture, Medicine, and Research are traditionally associated with masculinity. This study explored the lived experiences of ten girls who enrolled in science courses such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Agriculture (PCB/M/GP; PCM/E/GP; and PEM/FA/GP)[1] in a mixed secondary school in Gulu District, Northern Uganda.

Methodology: An exploratory phenomenological approach explored the lived experiences of the ten girls at Gulu High School. Interviews were recorded separately, on different days, and later transcribed and analyzed. For quality assurance, we conducted member checking. The major findings from the study which I hope to present in depth at SASA conference were: The girls felt undervalued, accorded less respect as if they were exceptional to the rule, intruders, even when they performed better than their male counterparts; the system subtly branded the girls as weak physically and emotionally, unbefitting of demanding science career and unplanned for; sciences emphasized masculinity; girls with sciences combinations were labeled unfeminine; girls in science felt treated as deviants from female norms; experiences of being excluded and alienated; parents discourage science career for girls, considered risky investment. I will also discuss action oriented recommendations for equitable practices in science education that would motivate girls to enroll in science courses at all levels of education.

[1] Combination of High School science subjects in Uganda includes Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Economics, and General Paper (GP), a compulsory English Comprehension subject. Fine Arts (FA) may be added to a science combination.


Sunday Lamwaka is an upcoming researcher in the field of HIV and Urban Development. Currently she is a student of Developmental Studies with a focus on local governments and Urban Health. Her major research interests are in explicating complex health issues in peri-urban settlements resulting from rural-urban influx. Sunday’s current research focuses on promoting women’s interest in science careers in peri-urban community in post conflict northern Uganda district of Gulu. Sunday has participated in a number of research including HIV and Global Health as research assistant and data management specialist. Her interests in promoting women’s interest in science careers research “I Didn’t just stumble into sciences” were nurtured by her life experience of having witnessed many girls being discouraged from taking sciences at school, Her current research interest was also inspired by her childhood encounters at school where girls weak performance in sciences were taken as normal making girls believe that they are meant for Arts careers.  Sunday hopes to pursue a Research Master’s Degree in Global Health.


Abstract 54

Socio-Economic Burden of Living with HIV/AIDS in Hard to Reach Sub-Counties in Northern   Uganda 

Francis Akena Adyanga, PhD

Francis Akena

Dr. Francis Akena Adyanga

University of Toronto, Canada

HIV/AIDS still remains a threat to humanity and socio-economic development in northern Uganda. The affected people are unable to engage in agriculture and income-generating activities, as the major source of livelihoods. HIV/AIDS has further led to family separation, domestic violence, death, and orphans among others. Much as the Government of Uganda and other Development Partners have had interventions in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment, HIV/AIDS prevalence has remained stagnant over the decade between (6-7%) and new HIV infections remain high. There are multiple reasons for this:  First, most interventions are still on a scale that is insufficient to make significant public health impact. Second, most HIV prevention interventions are not aligned with sources of new infections. Third, as a result of complacency, there is now a return to widespread risky sexual behavior and low comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention among the population as was at the very beginning of the virus in the early 1980’s.

In this conference, I will discuss my practical observations and experience in Kitgum District, Northern Uganda for close to two months in May and Jun 2015 witnessing people living with HIV/AIDS and their lifestyles.  From my observatory conclusions: HIV/AIDS patients in hard to reach sub-counties and villages lack awareness about the deadly virus, psycho social supports, are vulnerable to domestic violence and child abuse, alcohol and other substance abuse, early deaths due to ignorance of the disease and positive living, terrified of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), skip their ARV schedules leading to high viral loads with increased chances of new infections, and are regarded as outcasts in some communities.

Key Words: HIV/AIDS; socio-economic burden; Uganda.


Abstract 55

Evaluation of the in-vitro Anthelmintic Activity of Annona reticulata Fruit and Leaf Methanolic Extracts on Ascaris suum

 Vivian H. Among

Vivian Among

Vivian Hope Among

Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Helminthosis affects approximately two billion people worldwide with majority infestations existing in developing countries, slums, and rural areas. 21.4 million Ugandans (63%) are either poor or vulnerable to poverty (Uganda Status Report, 2014). Most of these people live in areas prone to heavy worm infestations and poor sanitation. They have limited access to quality healthcare and in addition to their high costs; these medicines have side effects, adverse effects and contraindications, thus the need to verify anthelmintic claims of Annona reticulata.

Worm diseases are a major economic and public health threat as infections are asymptomatic. The percent paralysis and mortality of Ascaris suum caused by the extracts were investigated. This study evaluated the activity of Annona reticulata fruit and leaves on Ascaris suum. Phytochemistry was done to check for the presence/absence of phytochemicals claimed to have anthelmintic properties. Six groups of worms were treated with different extract concentrations. Albendazole (2%) was the standard drug while Goodwin’s solution was the negative control. Both extracts showed a concentration dependent paralysis of the worms which was however not statistically significant (p>0.05). The fruit was abundant in tannins and sterols with an EC50 of 17mg/ml while the leaves mainly contained flavonosides.

Studies to isolate and identify the active compounds contained in these crude extracts should be done, in addition to toxicity studies.

Key Words: Helminthosis; Anthelmintic activity; Annona reticulata; Methanolic extracts; Ascarsis suum; Phytochemicals; Uganda.


Vivian Hope Among Muuber is a laboratory technologist working with the Aga Khan Health Services- Acacia outreach clinic. She has a great passion for research and successfully completed her special research project at Makerere University Kampala, from which she graduated at the 64th graduation ceremony. She is also a board certified member of the Allied Health Professionals Council, Uganda and a faculty member of the school of biomedical sciences, Makerere University.


Abstract 56

Black Canadian Presence in the ‘Great White North’: Problematizing Colonial Myths

Patrick Radebe


Patrick Radebe

University of British Columbia and Lakehead University

This presentation examines the Black presence in Canada, both historical and contemporary. The analysis provided here challenges accounts of Black history offered up by White Canadians, which, informed by racism, present Black Canadians as late arrivals, as mere add-ons, as destitute and oppressed peoples seeking refuge and opportunities in Canada.  Having found their way into the mainstream education system, these narratives serve to perpetuate racism by distorting history. Thus, in the Canadian public education system, Black heroes seldom rate more than a footnote; at best, they are relegated to the status of bit players.

In this presentation, I trace the Black experience in Canada back as far as the early 17th century, taking due note of the reluctance on the part of the mainstream public school system to acknowledge the early arrival of Blacks. What I wish to demonstrate here is that it is only by presenting Canadian history through multiple perspectives, including those of African Canadians, that we may come to appreciate the true history of this country and of the contributions of Black Canadians, both pre- and post-Confederation.

Key Words: Black Canadians; Black experience; Black contributions.


Patrick Radebe is a contract lecturer at Lakehead University.  His research interests revolve around Afrocentric schools and Black students’ education. An educator, his experience working with students to create a positive learning environment has proved invaluable. In and out of the classroom, he inspires his students by creating a forum of open communication and interaction. Watching them succeed and their confidence grow is one of his many rewards.


Abstract 57

Master in International Health and Nutritional Policy:   An Impact Evaluation over the Practice of African French-Speaking Professionals

Margareth Zanchetta, PhD, RN, Associate Professor (Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

Christian Mésenge, PhD, MD (Former Director, Dept of Health, Université de Senghor, Alexandrie- Egypte, Secrétaire Général de l’Université Numérique Francophone Mondiale)

Fortuné Gankpe, MSI, MD (Institut de la Francophonie pour la Médecine Tropicale, Vientiane, Laos

Bernard Kadio, MSI, MD (People to People International, Heber Springs, Arkansas, USA, PhD student-University of Ottawa)

Victoria Gaudite, BScN, RN, MN student (Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

Adriana Gaertner, MA, (Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

Mohamed Mohamed, BScN, RN (Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Canada)

This study aims to uncover the specific impact of the graduate program of Master in International Health and in Nutrition Policy over the practice of its graduates in their work organizations, as well as in their activities as frontline workers. This impact evaluation study used an online survey with Francophone graduate professionals from this multidisciplinary master’s degree program delivered by the University of Senghor in Egypt. Those impacts were reported by the participants based on their accounts guiding the collection of empirical evidence to answer the following research questions:

  • What benefits does a program degree bring to the participants?
  • What attitudes, knowledge, awareness, skills, motivation and behavioral intentions are most susceptible to being influenced by the education participants having earned the Master degree?
  • To what degree are the achievements of the participants’ professional goals, insertion in labor market, change in ways of thinking, understanding their context of practice, as well as their professional services attributed to their completion of the Master degree?

