Kampala International University Western Campus (KIU-WC) has organized a 3-day Research Dissemination and Innovation Conference (KRIC 2019).
The conference dabbed- Multi-Sectoral Collaboration Towards The Prevention And Management Of Non-Communicable Diseases, is slated to become an annual event aimed at growing and strengthening a research and innovation culture among all students and staff at KIU Western Campus and other universities in the country.
Over time, students have been involved in scientific research and innovation on various local and international platforms. However, only a few students have been able to share their innovations on these platforms owing to lack of enough publicity and access to the media.
The key note speakers for the event will be Prof. Andre Renzaho of Western Sydney University, Australia, Dr. Gerald Mutungi; Commissioner Non-Communicable Diseases Uganda, and Prof. Fred Wabwire Mangen of the College of Health Health Sciences, Makerere University. Also, gracing the occasion are delegates from the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation, Uganda, among other notable academic personalities.
Innovations at KIU-WC
So far, two outstanding innovations by University students have been shared extensively with the science community.
The Petograph App
This is an application and software that can be used by health practitioners to improve diagnosis, management and follow up of pregnant mothers with pre-eclampsia. The innovation Abubakar Suleiman Tsamiya, a medical student, is acting as a tool for integrated management of Pre-eclampsia. The tool is now marketed as the Pre-Eclalmptic TOxaemia GRAPH-Petograph, a mobile and desktop application that can be used to determine whether an expectant mother is at risk of pre-eclampsia. (Health experts believe that pre-eclampsia is the leading cause of death among mothers in Uganda following haemorrhage.)
With the help of a portable hand wrist blood pressure machine, pregnant women can measure their blood pressure and enter their results into the Petograph application on their mobile phones or desktops. After less than three seconds, results appear on a popup screen.
The HDA App
This innovation is an offline application that helps patients to verify drugs, medical personnel and health centres.
Aside the huge strides made by these two innovators, a number of other students have not been given the opportunity to share their research or innovations. The KRIC initiative, as it will go a long way to showcase our home-grown innovations locally and internationally.
Africa has previously been challenged by infectious diseases; however, the continent is now currently facing a new challenge of non-communicable diseases. In Uganda for example, according to the 2018 WHO report on non-communicable diseases, a death rate of 33% was accounted for due to the prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Consequently, there is an urgent need for Africa to start addressing this challenge and develop interventions towards these diseases that are suitable for resource limited settings.
The KRIC-2019, will seek to avail a multidisciplinary platform for knowledge dissemination on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to around 20,000 students in various universities within and outside Uganda.
The event scheduled to take place from 11th to 13th September 2019, at New Biomedical Block, 3rd Floor, KIU Western Campus in Ishaka-Bushenyi, will provide a platform for young researchers to share the outputs of their research, stimulate young scientist to develop new interventions to manage non-communicable diseases, and avails local medical students opportunities in development and progressive education in research and innovations through the launching of the KIU-WC Innovation’s Hub.
Other objectives of the conference are to create an awareness on non-communicable diseases that will in turn promote healthy lifestyles that are essential towards the fight against these diseases.
According to the University’s press release, it is highlighted that the KRIC 2019 will increase the investment in research and development through public funding and encouraging the investments of the business sector in research and innovation in non-communicable diseases. It will also advocate for the inclusion of health promotion and public health approaches to the global burden of non-communicable diseases in health science school curricula.
The conference will be packed with Pre, Main, and Post Conference activities that will challenge the thinking of all participants as well as enable them explore the heights. Side attractions like KRIC Run, Hub of Science Tour, Game Drive, among others, have been enshrined in the programme to make the event rewarding and memorable.