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The first Molecular Biology & Immunology School in Sierra Leone

Ebola DiagnosticsThe University of Rome Tor Vergata and the Public Health School, University of Makeni announce a new Intensive Course – “Molecular Biology & Immunology of Microbial Infections” to run from 30 January – 24 April 2015

The Course aims to establish the first Molecular Biology & Immunology School in Sierra Leone and is part of the Ebola Response Project of the Diocese of Makeni and of the Italian Geographical Society, in collaboration with the University of Makeni and the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The Course is financially supported by the Nando Peretti Foundation.

At the end of the Course a joint Certificate of the University of Rome and the University of Makeni will be delivered to all students that have passed the final theoretical and practical examinations.

The students reaching the best results will be offered additional training at the Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Pathology of the University of Rome, or at the International Reference Centre “Chantal Biya” for AIDS, Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Follow this link for full details of the course.

Position Paper on Reopening of the University of Makeni

With the rate of infections gradually dwindling down, the massive support to the health system of holding and treatment centres, the behavioural change of people in the face of the Ebola epidemic, there is now an enabling environment to reopen universities and colleges. The Holy Spirit Hospital owned by the Diocese of Makeni has just installed its level three bio- diagnostic laboratory to help in the fight against Ebola and would be at the disposal of the University. Delay in reopening of schools and colleges would have serious economic, social, and moral consequences for our nation and its future.

A. SECURITY AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
The following protocols are being put in place at the University to ensure security and safety:
1. Standard Ebola Protocols (SEP1) for students and all staff during lecture hours which should run from eight in the morning to eight at night
2. Protocols for students at the hostels (SEP2)

1. PROTOCOL FOR STUDENTS AND ALL CADRES OF STAFF ONE (1)
1. Personal student and staff profile of their stay for the past five months helping us establish a medical data of our students and staff. This is subject to verification without breaking privacy
2. Disinfection of all our campuses and the use of chorine at strategic points for use by students and staff
3. Ensure that there is daily temperature check for all students and staff
4. There is already running water in all our campuses provided by three boreholes constructed for the cost of forty five thousand dollars.
5. Ensure that entry points are strictly controlled in all campuses
6. Ongoing sensitization for all staff and students and posters all over campus.
7. Ebola response is mainstreamed in all disciplines exploring its control and impact.
8. Explore an interdisciplinary approach in problem solving from the Ebola response experience

2. PROTOCOL FOR STUDENTS IN HOSTELS (2)
1. Students information book is available in all our hostels to ensure that students whereabouts could be traced
2. Regularly meetings with hostels coordinators to ensure byelaws for students
3. Ensure that there is water in all hostels
4. Regular disinfection of sanitary facilities in all hostels.
5. Availability of thermometers for regular checks for all our occupants at the hostel.
6. Personal profile of the students sojourn during the break should be available
7. Ensure access to medical facilities in case of emergency
8. Strengthen research around Ebola and its impact.

B: CONSULTATIONS
Enclosed are our minutes of our meeting with academic staff members
Proposed meetings with the District Ebola Task Force
Proposed meetings with support staff
Board of trustees have had regular meetings
Senate has been meeting regularly
Proposed meeting with University Board

C: ACTION POINTS
JANUARY AND FEBRUARY
1. Continue our online learning programs and radio teaching , ensure materials online, CD and hard copies available to students
2. Ensure data base management for students is in order.
3. Academic time table to be reviewed and modified
4. Lecture notes, online materials, ordering of books for faculties are carried out
5. Registration documents ready and verified
6. Ensure students complete their dissertations and external examiners contacted
7. Human resource and Finance committees to complete recruitment
8. Reference exams
9. Working on curricula / TEC
10. Training on molecular biology and epidemiology by Prof Collizi and staff from the University of Rome and Cameroon for our public health students
11. We are in the process of reviewing the academic calendar to ensure that our eighteen weeks of classes should be covered. A possible option is to increase the number of contact hours so that eighteen weeks could be covered. We still await specific details from the Ministry of Education.

Collaborating Universities receive Sustainable Human Development Education Award

The successful collaboration project between the University San Pablo CEU-Madrid, Spain (USPCEU) and the University of Makeni, SierraGDEE poster
Leone, (UNIMAK), has been recognised by an award from The Global Dimension in Engineering Education (GDEE).
GDEE is a EuropeAid initiative that aims to increase the awareness, critical understanding and attitudinal values of undergraduate and postgraduate students in technical universities related to Sustainable Human Development (SHD) and its relationship with technology.

The collaboration project, which has been coordinated by Professor Luis Perea Moreno since 2009, was one of seven winners which received the “2nd European Award for Best Practices for the Integration of Sustainable Human Development into Technology and Engineering Education”.

Professor Perea Moreno writes: “I have received the award as lecturer and coordinator of the project in Spain, but of course it belongs to all of us in Madrid and in Makeni, who have been involved. The awards are promoting this kind of collaboration between Universities and with a long term vision.”

For more information on the award-winning project, follow THIS LINK

New website articles published on “UNIMAK Publications” page

Two new papers are published today by the University and can be downloaded from the UNIMAK Publications page:

Why the fight against Ebola is an Herculean Task in Sierra Leone – Our side of the Story. The principal aim of this paper is to make the international community aware of the magnitude of the outbreak and its causes. The paper is also intended to draw together the important lessons that can be drawn for the future

Smart Aid – Things that work. This essay explores what type of aid has worked and what has not. Under what conditions can aid work effectively, and what type of aid, and how can we make aid effective and what type of actors can make aid effective ?