The survey was approved by Ryerson REB, hosted by Opinio platform, and run from September-December 2014. Seventy participants work in 26 African countries and already contributed to Asian, South and North American ones. The results filled in knowledge gaps about: the developed careers of the graduates of this type of program; the retention of highly educated personnel in developing countries; and the graduates’ mechanisms to professionally adapt and adjust their career plans and deeds to the need of the developing countries.

The study highlighted the positive effects of local and foreign investment on graduate education by showing the program’s effectiveness in creating a workforce that is sensitive to the local reality. The study has implications on the future development of graduate programs of international health along with its students, educators, and administrators.

Key Words: International health and nutrition policy; Master degree program; Program benefits; Attitudes, knowledge, awareness, skills, motivation and behavioral intentions; professional goals and services; Egypt.


 Abstract 58

A  Commercial Bank’s Approach to Revitalizing Rural Economies in Uganda

Caroline Nassozi

Stanbic Bank, Kampala, Uganda

The importance of the banking system is financial stability for economic growth. Bank of Uganda has laid out consumer protection rights so as to prevent private entities from exploiting the people. Many rural farmers previously depended on money lenders or informal groups like Savings and Credit Cooperatives Organisations (SACCOs) for small loans. This led to devastating losses for the usually illiterate and semi-literate rural farmers, leading to loss of farm lands, suicides and homelessness. These have profound implications for public health and economic development, given the importance of rural agriculture in sustaining Uganda’s economy.

At the Conference, I will explore how Stanbic Bank that I work for, has ably provided equitable, safe and accessible loan and banking services that are beneficial to the rural farmers and has made serious turnaround in revitalizing rural economies in the country.

My presentation will highlight structural reorganisation that has enabled the bank to have effective country-wide reach to rural communities, and how scavenging lenders have been overstepped. The presentation will focus on the impacts of Workplace Banking, Mobile Customer Service Point approach, and Partnerships with Bank of Uganda to obtain low lending rates for farmers in rural hard-to-reach areas.

Key Words: Stanbic Bank; Rural economies; Workplace banking; Customer service points.


Abstract 59

Effect of Neem Leaf Extract on Treating Malaria

Esther Oyella

Esther Oyella

Esther Oyella

Malaria mortality in Uganda is estimated at 70.000-110.000 per annum. Drug resistance undermines the fight against the epidemic. This paper outlines the use of herbal medicine as an alternative treatment for Malaria.

A case example of Melanie (10 yrs) who frequently suffered from malaria will demonstrate that an alternative herbal medicine can treat malaria resistant to pharmaceutical medication. All methods of modern treatment that were tried on Melanie failed. The doctors ruled that Melanie had developed resistance to  drugs. An extract of Neem (Azardirachta Indica) was administered to her as a trial alternative treatment, each time she suffered a subsequent attack. The extract that was prepared by boiling the leaves was administered 3 times a day for 3 days (dose, a quarter glass).

It was observed that Melanie recovered much faster from symptoms of Malaria after the first trial. The trial treatment was administered for one year and thereafter, Melanie was put back on modern anti-malarial medication regiment of Coartem. The team managing Melanie realized that she was responding effectively. She no longer experienced resistance to modern Malaria drugs.

This experience shows that since the causative micro-organisms for most epidemics are slowly but steadily gaining resistance to a once reliable treatment, research studies should be done to understand the efficacy and relevance of African herbal medicines and remedies. There is a need to design a strategy to address side effects, taste, effective dosage, and toxicity levels. Since, this research was not done under controlled environment, a further formal study needs to be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of Neem extract on treating malaria-resistant strains, and for treating other diseases. Further studies need to be done to isolate and identify the active compounds contained in Neem extract for the purpose of developing modern malaria medicine with higher resistance threshold.

Key Words: Malaria; Epidemic; Drug-resistance; Herbal medicine.


Abstract 60

Factors that Motivate People Living with HIV/AIDS to Disclose

Mary Amony

Mary Amony

  Mary Amony, Harriet Adong, and Glenn Wagner 

Disclosure means telling someone else that you have HIV. Disclosing one’s status to another person is often difficult, whether it’s a sexual partner, friend, family or anyone else to whom you decide to tell. This research looks at factors that motivate people living with HIV/AIDS to disclose to a sexual partner, family or friend.

The study was conducted at two HIV clinics, ROM and MJAP. The method applied was prospective longitudinal cohort interview with all measures translated into the local language using standard translation and back translation method.

Of the 508 respondents, findings revealed high rates of disclosure, particularly to primary partners and family. With 79% disclosed to primary partner, 21% had not disclosed. Additional findings revealed those who had disclosed to their partners were more likely: Male, have an HIV+ partner, have lower levels of internalized stigma, experienced less HIV discrimination and reported higher level of general social support. Our findings also showed high levels of disclosure to partner and family but less so to friends.

The significance of our research is therefore, since disclosure is a key facilitator of processes of HIV prevention and support, greater emphasis is needed on how to best help PHAs disclose their HIV status to friends and other components of their social network that go beyond the household and family.

Key Words: HIV/AIDS; Disclosure; ROM; MJAP


Abstract 61

Collaborating in Research Responding to Epidemic Diseases with High Mortality in Africa

Sunday Kilara, BSc., MASHLM, Kathmandu, Nepal

Mr. Sunday Kilara

Mr. Sunday Kilara

E: kilaras@gmail.com

 This paper examines collaborating in research responding to epidemic diseases including a range of laboratory-based biomedical scientists and university-based researchers in the current Ebola virus disease response in West Africa. We examine the phenomenon of individual, institutional and often introspective clusters of scientists and test the extent to which factors associated with this collaboration influence current and future responses to epidemic diseases with high mortality in Africa. Understanding more of these patterns, especially the gaps or barriers between researchers, will help to manage impediments to connectivity crucial in efficient collaboration function.

The study draws from a qualitative ethnographic study carried out among 4 separate research firms and Universities. Sixteen (16) one-on-one interviews were conducted with biomedical scientists and university-based researchers that were part of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) response in West Africa. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire, transcribed and analyzed. We tested the effects of geographic proximity, professional complementarity, availability of grants, strength of ties and previous collaborations on past, present and future intended partnering.

A country’s political will, socio-economic infrastructure, scientific knowledge, information and communication technologies (ICT) all had significant effects on the possibilities of current collaborating partners. Future intended collaborations included a significant number of weak ties and ties based on other members’ reputations implying that the ICT has provided new opportunities for partnership. Professional grouping, a significant barrier discussed in the translational research literature, influenced past collaborations but not current or future collaborations. The topics discussed included the introduction of a virtual collaborative organization, internal reorganization of the research groups, and the collaboration between these groups.

Collaborating in research has been a crucial part of finding solutions to epidemic diseases with high mortality. Many subsequent studies have confirmed a strong relationship between collaboration and scientific productivity (Lotka, 1926). This is also evident in the response since the first EVD in 1976, 2000, 2014, and the nodding in 2013 in Uganda. Proximity is important in creating the chances of collaborating and so do legal associations improving virtual communication technology and use. Key network players have an important brokerage role facilitating linkages between research groups.

Key Words: Scientific collaboration; Virtual collaboration; Ebola virus disease; Translation research.


Abstract 62

Affirmative Action in Behalf of Females at the University of Zambia

Dr. Habatwa V. Mweene

Dean, School of Natural Sciences

University of Zambia, Lusaka Dr. Habatwa V. Mweene

In Zambia, the number of females in the educational system is lower than that of males. The fundamental reasons for this are cultural and are difficult to tackle.  However, the imbalance in the numbers of males and females enrolled at the University of Zambia has been addressed through affirmative action.  The results are encouraging.  In this talk, we give a background to this issue, we look at the interventions employed against it, and we assess the success of these measures.  We particularly focus on the science field, where the imbalances tend to be most pronounced, and present the current status of the issue in the School of Natural Sciences.

Key Words: Affirmative Action; Females in Science; Zambia


Abstract 63

Policies to support quality University teaching and Research in Kenya

Prof. Eusebius J. Mukhwana


Prof. Eusebius J. Mukhwana

Prof. Eusebius J. Mukhwana

Email: emukhwana@cue.or.ke

The Kenya Vision 2030 recognises the critical role played by Research and Innovation in accelerating economic development of the country. This is especially important in helping the country tackle critical challenges such as rampant poverty, food insecurity, youth unemployment, malnutrition, poor health delivery systems and poor infrastructure. Research in Kenya has been going on for over 100 years, with some of the institutions having been started during the colonial period. Indeed in the region, Kenya is credited with having some of the best universities and research institutes that have over the years developed and disseminated important technologies especially in the agricultural, environmental and medical fields. Many promising crop and livestock technologies have been generated from research and are widely well adopted and adopted.

