22 January 2016

Uganda: Makerere Researchers Design Ebola Test

Kampala — Researchers at Makerere University School of Biomedical Sciences have developed an Ebola paper-strip test that shortens the detection time from weeks to minutes.

This, according to Vice Chancellor John Ddumba-Ssentamu, will enable health workers to quickly isolate infected persons to control its spread.

"Researchers at the school of Biomedical sciences have developed an Ebola test. The test has the potential to improve control of the Ebola epidemic," Prof Ddumba -Ssentamu said at the graduation of students from the College of Health Sciences and Makerere University Business School.

The project was headed by Dr Misaaki Wayengera with a $100,000 (Shs340 million) funding from Grand Challenges Canada supported by the Canadian government to reduce the disease burden in sub-Saharan Africa.

The School of Public Health has also received a grant of $482,000 (about Shs1.6 billion) to develop a "Generation Ebola Isolation Tent" after winning a worldwide competition with more than 1,000 submissions.

The tent is being designed by students from the College of Health Sciences and the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. Once completed, the tent will be adopted for use. The research team is comprised of Prof William Bazeyo, Dr Roy Mayega and Dr Dorothy Okello.

The College of Health Sciences presented 516 candidates, 14 of whom received doctorates, 181 were awarded masters. MUBS, Makerere's affiliate, had 3,853 students graduating from various business courses.

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