THE EDUCATIONAL ADVENTURE

Wondering how it would be, a bit scared I was….but hoped for the best.

photo by Gabriel Tumwine
summer school team observing the traps for tsetse fly control.

On 11 June 2017, I had the pleasure to visit the Eastern part of Uganda for a scientific study under the umbrella of being a communicator and part of the Summer School team during the 2017 Summer School held by the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security, Makerere University every academic year.

I can’t deny that I got equipped with much  knowledge on zoonoses and the best ways to prevent as well as fight against them. While in Tororo district at National Live stock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI), which is a government body mandated to carry out research and develop technologies in the fight against  Trypanosomiasis (spread by a tsetse fly carrying the parasite to uninfected live stock causing Nagana, and humans causing sleeping sickness).

I was also pleased to get knowledge on how the vector can be controlled, and the use of the blue-black designed traps was an interesting control method I came across in the course of the study which was conducted by Dr. Patrick Abila P’Odyek, a trained zoologist from Makerere University, Uganda and Trypanosome researcher at NaLIRRI .

Cinta images
Dr. Abila helping one of the Summer School Students identify the tsetse fly’s reproductive system through a microscope.

What was more exciting was the way tsetse flies detect the blue color at a distance and get attracted to it because of their genetic composition which drives them to land on it. This explains why the traps are designed with a blue color in controlling tsetse flies.

The main cause of that study also involved sensitizing people on how to control tsetse flies, most especially in Tororo District which is one of the places in Uganda most invested with the vector, hence a very big health issue in the area. With back up from the NaLIRRI research team, we had the pleasure of visiting Bukedi Secondary School in Tororo District where we talked to students about the fight against Trypanosomiasis.

With much pleasure of having got that information as part of the summer school team, we had a moment of relaxation and more creative adventure in Kapchorwa District at the Sipi Falls. while there and with much excitement, I took the opportunity of relating with nature…..mhh…it was really exciting! The Sipi Falls was such a natural gigantic shower…the forcefully gravitated waters in collision with the blowing winds leading to an exciting water blow from the main fall course allover the place. On this one, I really can’t deny that I loved it!Cinta images

I can’t forget the precious stones and lively plants that attracted my camera. At the Sipi Falls, nature is in 100% inter-play. The whispering winds, the noisy clear waters, the glittering rocks, the smiley mocking flowers, the dark wet caves and daring escarpments on which the playful tall tress stood.

It was such a great educational and yet an exciting adventure.

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