But the country, is yet to create a knowledge based economy and the benefits from research and innovation. The Kenyan research and innovation sector is fragmented, losing on the benefits of synergy and networking. The country does not have national research priorities leading to fragmentation of efforts, duplication and wastage of meagre resources. Coordination of the sector is poor and there is over-reliance on international partners for funding and priority setting which undermines national capacity building and institutional growth. Other challenges include poor linkages between research and industry; inadequate funding, with great over-reliance on external resources; lack of advocacy for research and Innovation (RI) at high political and policy levels; low science culture among the population; relatively low global competitiveness ranking; and weak performance management frameworks.

As the world moves towards knowledge driven economies, the role of Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) as a critical driver of economic growth is globally accepted. Regionally the issue has been gradually gaining traction as seen in recent continental policy documents like Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action, the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa – 2024 (STISA-2024), which was adopted by the African Union Heads of State and Government on 2nd July 2014  and other policy documents. Kenya’s interest in the promotion of ST&I started with the statutory  establishment of National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) way back in the 1970’s to guide development and integration of ST&I into the national development agenda.  Subsequently Kenya also established specialized public research institutes like Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) among others. By the late 1990s it had become clear that there was an urgent need to place the development of research and innovation high in priority as evidenced by its citation in government’s major policy documents of the time.

This paper analyses the history of RI in Kenya, how policy has shaped the sector, impacts and achievements made, challenges experienced and suggests the way forward.

Key words: Kenya, Research, policy, innovation


Abstract 64

 Promoting Women’s interest in Science Education Through Agriculture

Marlene Caroline Feng Ario 


Marlene Caroline Feng Ario

Marlene Caroline Feng Ario

 Agricultural science is a broad multidisciplinary field of biology and may be defined as the art and science of growing plants and other crops and the raising of animals for food, other human needs, or economic gain. In the past, agriculture was considered the occupation for the rural poor women. Research has also shown that fewer students pursue agricultural courses at tertiary levels because of the negative view. Unfortunately, even the Uganda school curriculum does not consider agriculture among the core science subject. It is recently that the stereotype view has begun to change with prominent and professional women joining the agricultural field. This is as a result of government programs such as Plan for Modernization of Agriculture (PMA) and NAADS.

According to a 2000 IFAD study under the Gender Strengthening Programme for Eastern and Southern Africa, agriculture is the main source of income for rural households in Uganda. It is also the main occupation of women. Nationwide, 72% of all employed women and 90% of all rural women work in agriculture. Only 53% of rural men do so. Cash crops include coffee, cotton, sugar cane, sunflower and tobacco. Dual-purpose crops, such as banana, beans, cassava, fruits, maize and vegetables, are also grown. It is estimated that women do 85% of the planting, 85% of the weeding, 55% of land preparation and 98% of all food processing. Across sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture is the backbone of the economy, accounting for 30-40% of nations’ gross domestic product, and a leading source of jobs for over two-thirds of the population.
The purpose of this study is to highlight the achievements of successful Ugandan women in agriculture as a way of promoting women’s interest in science education. USAID Uganda program for example, has helped small holder farmers to increase and improve production for both food security and commercial purposes. Some of the successful women in agriculture include: Katie Saram from Mbale who is involved in cassava and maize growing, Leah Kalanguka (Miss Uganda) is involved in mushroom growing, Dr Dorothy Nakimbugwe of the faculty of food science at Makerere University, Kampala is promoting amaranth growing, and Ibyara Flavia Constance (Miss Uganda East) is promoting rabbit rearing among teenage mothers, Julian Adyeri Omalla, founder and managing director of Delight Uganda & Global Food Securities produces a fruit drink under the names Cheers, and Prudence Ukkonika, managing director of the K-Roma Limited,etc.

In conclusion, it is therefore important that the stereotype view on agriculture be broken by encouraging young women in Uganda to pursue agricultural science courses at all levels and also empower women in the non-formal agriculture to engage in modern farming techniques because women are the backbone of the Ugandan economy.

Key Words: Science education; Agriculture; Uganda.


Abstract 65

A Qualitative Evaluation of Hand Drying Practices Among People Living in Kibera-Nairobi, Kenya

Joyce Nyawanda and Collins Onyango

Nursing Department, Aga-Khan University Hospital
Nairobi, Kenya

Recommended disease prevention behaviors of hand washing, hygienic hand drying and covering one’s mouth and nose in a hygienic manner when coughing and sneezing appear to be simple behaviors but continue to be a challenge to successfully promote and sustain worldwide. We conducted a study of behaviors associated with activities of daily living and mouth and nose covering practices among Kibera people.

We conducted group discussions, interviews, structured household observations, and public venue observation in Laini-Saba Kibera. Hand drying, specifically on a clean towel, was not a common practice among our participants. Most women dried their hands on their waist cloth (called ‘leso’) or their clothes whether they were cooking, eating or cleaning the nose a young child. If men dried their hands, they used their trousers or a handkerchief. Children rarely dried their hands; they usually just dried them wet as they continued with their activities. Many people sneezed into their hands and wiped them on their clothes. Men and women used a handkerchief fairly often when they had a runny nose, cold or the flu. Most people coughed into the air or their hands.

Drying hands on dirty clothes, rags and ‘lesos’ can compromise the benefits of hand washing. Coughing and sneezing into an open hand can contribute to spread of disease as well. Understanding these practices can inform health promotion activities and campaigns for the prevention and control of diarrhea disease and influenza.

Key Words: Hand drying practices; disease prevention; Kenya.


Abstract 66

Fostering Quality and Relevance in Postgraduate Research Training in Africa
Eusebius J. Mukhwana and David K. Some
Commission for University Education
Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Eusebius J. Mukhwana

Dr. Eusebius J. Mukhwana

email: emukhwana@ue.or.ke

University Education in Africa is undergoing a rapid transition. Following years of rapid expansion and massification, questions are now being asked about the quality and relevance of postgraduate research training, and especially its contribution to Africa’s economic and social development. Historically, provision of university education was a preserve of government funded institutions. Entry of private universities into this sector has complicated matters, but also brought new challenges. However, in general questions have been asked about the quality and relevance of postgraduate research training being offered in Africa.
This paper traces the history and trends in postgraduate research training in Africa, and challenges experienced. We suggest the way forward for improving the relevance and quality of postgraduate research training in Africa.

Key Words: Postgraduate research training; Quality and relevance; Trends; Challenges; Africa.


Abstract 67

Evaluating a Pooled Incentive Model in Engaging and Retaining Community Health Volunteers in a Primary Health Care Program in Western Kenya.

Alyssa Kelly (University of Toronto), Sanjana Mitra, Justus Elung’at (AMPATH), Suzanne Jackson (University of Toronto), Astrid Christoffersen-Deb (University of Toronto, AMPATH)

Alyssa Kelly

Alyssa Kelly

Community health volunteers (CHVs) act as a link between communities and health facilities, thereby playing an integral role in bridging the health service delivery gap common in low- and middle-income countries. In 2013, the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) discontinued the payment of a monthly stipend for CHVs serving Western Kenya, and introduced a pooled incentive model called GISE (Group Integrated Savings and Empowerment) in hopes of creating a more sustainable CHV program. This study investigates the impact of a pooled incentive model on the lives of CHVs working with AMPATH, examining how GISE has affected CHV motivation, participation, and performance. To inform this research, focus group discussions with twenty-nine CHVs in 2 counties and 8 semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with AMPATH-affiliated community health extension workers and primary health care staff. Research conducted in these communities in 2013 provided baseline data for determining the impact of this model on CHV motivation and retention. Data analyzed thus far indicates that the introduction of this model initially had negative effects on CHV participation and performance. Over time, however, CHVs participating in GISE have benefited from the structured and regular meetings that GISE provides to strengthen their group identity and sense of responsibility towards their tasks in the community. We propose here that implementing and supporting a pooled incentive model would be successful in motivating CHVs. A primary goal of this ongoing study is to determine appropriate and sustainable incentive models for retaining CHVs in low- and middle-income settings.


Alyssa Kelly is currently completing her Master of Public Health in Social & Behavioural Health Sciences (Global Health Emphasis) at the University of Toronto, and holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Western Ontario. Throughout the course of her studies, she has worked with health promotion interventions in multiple countries across Central America and Eastern Africa, and has developed a passion for program evaluation. Alyssa’s research interests lie in exploring health inequities and income inequality, health of rural communities, and examining the intersection of gender and health.


