OHCEA Uganda Engages more Deans for One Health Collaborative Action

Wednesday, 9 March 2016 - 6:23am
Prof. William Bazeyo addressing Deans.

OHCEA Uganda Country Office recently organised a pitching meeting for deans in a bid to reach out to more schools at the University. The meeting attracted deans from business studies, statistics, natural sciences, social sciences, gender and women studies, veterinary medicine and public health.

Broadly, the meeting agreed that while the concept of One Health is as old as the medical profession, medicine and related disciplines have instead grown parallel to each other.

In his opening remarks, the Dean, School of Public Health, Prof. William Bazeyo, who is also the CEO of One Health Central and East Africa (OHCEA) noted that while originally medical and veterinary students used to study their foundation years together, sadly this is no longer the case.

Using example of fish contracting TB from fisher-folk in Uganda and chimpanzees getting measles from humans, a lot more focus needs to be put on the fact that animals too do get diseases from humans.  

He pointed out that with opportunities presented by the long-standing working relationship between medics and veterinary doctors, what needs to be done is bringing more professionals on board. “You are in the right place, you are needed on board, and one health needs you. If you do not believe in one health, how can the students believe in you?” he implored.

Prof. John David Kabasa who is the Principal College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity, noted that at Makerere University, all Colleges are engaged in activities that relate to One Health. “How can we package ourselves and deliver on one health. What is it in other disciplines that can be packaged in such a way that it strengthens the work of a medical doctor? How do we package our curricula to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the global labour market?” he wondered.  

The deans present agreed that the impact of global integration presents opportunities for collaborative work in One Health.

The OHCEA Uganda Year II workplan was shared with the deans and they requested for smaller meetings and presentations at the respective schools where more focused discussions will be done.