It was yet another rich learning, knowledge generation and sharing opportunity for Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) www.ranlab.org Team who joined in the 12th Joint Annual Scientific Conference (JASH) 2016 of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences http://chs.mak.ac.ug/. The JASH conference was held September 21-23, 2016 at Kabira Country Club, Kampala Uganda and it brought together 320 participants. This annual conference is organized by the Makerere University College of Health sciences in conjunction with Uganda National Association of Community and Occupational Health (UNACOH) and the World Health Organization. This year’s theme focused on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for health. Conference details were shared at www.chs.mak.ac.ug/jash2016.
During the Conference, four RAN Innovators shared about their innovative projects in the conference exhibition room. These included; Matibabu’-non-invasive malaria diagnosis tool, Pedal Tap-a retrofitted modern, easy to use and install foot-operated tap, MDex-a low cost, reusable, near instant point of care diagnostic tool aimed at increasing access to Sickle Cell Diagnostic services in low resource areas and the Solar Powered Autoclave- a proposed solar powered autoclave steriliser to manage the absence of power in operating rooms. In addition, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dean Makerere University School of Public Health and RAN Chief of Party/Lab Director presented on ‘Innovations for Sustainable Resilience of Communities’ drawing participants’ attention to aspects of thinking outside the box in order to remain creative in all that we do. He highlighted issues of investing in innovatively training the lower Primary pupils to always be creative referring to the RAN4Gals Program, the fact that solutions to Africa challenges are within the African themselves who live with the challenges and thus know them better citing Innovative solutions under incubation at RAN. Prof. Bazeyo also strongly shared that RAN’s core business is directed towards positively impacting the communities. He also shared that 25 % of all grants in Makerere University are from the College of Health Sciences, attracting a strong applause from the audience. “Last year, there were few losses registered in Bududa after the landslide because of RAN’s Intervention” added Prof. Bazeyo.However rich you are, it is not how much you spend but what you do with all that you have. At RAN, the core business is to help the communities in need, if you cannot help them, do not hurt them…added Prof. Bazeyo.
Immediately after Prof. Bazeyo’s presentation, participants flocked the RAN Exhibition stall inquiring details of how best they could join the team of Innovators at RAN. It was another rich learning, knowledge generation and sharing opportunity. It is now exciting closely engaging with most of the Conference participants for ‘Solutions through Innovation’.