Abstract 68

A Unique and Useful Partnership Between Canadian and Rwandan Urologists – A Work-in-Progress!
Emmanuel Abara, Mohamed El-Sherbiny, Emile Rwamasirabo , Niki Kanaroglou,     Linnea Duke, Elias Wehbi , Mikael Sourial, and Georges Ntakiyiruta

Dr. Emmanuel Abara

Dr. Emmanuel Abara

Division of Clinical Sciences, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Canada

In 2013, a call for volunteers was made through the Pediatric Urologists of Canada (PUC) to visit Rwanda, a country with 11 million people served by three urologists. The volunteers were expected to work collaboratively with the local Faculty and Learners. By October 2014, four Urologists and two Residents have participated. We report the outcome and future considerations.

For two weeks in Kigali, participants functioned as collaborators. We worked at the three teaching hospitals. The program included: 1.Out-patient Screening Clinic; 2. Operative (OR) surgeries including pediatric anomalies, oncology, and adult urology – BPH, urethral stricture, bladder and prostate cancer; 3.”One-to-one” Case-based Learning; 4. Workshop in Office Urodynamics, 5. Academic day of didactic lectures; and 6. Community Engagement. The host provided accommodation, meals and local transportation. Participants were responsible for their travel arrangements.

Health care services, as elsewhere, are unique with the existence of public and private hospitals and other arrangements in between. With only three urologists, the wait times were long. Despite the limitations, no one was denied care because of lack of funds. Anesthesia Nurse practitioners were a unique complement in the OR workforce. Invitation from Kigali was based on local needs rather than Western models and expectation. Local accountability and initiative were noticeable. We acted as mentors, moderators and educators following a curriculum developed in Rwanda. Residents got to learn, educate and work in a welcoming and different environment.

With the short exposure to a small segment of the Rwandan healthcare model, there is room for improvement and development in urology and retention of well- trained home-bred workforce. Urologists, Physicians and Surgeons and their institution and other health care professionals and their institutions world-wide have a great opportunity of making significant contribution to Rwanda and other LIMCs through supporting partnerships such as this.

Key Words: Urology; Partnership; Health care services; Rwanda; Canada.


Dr. Emmanuel O. Abara graduated in 1976 from the University of Ibadan  as  a Gold medalist in  Community health and received the Blair-Aitken Prize in Surgery. He completed General Surgery training at the Universities of Benin and Port Harcourt, and a Urology Residency at the University of Toronto, with Fellowship in General Urology, Urodynamics, Pediatric urology and Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy. He is currently a Director at the Richmond Hill Urology Practice and Prostate Institute, and works as a Consultant Urologist for Kirkland and District Hospital, MICS Group of Hospitals and Sensenbrenner Hospital, Kapuskasing. He is an Associate Professor, Division of Clinical Sciences, Northern Ontario  School of Medicine

Dr. Abara has served in many professional leadership capacities at the local and provincial levels, including serving as President of the York Central Medical Society, Secretary and Chair for Ontario Medical Association (OMA) District 5, as a member of the OMA Nominating Committee and Audit Committee, and as delegate and alternate to OMA Council. In 2003, Dr. Abara served as President of the York Central Hospital’s Staff Association, which was a memorable year due to the SARS outbreak. During his presidency, and with the support of the membership, Dr. Abara helped to establish a Health Sciences Scholarship scheme for high schools, which has benefited over 100 students to date.

Dr. Abara was honoured with the Canadian Urological Association’s Community Urologist Award in both 1995 and 2001, and is also a two-time recipient of Rotary International Paul Harris Fellows Award. In 2012, he was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Certificate of Honour, and received the Volunteer of the Year Award for Richmond Hill .He has received several other awards including  a Life Achievement Award from CANPAD for his commitment to excellence and community development. At the 2014 Spring Council meeting, he was honoured with the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) Life Membership

for his outstanding contribution to the works of the Association ,the medical profession and medical science or common good. He is married to  Nkeiru  with 4 children Erinma, Oge, Uko and Ori


Abstract 69

 Perspectives on Drug Manufacturing in Africa

Dr. Alain L. Fymat

Prof. Alain Fymat

Prof. Alain Fymat

International Institute of Medicine and Science

Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.A.


The current substantial rise in health donor funding has triggered a flurry of global activity to increase local manufacturing of drugs in developing countries, including in Africa. It has stimulated a greater demand for drugs and generated a greater potential for local manufacturers. However, donors require international standards such as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Qualification Standards.

Local production of drugs is growing in popularity because, despite imports, about one-third of the world’s population is still without access to medicines.

I will provide my perspectives on local manufacturing of drugs in Africa but first summarizing Africa’s health burden, briefly reviewing Africa’ pharmaceutical industry, and examining the underlying motivating and unfavorable factors.

I will then consider the governing implications, including international, continental, regional, and national policies.

I will conclude that:

  • Improving access to good, safe, and affordable drugs is not just about local production;
  • Local production is not a panacea. The tragedy is that it is sometimes promoted blindly; and
  • While laudable, countries want to create industries to provide medicines for their people, but the cost should not be higher prices and lower quality.

Key Words: Drug manufacturing; Health donor funding; International qualification standards; Health burden; Pharmaceutical industry; international, continental, regional, and national policies.


Abstract 70

Prof. Lucy Irungu

Prof. Lucy Irungu

Best Practices in Integrating University Research, Innovation and Outreach to Foster National Development

By Prof. Lucy W. Irungu, Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Nairobi, Kenya
“Education is the most powerful weapon in alleviating poverty, elevating economic growth, producing skilled human resource, creating a healthy enlightened social environment and creating self sufficient nations”. (Malik, 2014)

Quality education should help lay a solid foundation for national development through research, innovation and engagement with communities/stakeholders. Universities have had a paradigm shift from traditional mode of being the knowledge storehouses, where only knowledge “spillovers” were associated to localized clustered development to the present mode of being knowledge factories where the university is supplier within the economic context of mass production. The evolution of universities continues to move towards being knowledge hubs within the economic context of the driver of knowledge economies promoting indigenous developments as well as developing new capabilities within society.

The shift in the role of universities has been mainly influenced by underlying shifts in advanced economies, knowledge driven open and interactive innovations systems, and new expectations by governments challenging universities to reconsider the way they develop and exchange knowledge. Therefore, universities continue to transform into institutions into knowledge hubs that are intellectually agile, innovative and relevant, discarding old formulas (ivory towers) and opening up to working with government/development agencies, industries; building communities, economies and leadership, through imparting knowledge and undertaking cutting edge research aimed at addressing societal challenges.

However, universities cannot effectively become knowledge-hubs, building the knowledge economies, impacting on research, innovation and development without the complementary assets of financial and capital investment, a good education system, government policies and a vibrant interaction with industry. Through such an interaction and integration, university research, innovation and outreach would therefore play a cross-cutting role in promoting global competitiveness by being an engine to economic growth in all sectors, including developing techpreneurs, promoting national cohesion and producing a highly skilled human resource.

Key Words: University Research, Innovation and outreach; National development; Knowledge hubs; Global competitiveness.

1. Malik A.A. (2014) The role of universities in the socio-economic development of Pakistan. COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.
2. UN System Task Force Team on Post-2015 UN Development Agency, Science, Technology and Innovation for sustainable development in the global partnership for development beyond 2015
3. Spanier, G.B. Enhancing the capacity for outreach. Journal of Public Service and Outreach. Vol. 2(3) 1997 pp. 7-11
4. Ryan, J.H. Creating an outreach culture. Journal of Public Service and Outreach. Vol. 2(3) 1998 pp. 27-34
5. OECD Innovation for development: A discussion of the issues and an overview of work of the OECD Directorate for science, technology and industry, 2012
6. Youties, J, & Shapira, P. Building an innovation hub: a case study of the transformation of university roles in regional technological and economic development. Research Policy, 37, 2008 pp. 1188-1204

Abstract 71

Malaria Prevention initiatives – Community-Based Management of Malaria in Uganda

Mr. Alex Kaneene

Mr. Alex Kaneene

Christopher Ssengedo and Alex Kaneene

Uganda Community Based Health Care Association (UCBHCA)

Malaria has afflicted people for centuries, not only damaging hea­­­­­­­lth, but also diminishing educational achievement, worker productivity, and economic development over the long term.

Estimates just five years ago suggested that globally, malaria killed nearly a million people each year, with most deaths occurring in Africa in children under the age of five. Because most malaria transmission occurs in rural areas, the greatest burden of the disease usually falls on families who have low incomes and whose access to health care is most limited. And, the cost to Africa in economic terms was nearly $12 billion a year in lost productivity. Investing in malaria prevention and management is therefore vital because malaria accounts for such a high proportion of outpatient visits and hospital admissions in children under the age of five – 30 to 40 percent in most African countries – and the positive impact of malaria prevention is evident in homes and clinics.

