URTC Spotlight: Team 1 completes sample collection in Kampala abattoirs

From left: James Watuwa, Dr. Nakedde of City Abattoir (provided technical assistance to the team), Sophia Namuddu, Patrick Albert Ipola, and Anna Munsey outside their field collections site in Kampala.

In January 2017, student researchers from Minnesota and Uganda were formed into teams as part of Uganda Research Training Collaborative (URTC). Together, they proposed small-scale research projects and have since been advancing their research plans. The URTC provides a rich opportunity for students from the U of M and partner institutions in Uganda to develop research skills.

On September 20, URTC Team 1 reported the completion of their fieldwork for their project, "A study to determine the prevalence of Mycobacterium Bovis in slaughtered cattle in the city abattoirs of Kampala, Uganda". The team of four students hailing from Makerere University’s College of Veterinary medicine, Animal resources, and Biosecurity (COVAB) and the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine screened approximately 1600 animals to collect 316 samples for their study over the course of 15 visits to the city abattoirs (slaughterhouses).

Team 1 leader Patrick Albert Ipola working in the abattoir.

Ipola Patrick Albert, the Team 1 student leader explained, “Working in the abattoir was such a great opportunity for us to learn a lot of dynamics that happen during field work. It presented several challenging scenarios but thanks to the strong, committed and devoted team these challenges were handled meticulously and professionally."

The study is being overseen by faculty mentors Lawrence Mugisha (MU), Margaret Saimo-Kahwa (MU), Clovice Kankya (MU), and Kim van der Waal (UMN).