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One Health Fellows

One Health Fellows

Dr. Arthur Bagonza is a veterinarian with a master’s degree in Public Health from Makerere University. As a public health practitioner, he has worked with both government systems and non-governmental organizations to offer agricultural advisory services to farmers, and in prevention and control of zoonotic diseases.

During the One Health Fellowship, Arthur was attached to the Ministry of Health where he participated in several disease outbreak investigations including the anthrax in Sheema district, where he was the principal investigator.

He also took part in a Yellow Fever risk assessment in Kabale district, conducted investigations into a brucellosis outbreak in Mubende district, and lightning strikes in many parts of Uganda. These experiences and others during the Fellowship broadened Arthur’s knowledge and expertise in field epidemiology and public health research.

Arthur is proud to have been an AFENET/CDC/EPT One Health Fellow and is confident that with his newly acquired competencies, he can effectively conduct an outbreak investigation in any part of the world. For Arthur, learning to design and use monitoring and evaluation techniques in an organizational setting were among his most interesting and memorable lessons.

His highlight during the One Health Fellowship was being able to bring importance to diseases like anthrax which have become endemic in Uganda and yet receive little attention from the government. Additionally, surveillance for mass gatherings was also an exciting learning and information sharing opportunity. Arthur is proud to have contributed to disease outbreak prevention and control in Uganda, and for this he has AFENET, CDC, EPT, the Ministries of Health, as well as Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries to thank.

Dr. Ben NsajjuDr. Ben Nsajju is a public health practitioner, born in Uganda in 1967. He has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Makerere University, as well as a Diploma in Education from Kyambogo University in Uganda. After his undergraduate degree, Ben became a physician at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. He then joined the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) as an army doctor where he works currently.

During his MPH, Ben focused his studies on epidemiology- a subject he is very passionate about. He enjoys carrying out disease surveillance, outbreak investigations, as well as data collection and analysis.

He believes that the ACE One Health fellowship was a wonderful opportunity for him to enhance his knowledge, skills, and passion for epidemiology. His best moment during the Fellowship was meeting researchers from the American navy who attended the 4th AFENET Scientific Conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2011, where he presented findings of mass gathering surveillance on Martyrs’ Day at Namugongo in Uganda.

Ben hopes to one day set up a post-deployment surveillance system for the armed forces in Uganda.

Ben is married and has one daughter.

Dr. Benard NgagoDr. Benard Ngago is a One Health epidemiologist with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Makerere University, Uganda. His professional interests include: research, surveillance, and investigation of public health events and his research areas of interest are emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases, plus One Health.

Before enrolling for the Fellowship, Bernard was a senior veterinary officer with the local government in Uganda. Bernard is very passionate about disease surveillance and control and has done a lot of work in the field. He has previously worked as a district coordinator of a project called Pan African Control of Epizootics (PACE), which focused on monitoring, reporting, and controlling diseases in animals.

The One Health Fellowship therefore enriched his skills in the area of zoonoses.

What Bernard enjoyed most during the Fellowship was working with multidisciplinary teams to achieve a common goal- preventing and controlling zoonoses through active investigation and timely response. He participated in investigation and response to several outbreaks including: anthrax, Ebola, lightning strikes, and food poisoning among others. Bernard was among the pioneer group of epidemiologists who designed and implemented the novel surveillance system for a mass gathering in Uganda. He was also the principal investigator for a pilot project on brucellosis control in Mubende district and also led assessment of the environmental, water, and food safety at a mass gathering in Uganda. This experience sharpened his leadership skills and through the Fellowship, he also got better at his project management and proposal writing.

Since graduating from the One Health Fellowship, Bernard’s mind has been opened to the immense potential he has to create a difference in public health in Uganda and in the world. He now aspires to be one of the epidemiologists who will popularize, sensitize, train, and carry out research in the area of One Health in Uganda to help improve public health outcomes in the country.

Dr. Eric Mogaka OsoroDr. Eric Mogaka Osoro is a medical doctor with over seven years’ experience in post graduate training in applied epidemiology through the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (FELTP). He is the Provincial Disease Prevention and Control Officer at the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Kenya, and is responsible for supervising and coordinating in planning, implementation, and evaluation of disease control activities including surveillance in Western Province.

During his one-year One Health fellowship at AFENET, Eric teamed up with another fellow- Dr. Kelly Nelima to carry out an evaluation of abattoir surveillance system and investigated an anthrax outbreak in Western Kenya. Results from the evaluation have improved collaboration between the animal and human health sectors in the province through surveillance information sharing in joint dissemination meetings.

Eric is interested in research on zoonotic diseases-diseases which affect both humans and animals- and is confident that the knowledge and skills learnt through the One Health fellowship will greatly enhance his understanding of the One Health concept and implementation of the same.

Dr. Kelly Auma NelimaDr. Kelly Auma Nelima has a Bachelors degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Nairobi and is the first veterinarian in Kenya to graduate with a Master of Science in Applied Epidemiology.

She has served in the Ministry of Livestock in various capacities; first as the veterinary officer in charge of hygiene, and thereafter rising through the ranks to provincial veterinary officer in charge of hygiene- a position she currently holds.

As a One Health Fellow, she has gained vast experience and knowledge in zoonotic diseases outbreak investigation and response, using One Health concept, leadership and management skills, participatory epidemiology, and monitoring and evaluation. Kelly enhanced and learnt most of these skills through well-planned short didactic courses facilitated by qualified persons from reputable institutions like the Eastern African Management Institute (ESAMI), mentorship, and through field placement.

During the fellowship, Kelly was able to evaluate the abattoir surveillance system in Kenya’s Western province, from which she hopes to design a standardized surveillance tool, which featured up as a major gap. Kelly has shared her findings from the evaluation at various fora including the International Kenya Veterinary Scientific Conference in April 2012. She has also participated in anthrax outbreak surveillance, investigation, and response in Kakamega, East Western province, free mass vaccination of dogs, and sensitization in schools in Matungu district Western province- where dog bites are rampant.

Kelly attributes all these achievements to AFENET, CDC, and the Emerging Pandemic threats Program which gave her a chance to be a One Health fellow.

Ms. Stella Immaculate AkechMs. Stella Immaculate Akech is an epidemiologist with a Bachelors degree in Environmental Health Science and a Master of Public Health degree from Makerere University. During her graduate studies, Stella was a public health officer attached to the Ministry of Health in Uganda, where she participated in disease outbreak investigations including pandemic influenza A (H1N1) and cholera among others. She has worked with civil society organizations and local government systems in developing public health interventions for prevention and control of communicable diseases.

Stella describes her One Health Fellowship experience as “unforgettable” because she had the enviable opportunity to enhance her knowledge and skills in epidemiology and research; she feels confident to investigate any outbreak in the world. Stella participated in outbreak investigations on anthrax and lightning strikes in Uganda. She was the team leader in the latter investigation. Stella believes her research skills got better through the Fellowship. Stella also appreciated the importance of team work which helped her to accomplish tasks easily.

The highlight for Stella was being part of the team that designed and implemented a novel mass gathering surveillance system for Uganda Martyr’s Day in June 2011.

Stella also enjoyed making presentations of investigations she did, at international and national conferences as well as her placement at the ministries of health and agriculture. At the ministries, she supported disease surveillance, generated weekly epidemiological reports, participated in risk assessments, and trained district health staff in epidemic preparedness, response, and surveillance.

To AFENET and CDC, Stella is extremely grateful for the opportunity and is eager to use her new knowledge and skills to improve people’s lives.

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