In a bid to contribute to the global efforts in combating malaria, the Uganda Community Based Health Care Association (UCBHCA) initiated the concept of community-based management of malaria, carried out a research, and launched a pilot project in seven malaria endemic districts in western Uganda.

A training manual was developed comprising topics such as Epidemiology of Malaria, Cause and Transmission of Malaria, Life Cycle of Malaria parasite, among others1. In 2003 UCBHCA launched a community based management of malaria pilot project to implement the recommendations of the research concepts, in partnership with target districts and communities.

Key Words: Malaria; Community-Based Management; Disease burden; Uganda.[1]

1 Mode of transmission of Malaria, Diagnosis (signs, symptoms) and Case Management of Malaria, Malaria drug treatment policy, Treatment of uncomplicated Malaria, Treatment of Malaria in pregnancy, Treatment of severe Malaria, Vulnerable groups to Malaria, Prevention and Control of Malaria, Vector control, Use of Insect treated nets (ITNs), Communication and Mobilisation for malaria control, Monitoring malaria control programs, Data collection in malaria control programs, indoor residual spraying (IRS), Community participation and involvement in Malaria control activities in the community, Evaluation of Malaria control programs.


Abstract 72

Impact of Health Village Teams on Provision of Health Services in Kigezi Region, Uganda

Reuben Madaba

Amref Health Africa, Kampala, Uganda

In many developing countries like Uganda, there are critical shortages of highly educated health professionals. Current medical and nursing schools cannot train enough workers to keep up with increasing demand for health care services, internal and external emigration of health workers, and population growth.

Nearly 5,000 women die annually from birth related complications and over 50,000 children will not live to celebrate their first birthday. Access to skilled health care and appropriate technologies can save many lives but, in many countries, the difference between life and death for many boils down to the simple things taken for granted. In Uganda, community health workers also known as Village Health Teams (VHTs) are given training, supplies, and support to provide essential primary health care services to the population. VHTs are community members who are chosen to provide basic health and medical care to their communities. Their primary role is to instruct villagers in preventative medicine, provide health education, refer and link patients to the health centers and to act as local first responders.

We conducted a cross-sectional, structured survey and in-depth interviews to assess the impact of VHTs on health services. We selected Maternal and Child Health (MCH) in Kigezi region. The VHTs were trained and sensitized in the follow-up of expecting mothers and encouraging them to attend antenatal care at least four times and delivery from health facilities under qualified medical personnel.

The villages together with the village health teams appreciated our intervention and believed that with more sensitization and funding the program would improve peoples’ livelihoods. About 300 women in the region were reached and hopefully they will survive death from birth-related complications and an estimated 5,000 children will survive.

Key Words: Maternal and neonatal health care; Village health care teams; Uganda


Abstract 73

Maternal Fetal Medicine

Dr. Cynthia Maxwell, MD, FRCSC (Ob/Gyn & MFM), DABOG, RDMS

Deputy Division Head, Maternal Fetal Medicine Division, Mount Sinai Hospital
Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Dr. Cynthia Maxwell

Dr. Cynthia Maxwell

Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship Training Program
University of Toronto

Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) is a sub-discipline of obstetrics and gynaecology, providing excellence in maternal and fetal care for “special” pregnancies – those at risk for medical or surgical complications in either the mother or fetus. MFM practice in tertiary and quaternary care centres can further specialize in medical complications of pregnancy, the maternal “side” of special pregnancies.

The speaker will outline specific examples of medical complications of pregnancy including cancer and obesity as they affect pregnancy, how clinical infrastructure enables such specialized prenatal and  delivery care, how evidence-based medicine guides practice, and ongoing and completed research projects that span the frontiers in these areas.

Key Words: Maternal fetal medicine; Obstetrics & gynecology; medical or surgical complications; specialized prenatal and delivery care; Evidence-based medicine.


Cindy Maxwell is a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital and Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Toronto. She completed her undergraduate and medical training at Harvard University and her residency in Ob/gyn at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. She completed her fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Toronto and is currently the Program Director for this fellowship. Her clinical and research interests center on medical disorders of pregnancy, with a focus on pregnancy affected by severe obesity, malignancy, gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. She also serves as a faculty member for the UHN Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults Program in the Reproductive Section.



Abstract 74

Prof. Angela Hilyard

Prof. Angela Hildyard

The Challenges of Leadership in the Scientific Community

Prof. Angela Hildyard

Vice President, University of Toronto



Abstract 75

Prof. Catherine Hoppers Odora

Prof. Catherine Hoppers Odora

Science and Technology in Africa – Research Without Programmes, Scientists Without a Community: An African Perspective of Knowledge Development and Policy Reforms

Catherine Odora-Hoppers

DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Development Education and Pascal International Observatory, South Africa

Knowledge is taken as a universal heritage and universal resource which should be protected, promoted, developed and (where appropriate) conserved. Knowledge is diverse and varied. Knowledge is a commodity, but knowledge is also wisdom. Knowledge development, as articulated in the myriad of policies throughout the world, must take Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) seriously. IKS refers to the systems of knowledge encompassing medicine, pharmacology, philosophy, jurisprudence, ethics, bio-diversity, food and nutrition, legal and governance systems, most of which are currently excluded from the mainstream.

These knowledges are marginalized, museumized (Visvanathan 1997), or completely subjugated. They need to be excavated, critically evaluated, validated, recast in real time, and put at the service of present and succeeding generations. It is crucial to recognize that the world stands at cross-roads in search for new, human centered visions of development. All the agencies of the United Nations are seeking to promote paradigms of sustainable human development and innovations that build on knowledge resources existing in communities. The World Trade Organization is attempting to establish new regimes of Intellectual Property Rights at a time when Third World countries are not at all prepared. Africa is seeking its own renaissance, seeking to establish the terms of its development. UNESCO’s call (Science Agenda 2000 for instance) is for a more inclusive, a more responsive, and a more dialogical science (Odora Hoppers 2009; Odora Hoppers 2015).

Yet we live in a world in which relations of subjection, suffering, dispossession, and contempt for human dignity and the sanctity of life are at the centre of human existence. We live in a time when conflicts and wars are racking the continent of Africa, it is with urgency that indigenous resources for peace-building and human security be retrieved and brought into play. We are witnesses to the gross asymmetry in the rights and responsibility of those who produce knowledge particularly in the informal sector, and those who go about valorizing it in the formal sector. For a great majority of the population of Africa, the loss of cultural reference points have culminated in the fundamental breakdown of entire societies. Finally, that globalization is threatening the appropriation of the collective knowledge of non-western societies into proprietary knowledge for the profit of a few.

Where does this leave scientists in Africa REALLY?

Key Words: Science and technology; Research; Knowledge; Indigenous Knowledge Systems; Africa


Abstract 76

Re-reading Science and Research: Praxis of ‘Mugumo’ Tree

Dionisio Nyaga

Dionisio Nyaga

Dionisio Nyaga, Ryerson University, School of Social Work

The world continues to face immense issues of poverty, diseases and natural calamities. While this is happening, many multi-national companies continue to extract natural resources without care for environmental sustainability. As a consequence, many people continue to die of illnesses, hunger and natural calamities brought about by global warming. Western world is in top gear looking for answers that can address the world problem.

Today, diseases, natural calamities like famines and drought continue to be faced with militaristic modus operadi. Is this the only way that we can cure an ailing mother earth? No one ever asks what subjugated knowledge can offer to cut down environmental degradation. This is because western science contradicts the very values of indigenous peoples’ culture.

This presentation argues that there are many lessons that we can learn from indigenous peoples of the world. Drawing lessons from two communities in Kenya, I argue for collaboration of indigenous peoples of the world with western science in seeking solutions for the current problems facing the world. Using the teaching of ‘Mugumo’ tree on spirituality, environmental sustainability, healing and education, this presentation attempts to center the power of indigenous teachings on health. The values that inform indigenous worldviews will be analysed. Among the values is reciprocity and relationship building. This value can positively inform western ways of knowing hence allowing improvement in the living standards of people.

Key Words: Mugumo tree; Poverty, diseases, natural calamities; Indigenous peoples; Kenya.


Dionisio Nyaga is a Ph.D Candidate at Social Justice Education, OISE/University of Toronto. He has a Masters and a Bachelor degree from Ryerson University. His area of research interest is Masculinity, transnational and diasporic studies, gender studies, post-colonial, anti-colonial-antiracist, Indigenous education, labour and mental health studies. Nyaga was born in Kenya before coming to Canada. He is a researcher, educator and social advocate. He works with youth.


