On Saturday, 16th March 2019, Makerere University Environmental Health Students’ Association (MUEHSA) joined hands with the Uganda Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Alumni Association to carry out a clean-up exercise in Nakulabye Zone 9 (Kiwuunya Slum). MUEHSA is an association of students who study Environmental Health, a programme that is housed at Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH). MUEHSA did this together with other partners like the Kampala Capital City Authority and the Integrated Community Health Initiative Uganda. The activity was carried out together with community members. The students also used the opportunity to share health messages with community members. This clean-up was organized as part of activities to celebrate the Commonwealth day in Uganda. The celebrations for this day started on Monday 11th March 2019 with a panel discussion on employability for university students at Makerere University Main Hall which was officiated by Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs.

MUEHSA regularly gets involved in such drives because of the association’s firm belief in the prevention of diseases and promotion of health. “This starts from the environment where people live,” explained Rawlence Ndejjo, one of the patrons of the group. He went on to explain that such activities have always been a part of MUEHSA since the association was conceived in 2003.

Ferdinand Treasure Kimunyu, a student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree of Environmental Health Sciences (BEHS) in second year at Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) was one of the participants in the cleaning and health education drive. This is what he had to say; 

“The day was a success to me personally. The Kiwuunya slum community was so willing to participate and work hand-in-hand with our team. Giving back to the community and preserving the cleanliness was my best achievement of that day,” Kimunyu said.

 Students cleaning drainage channels. One of the student members of MUEHSA, Namakula, who participated in the drive said the day did not come with a clear-cut method of making sure the place is clean. There was a lot of improvisation and flexibility to ensure that the job got done.

Genevieve Nannyonyo, also a student at MakSPH in her second year and a member of MUEHSA remarked that she was taken aback by the simplicity and togetherness of the people who participated in the cleaning drive. “They came together for the common cause of extending a hand and contributing to the health and wellbeing of the community.”

For Lydia Nabawanuka Namakula, the exercise was an extension of the theory that is learnt in class. “From this clean-up, I have realized that flexibility is key because not every theoretical principle applies in the field,” the second year student said explaining further that by flexibility she was referring to improvisation while in the middle of a task in order to complete it and sacrificing.

 

This students’ association, MUEHSA, where these learners all belong also participates in the celebration of important Environmental Health days. This is done through holding public seminars and exhibitions, involvement in nationwide health activities such as outbreak investigations. MUEHSA also organizes and gets involved in annual conferences. This year, the association will be hosting the annual IFEH/MUEHSA conference. The international conference will take place in April, 2019. More information about it can be obtained on their website https://ifehmuehsa2019.musph.ac.ug/. IFEH stands  for International Federtion of Environmental Health.

 

 

 

Back to top