Abstract 77

Building Inter-Institutional Collaborations for Mental Health Research and Services from Community Level to International Level – The Kenyan Experience

David M. Ndetei,  

Prof. David Ndetei

Prof. David Ndetei

Professor of Psychiatry and Founding Director Africa Mental Health Foundation

The optimal approach to building sustainable capacity in mental health research for evidence based intervention in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) takes place at several levels:

  1. Community level
  2. Country level
  3. Regional level
  4. Horizontal between LMIC’s
  5. Vertical between LMICs and High Income Countries (HICs)

If we ignore any of the above levels we end up breaking the cog-wheel that moves all the parts in a symphony of complementarities. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to emphasize only on collaborations at the higher levels.

The challenge is therefore how to identify for each country the necessary elements that constitute each level and make each level work optimally.

This approach will ensure sustainability, address in advance potential barriers – (economic, cultural, social) to collaboration, enhance enablers and achieve joint ownership by all stakeholders from the individual to International levels and in the process share out goodwill, resources and in particular expertise.

This presentation will draw from the experience of Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) working in Nairobi, Kenya, in addressing the complementarities of the different levels.

Key Words: Inter-institutional Collaborations; Mental health research and services; Kenya

Short bio-sketch on Prof. David M. Ndetei  

David M. Ndetei:  MB.Ch.B., DPM, MRC.Psych., FRCPsych., M.D., DSc.  He is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Nairobi, Kenya and the founder and Director of the Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) – a Non-Governmental Organization/charity based in Kenya. AMHF is dedicated to research on mental and neurological health and substance use to generate evidence for policy and best practice in the provision of affordable, appropriate, available and accessible mental health services for Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) and is a leading center of mental health research in East and Central Africa.  He is also the Chair of the Africa Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) and Secretary to the World Psychiatric Association, Division of Psychiatry in Developing countries. He is also the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Zone 14 (East, Central and South Africa) representative. He is also the Chair, Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service Board, Government of Kenya. He has worked extensively with the World Health Organization (WHO), Grand Challenges Canada, the United Nations, the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and numerous universities across the globe.  He educated in Kenya and London, he has served as the Principal Investigator (PI) for nearly all Kenyan published clinical and community epidemiological studies on mental health.  His research areas have been diverse, covering a wide spectrum aimed at influencing policy and practice of mental health at primary health care level.


Abstract # 78

 Assisting African Universities to Accelerate and Sustain Progress in sub-Sahara Africa

Prof. David W. Dunne

Prof. David W. Dunne

Prof. David W. Dunne

Professor of Parasitology, University of Cambridge and

Director, Wellcome Trust-Cambridge,

Centre for Global Health Research, CAPREx, THRIVE-Cambridge & Cambridge-Africa U.K.

 Africa needs indigenous world-class research-lead universities to identify, analyse, and to provide innovative and effective solutions for the continent’s many challenges. Universities can serve as development hubs and agents of change, devising sustainable African strategies for economic, social, scientific and cultural success and to produce leaders in all aspects of civil society.

A major obstacle to fulfilling these crucial roles is the chronic shortage, in even the best sub-Saharan African universities, of international competitive researchers with access to the very best facilities and techniques. This shortage means that there are insufficient research leaders to provide mentorship and training for the next-generation of young researchers, or to sustain successful and competitive research environments. The challenge is to design and deliver programmes that overcome this obstacle to success that talented young African researchers face, while breaking the cycle of dependency that arises when Western institutions provide African students with opportunities that are disconnected from Africa.

Cambridge-Africa is the University of Cambridge’s university-wide programme designed to address this specific gap, a gap that Cambridge, like other leading international universities, is well placed to help bridge. Cambridge-Africa provides high-quality, personalised programmes for academically-talented PhD and postdoctoral fellows to ensure that African researchers, research institutes, and universities can access Cambridge’s expertise and resources, and to proactively partner and support African research networks and initiatives. Research fellowships are awarded to young academic staff, or post-graduate students registered for PhDs, in African universities. These fellows and their research are carefully matched to highly experienced Cambridge research leaders to provide co-mentorship and collaborative support, both in visits to Cambridge and in their home institutions. Cambridge-Africa supports local supervisors in the training and development of the best young African researchers, and helps build local capacity. The aim is to help the next generation of African researchers fulfil their potential to become research leaders with their research being internationally competitive and self-sustaining.

Key Words: African Universities; Sub-Sahara; Developmental challenges; Development hubs and change agents; Cambridge-Africa


Abstract # 79

Mitigating Cancer Incidence in the Great Lakes Region – A Case of the National Cancer Awareness Association (NACAS), Uganda

Henry Clarke Kisembo

Development Associates Link International, Uganda


The increased growth of the cancer burden to the already struggling health system of Uganda has worried many Ugandans. Most cancer patients come from rural areas. According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), there are about 35,000 new cases of cancer reported every year. Of these cancer patients, only 5% present themselves to health facilities for diagnosis and the remaining 95% would die without access to specialized care and treatment. The mortality rate of those diagnosed for cancer stands currently at 79%. The majority of Ugandans do not know about cancer and confuse it with witchcraft. The limited public awareness on cancer explains why the mortality rate of those diagnosed is very high.
The common cancers that affect Ugandans include: breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, cancer of the cervix, and leukemia. There are other types of cancers like Kaposi sarcoma, skin cancer, colon cancer, esophagus cancer, etc. but these are less prevalent.
The purpose of this project is to raise public awareness on cancer to grass root levels to facilitate early detection, diagnosis, and prevention.
The approach we have followed for cancer mitigation in the Great Lakes region devolves as follows:
1. To raise public awareness through meetings, workshops, seminars, market drives, and print and electronic media engagement. This brings together all stakeholders from the public, private, and civil society to support in funds or cash towards this approach and many have indeed committed.
2. To facilitate screening for early detection for cervical and breast cancers among hot spots in target districts in Uganda. This is accomplished through partnership-free screening and testing, which has been offered to the general public. It has been made possible by engaging different stakeholders that offer such services to partners, collaborate and commit towards in-kind support.
3. To increase advocacy for improved health services of the cancer patients in Uganda. The National Cancer Awareness Association (NACAS), through the Ministry of Health has continued to engage with Government and development partners to advocate for financial consideration and prioritizing of cancer interventions in Uganda. A Cancer forum headed by the Ministry of Health has been formed.
4. To increase uptake and adoption to safer practices among the high risk groups of people in Uganda though continued awareness creation and sensitization of the general public.
This project will pursue collaboration, participation and partnership with relevant stakeholders at different levels of project implementation.
Key Words: Cancer; Public awareness; Screening and diagnosis; Stakeholders; Uganda.

Abstract # 80

Promoting ARV Adherence Among Adolescents Through Peer Support Groups – A Case Study of TASO, Entebbe, Uganda

Norah Nabberto and Nova Azizi, Uganda

Nova Azizi

Nova Azizi


Nova Aziz has a bachelors of social sciences degree combined honors of Islamic University in Uganda, Post graduate diploma in Project Planning and Management, a Post graduate diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation of Uganda Management Institute. He has worked with the AIDS Support organization for the past 9 years in respective capacities of HIV/AIDS Counselor, Assistant counseling Coordinator and currently the Psycho-Social Services Coordinator at The AIDS Support organization Entebbe Branch. He work is dedicated towards improving quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS.


Abstract # 81

The Impact of Media Towards Advancement and Promotion of Better and Improved Health in Uganda

Lilliane Babirye

Media Consultant – Radio One, Uganda
The views, attitudes and intentions that underlie poor health practices often are deeply-rooted and emotion-laden. The media in Uganda is playing a big role in improving health education, persuading the unreceptive culture minded individuals, and attracting the medical professionals through educative and informative interactions with the public.

The cynicism within a sect of African descendants who misguide the disadvantaged crowd into full herbalist prescription and practices are the cause of preventive circumstances, unfair child mortality rates, sexuality and gender inequality, which the media is fittingly responsible to improve in the 21st century.

In Uganda, the media is engaging the audience in true multi-way conversations and interactions, social media platforms, partnerships with private and public sector stakeholders, improved service delivery, and enabled accessibility to affordable quality health products.

The need to open new research avenues for future prosperity to health realization still calls for your attention.

Key Words: Poor health practices; Media; Social media; Uganda.

Abstract 82

An Emerging Future: An Indigenous Perspective Related to Understanding the Nature of the Quantum Biological Human Being

Diane Hill

Integrative Programs Consultant

Diane Hill

Diane Hill

Director – Ka’nikonhriyohtshera: Fostering Emergence of the Good Mind

Program Administrator – R.E.A.L. School Leadership Development

Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, ON, Canada

Ryerson University, Canada

This presentation explains how quantum science and its focus on energy medicine creates a bridge for understanding how the Newtonian/Allopathic model of wellness merges with the Indigenous/Multi-dimensional approach to wholeness.

In making reference to new research drawn from quantum science, I will invite the audience to consider how the recent discoveries in the fields of cellular biology, neuroscience, quantum physics and epigenetics are providing us with an expanded view of what it means to live life as a quantum biological human.

I will describe an evolutionary path of human development influenced by the transformative power and potential of a decolonizing methodology and practice rooted in my indigenous knowledge system. This new and refreshing indigenous perspective explores the implications related to the kind of future that emerges when the spiritual capacity of all human beings is cultivated and strengthened. One of the final questions I will pose relates to the role of indigenous foods for health and healing.

Key Words: Quantum science; Quantum biology; Energy medicine; Newtonian/Allopathic wellness model; Indigenous/Multi-dimensional wellness approach; Evolutionary development; Indigenous health and healing; Indigenous food.


Abstract 83

Science and Technical Education as Remedies of Youth Unemployment in Uganda

 Mike Omalla Ochieng, Uganda 

The problem of youth unemployment is one that has continuously ravaged the country of Uganda. This has been accentuated by the fact that Uganda has got the youngest population in the world. Much as the youth are privileged enough to get an education, the majority are opting for art courses while the lesser percentage take on the science and technical education programs. As a result, most of them fail to apply the knowledge they acquire from their education. The majority ends up loitering in urban centres, abusing drugs with related health consequences, involvement in criminal activities and prostitutions, among others.

My presentation at this Conference will anchor on ways through which science education can be applied to address youth development. This includes changing the ways educational programs are administered. In order for the youth to gain useful skills and attitudes which can be used to create job opportunities for national development, the practicality of educational programs must be emphasized. This may bring about a lot in terms of positively impacting youth interest and engagement in issues concerning the state of their communities.  Research into the inadequacies of the current curriculum and research-based comprehensive school reform models that can develop practical skills in the science and technical education programs must therefore focus on job creation and assertiveness. I will also examine barriers to the implementation of science and technical education programs.

Key words: Youth development; Science education; Science courses.


Abstract 84
Missionary Science in Africa: A Policy Opinion on Advancement of Science in Africa
Prof. Joachim Kapalanga

Prof. Joachim Kapalanga

Prof. Joachim Kapalanga

SASA Executive President
Professor (Adj) of Pediatrics, Schulich School of Medicine and South Western Ontario Academic Health Network

Abstract 85

Effects of Long Term Autophagy Inhibition with Chloroquine on the Development and Progression of Experimental Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

Student: Azza Ramadan1,2  Supervisor: Subodh Verma1,2

1Divisions of Cardiac Surgery, Keenan Research Centre and Lia Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, CA;

2Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, ON, CA.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are a significant cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide.  Although several mechanisms have been put forth, the central determinants of AAA development appear to involve heightened vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) apoptosis, with increased degradation of the extracellular matrix, in the setting of chronic inflammation.  Recent evidence suggests that autophagy genes are deregulated in human AAA and that autophagy may modulate VSMC fate and plasticity.

We sought to verify if long-term autophagy inhibition with chloroquine (CQ) attenuates AAA progression and mortality in an experimental AAA model. We hypothesized that loss of VSMC autophagy is essential in the pathogenesis and clinical course of AAA.

Our methodology involved ApoE-/- mice, which were implanted with miniosmotic pumps containing saline (n=15) or angiotensin II (Ang II; 1.44 mg/kg/day) (n=27). Mice from each group were subdivided and administered CQ (50 mg/kg/day, i.p.) or saline for 8 weeks. Mortality rates, hemodynamics and abdominal aortic diameters were monitored.  Necropsy evaluations, histological and immuno-histological staining for aortic wall remodeling, markers of autophagy and inflammation were conducted on suprarenal aortic samples.

We found that Ang II infusion resulted in a cumulative mortality of 38%. Long-term CQ treatment did not alter this outcome (43%, p>0.05 vs. saline-treated group).  When AAA rupture-related mortality was specifically evaluated, no difference between the Ang II groups was observed.  At week 8, mean maximal luminal diameter of the abdominal aorta was similar between the Ang II-infused groups (Saline: 1.91±0.19 mm vs. CQ: 1.97± 0.17 mm) and Ang II-induced elevation in mean arterial pressure was unaffected by CQ (Saline: 140±16 mmHg vs. CQ: 135±11 mmHg).

In conclusion, long term CQ administration does not impact on the development and natural history of experimental AAA.  These data suggest that a global and non-specific autophagy inhibition strategy is unlikely to represent a therapeutic intervention for AAA.  Whether cell- and/or gene-specific targeting of the autophagy machinery improves AAA outcomes remains to be determined.

Key Words: Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Vascular smooth muscle; Autophagy inhibition; Chloroquine; Inflammation; ApoE mice; Angiotensin II.


Abstract 86

 Caring for Ebola patients: The Nursing Experience During a Large, Deadly Ebola  Epidemic in Northern Uganda

 Akoth Jane Ongwen (Registered Nurse), Angioletta Anyai (Senior Nursing Officer),

Emintone Odong (Medical Director, Obstetrician),

Jane Akoth Ongwen, RN

Jane Akoth Ongwen, RN

Emmanuel Ochola (Hospital Epidemiologist, Lacor Hospital).

In the year 2000, Uganda had a deadly outbreak of Ebola virus infection in Gulu, Mbarara and Masindi Districts that infected 425 people with a case fatality ratio of 54%. The outbreak’s epicenter was in Gulu district where Lacor hospital is situated. Lacor cared for up to 243 Ebola patients, with about 130 deaths of which 13 were nurses and Dr. Mathew Lukwiya also died. Nurses and doctors chose to care for Ebola patients knowing well the high risk of death, thus manifesting sacrifice, commitment, and strong teamwork under the leadership of Dr. Mathew, while facing massive stigma among other challenges.

Confirmation was made after some patient deaths and possible health worker exposure. Under the leadership of Dr. Lukwiya, partners were brought on board. Nurses were asked to volunteer to work in Ebola wards after fully understanding the risks involved. Nurses and doctors observed the death of colleagues with severe pain, since one often seemed helpless, and even unable to pay proper respect to a fallen colleague; wondering if one would be the next to die. Nurses worked for 8-12 hours in the ward, demonstrating high commitment, and the team would have daily knowledge and statistical update about Ebola. Staff working on Ebola patients were stigmatized, sometimes people refusing to interact with them, sell foodstuff to them, or even visit them. Initially personnel protective equipment and supplies were very limited, and communities were not apprehensive of the condition

For subsequent outbreaks, health systems need to be alert to detect outbreaks early, and the world needs to respond quickly, to provide personnel protective equipment, training, treatment facilities and support with technically competent human personnel. There is also need for massive public health intervention involving the communities. Research should be done to protect health workers and the general population from Ebola.


Prof. Balakrishna Shetty

Prof. Balakrishna Shetty

Abstract 87
Telemedicine Between India and Africa: A Cost Effective SASA Project for Health Care, Research and Education – A SASA-Mediated Project
Dr. Balakrishna Shetty, MD, DMRD, DNB
Vice Chancellor, Sri Siddhartha University, India

Teleradiology services aim to cut costs, balance radiologists’ workload, ensure emergency service, reduce waiting lists, consult other specialists and transmit images for multiple opinions. Cross-border teleradiology also widens the scope for education and research.
Sri Siddhartha University, India and Universities in Uganda/ Africa are collaborating in the field of telehealth, education, research and community services which result from:
• Installation of state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, to start with 10 computed tomography (CT) scanners in university hospitals across Africa.
• Funding: 50% host hospital; 50% outsource (Non-Profit organizations).
• Technicians from host institutions.
• Telereporting: Senior radiologists in Bangalore, India with International experience to sign the reports.
• Medical transcription for on-time reporting from Bangalore, India.

This public-private participation will help in:
1. Providing diagnostic services in university hospitals.
2. Developing and participating in training and research programs for African faculty and students.
3. Accessing scientific and medical information.
4. Exchanging documentation and participating in medical, scientific, and education and research meetings.
5. Developing business models for interested organizations through private-public participation, which leads to the sustainability and success of telehealth projects.
6. Apart from health, education and research, other activities such as economic.

Our experience on telehealth within and across India shows that cross-continental teleradiology can be the best modality to provide cost effective, quality radiology services and also to train the radiology students in Africa.
Key Words: Telemedicine; Teleradiology; Telehealth; Telereporting; Health care, research and education; computed tomography; imaging; University hospitals; private-public participation; Business models; India; Africa

Abstract 88

Planetary Health Commission

Anna Oda, BScN, RN, MN student; Joannes Yimbesalu, MSc; Jacky Au Duong, BA, MPC; Brigitte Dreger-Smylie, BSc, MPC student; Bronwyn Lapp, RPN, BScN student and Vidushi Sharma, OPH student
Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Anna Oda

Anna Oda

This session will introduce a new local-to-global movement called the Planetary Health Commission (PHC). PHC is gaining momentum within the Ryerson University community, where it promotes global citizenship, human rights, equality and equity. PHC’s goal is to empower individuals to take action by providing knowledge that inspires, motivates and challenges them to become global citizens.

Through education and awareness, PHC encourages students, faculty and friends of Ryerson to work for positive change in a diverse and increasingly insecure global environment. To accomplish this, PHC uses narratives that encourage optimism, action and a knowledge culture.

We will present an overview of the PHC’s vision, mission and activities, both ongoing and upcoming and reflect on the development of the PHC. Finally, we will discuss what it means to be driven to create social change, contribute to science and be part of a growing movement.

Anna Oda, BScN, RN, MN student 

Anna Oda is a Registered Nurse and currently doing a Masters of Nursing: Leadership in Healthcare Policy and Education at Ryerson University. She has a strong interest in global health and is passionate about improving health worldwide. She also currently works as a Research Assistant for Dr. David Zakus and tutors Ryerson students in Arabic language. She speaks fluent Russian, Arabic and English, has travelled considerably and appreciates different cultures.

Joannes Yimbesalu, MSc

Joannes Yimbesalu

Joannes Yimbesalu

Joannes Yimbesalu is a research scientist by profession, with interests in infectious diseases and public health. He has worked with the Medical College of Wisconsin and is currently pursuing a Certificate in International Development from the University of British Columbia. As a strong advocate for global education, working with children and communities orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and as a Global Youth Ambassador for “A World at School”, Joannes has represented the voices of youth at several spaces, including the Global Citizenship Education Working Group on Policy, Advocacy and Communications convened by the United Nations Youth Advocacy Group (YAG), The Center for Universal Education (CUE), and UNESCO. He has also published articles that critically assess the educational challenges the worlds’ poorest children face through the lens of his organization, Hope For Children Cameroon, which he founded in 2011.
Joannes recently spoke at a UN High-level Side Event on “Ensuring the Emerging Leadership of African Young Women and Girls towards Agenda 2063”, and at a press conference on “African Women and Girls Speak on Peace, Security and Development in Africa”, jointly organized by the African Union and the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa during the 59th Session on the Commission of the Status of Women. His work on gender equality was featured by UN Women in the April 2015 issue as one of the first IMPACT stories since the launch of the UN Women “HeForShe” Campaign, a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to stand up against the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally, and strengthens the support for women’s rights as human rights. Joannes is actively involved in the post-2015 development stakeholder Steering Committee processes leading to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015. His efforts to make a lasting difference have been recognized by the UN with the 2014 Youth Courage Award, and by the Queen of England with a Queen’s Young Leader Award, which he will accept in June 2015.

 Bronwyn Lapp, RPN, BScN student

Bronwyn Lapp

Bronwyn Lapp


Bronwyn is a Registered Practical Nurse and a student in the Post-Diploma Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Ryerson University. She has past experience working as a research study coordinator in rheumatology with the Ontario Best Practices Research Initiative.Bronwyn is very passionate about global health and development. She has completed placementexperiences in Peru, Honduras, Guatemala and Ethiopia. She intends to pursue graduate studies in public health and tropical nursing. Bronwyn aims to practice locally and internationally, aspiring to enhance culturally sensitive care for maternal-child populations through sustainable program planning and community capacity building.

Vidushi Sharma, OPH student

Vidushi Sharma

Vidushi Sharma

Vidushi Sharma is enrolled in Ryerson University’s Public Health and Safety undergraduate program. In her journey to promote human health, prevent infectious diseases and prolong life, she joined the Commission. Within the team, she is responsible for managing all social media accounts and web strategy. Broadening her horizon in public health, she is an active advocate of Aboriginal health and safety and wants to improve ecological wellness and sustainability initiatives.


Brigitte Dreger-Smyli, BSc, MPC student
Brigitte Dreger-Smylie is currently completing her Master of Professional Communication (MPC) at Ryerson University. She is a specialist in knowledge translation, and works with engineers, scientists, and researchers from a variety of disciplines to communicate their work to the public. She is currently the Program Director for the charity North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper, as well as Project Manager with hitchBOT at Ryerson. This year, Brigitte has contributed to the development of the student group, the Planetary Health Commission, which educates and empowers students on issues of global health ad planetary wellness.


Abstract # 89

 Factors and Diseases Influencing Dairy Goat Production among Small Scale Farmers in Laikipia East District, Kenya

 Maitho T. and J. W. Kinyua

 University of Nairobi, Department of Public Health, Pharmacology, and Toxicology Nairobi, Kenya.

Prof. Timothy Maitho

Prof. Timothy Maitho

Dairy goats are reared in Kenya in order to produce milk, meat and leather and thus improve food security and income of farmers. The dairy goat development in Kenya has been growing slowly although the government initiated several projects in late 1970s in order to improve dairy goat stock for distribution to farmers. The dairy goat sector has also been growing slowly and in Laikipia East District, although the dairy goats were introduced in 2005 and the District is endowed with suitable climate for dairy goat production.

A study was therefore conducted in order to establish factors and diseases that influence production of dairy goats among small-scale farmers in Laikipia East District since limited information is available in this area. The objectives of the study were to determine socio-economic factors, breeding methods and diseases that influence production of dairy goats among small-scale farmers in Laikipia East District. The study was conducted using a descriptive survey design and 170 small-scale farmers.

Questionnaires and interview schedules were utilized to collect primary data from the respondents and data was analyzed using SPSS (the Statistical Package for Social Sciences). The response rate obtained in the study was excellent since 162 out of 170 respondents filled and returned the questionnaires The results showed that the majority (61.7%, N=162) of the respondents were females and the majority  (66.3%) of farmers were over 49 years while youth (18-34 years) comprised only 10.6%. The majority (50%) of the respondents had primary level of education. The average household size was 7 members and 88.3% of the respondents earned livelihood from the farming only. The results on production showed that the majority (53.1%) of the farmers kept Alpine breed while 18.5% of the farmers kept Toggenberg breed.

The results indicate that 49.4% of farmers had 1-2 goats in lactation and 43.8% of the farmers did not have a goat in lactation. A total of 54% of the respondents indicated that the average dairy milk production per day was less than 1 liter and 82.1% of the respondents used milk for household consumption. The findings on the methods of breeding showed that 94.4% of the respondents used natural mating of goats while 5.6% used Artificial Insemination (A.I).  The first mating age of the does was about 1.5 years. The results indicate that 50% of the respondents were aware of artificial insemination technology while 71.6% indicated that (A.I) technology was not available in most areas of the District. The results on diseases indicate that 52.5% of the respondents had encountered diseases in their flock within one year. The important diseases found in the district included diarrhea, eye infections, pneumonia, bloat, mastitis, heartwater and Contagious Caprine Pleurol Pneumonia (CCPP). It was only 40.1% of the flock, which was vaccinated against CCPP and 30.2% of the respondents, reported that they were not aware of the vaccination schedule. The findings on the control of parasites indicate that 57.4% of the farmers dewormed goats after 3 months while 64.8% of the respondents controlled ticks once a week.

In conclusion, the study show that social economic factors, adaptation of breeding technology, diseases, and pests influence dairy goat and milk production in Laikipia East District. The results obtained from the study are useful to Government officers, researchers, farmers and other stakeholders.

Key Words: Factors, diseases, dairy goat, Kenya


Professor Maitho is a Kenyan citizen  and is employed by the University of Nairobi in the Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology. He obtained Bachelor’s degree and a M.Sc degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Nairobi. He was later awarded a PhD degree from the University of London. He has a wide experience in University training, research and administration. Prof Maitho has conducted multidisciplinary research and published many scientific articles in peer reviewed Journals. He has supervised over 60 postgraduate students and has also served as a visiting professor in several Universities. Prof. Maitho can be contacted via email: tmaitho@uonbi.ac.ke


For additional details, please contact:

Dr. Francis Akena Adyanga:  adyanga1@gmail.com and Morris Komakech: mokoms@gmail.com (for administrative matters)
Prof. Alain L. Fymat: alain.fymat@fiimas.org (for scientific matters)