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University LINKs Scheme

 Makerere University (Uganda)

Dr Sylvia NalubwamaDr Sylvia Nalubwama
College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources & Biosecurity
Email: drnalubwama@gmail.com


2020/2021 activities

The Makerere University Animal Welfare Students Club (MUAWSC) is a student-led club that cares about animal welfare and organizes various activities with partners to raise awareness, educate and encourage engagement and interest.

The club was founded in 2012 with support from UFAW and has been carrying out a range of different activities including school and community outreach programs, seminars and trips to animal facilities.

Dr. Sylvia Nalubwama and Dr. Tayebwa Dickson Stuart are the club’s patrons and it has a large and active committee comprising of 14 members, including representatives/ambassadors from each student year group at the university.

The club’s objectives for 2020/21 were:

-          To raise the profile and popularity of the club and animal welfare science.

-          To encourage more student involvement and feedback in the club's activities.

-          To educate and inform the students about animal welfare issues and practices.

One of the activities they undertook during the year was to hold a seminar on “Animal Welfare in Professional careers” in April 2021. The aim was to inspire and advise students on how to balance animal welfare advocacy and professional development.

Year group ambassadors from the club mobilized students from different classes, and the committee arranged the venue and resources.

The seminar had 92 guests from various courses, including veterinary medicine, laboratory technology, animal production technology, industrial livestock and business, and the feed industry.

The speakers were Dr. Tayebwa Dickson, Dr. Paul Sunna, Dr. Sylvia Nalubwama, Dr. Sam Okech, Dr. Tina Lang, and MUAWSC President Lutebemberwa Isa. They shared their experiences and insights on animal welfare in their careers. They encouraged and motivated students to integrate animal welfare in their work.

The committee report that they hope that the students learned from the speakers and will apply animal welfare principles in the different careers they may choose.

Other activities during the year included an animal welfare article writing competition, the recording of a number of interviews with animal welfare experts and a visit to a local dog shelter.


From left to right, MUAWSC 2020/21 President, Vice President Daisy Nansereko and General Secretary Kenneth Kawooya


In October 2016, animal welfare club members from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB), plus those from other colleges like college of health science, agricultural sciences, and social sciences, engaged in a sensitization and rabies vaccination campaign in Kireka, a Kampala surburb, which has had several incidences of increased stray dog populations.

They report:

‘Mobilization for participation in animal vaccination and part of the sensitization was done by the local authorities/students using a loud speaker through the whole village. On the vaccination day different tasks where shared into teams which included, ushering animal owners, recording, vaccination and sensitization. Each team had a station where it was situated so as to make it easy for animal owners bringing animals for vaccination and acquiring knowledge on care for the animals. In the sensitization section animal owners were briefed on how to handle their animals, feeding, housing and general care in line with the five freedoms that constitute animal welfare.



In conclusion, we are happy to report that the activity was a success, We managed to demonstrate to the community that stray animals should not just be killed and for animals that have homes, that owners should care for them so as to ensure their welfare. We are grateful to UFAW for funding this activity, COVAB for providing transport and Dr. Sylvia Nalubwama for coordinating the UFAW-Link at Makerere. Lastly, thanks go to all students and community members who participated in this exercise.’

Students who participated in sensitization and vaccination activity with Dr. Sylvia Nalubwama (Third from right)


LINK support at Makerere University has enabled the formation of an active animal welfare science club.  Consisting of students from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, the most recent initiative that we have been able to support is an outreach event in March to a local seconday school that the club members organised and participated in.

The thinking behind this outreach is detailed in the report we received on this event:

As a an animal welfare science club at Makerere University, we have a vision of creating passionate, knowledgeable and transformative ambassadors of animal welfare in our country and internationally through strengthening the human –animal bond, encouraging student research and outreach programs in animal welfare. In this regard, we envisage our current and future plans towards reaching out to communities in a bid to sensitize them about responsible use of animals for food, research, veneration, recreation or any other purpose to which an animal may be put.

In this particular activity, focus was on secondary(high) school students who should embrace the concept of animal welfare even before they join university or become responsible citizens of the country. We also realize that they are directly involved with animals at home or at farm especially during their holidays which clearly indicates that they have a key role to play as regards the welfare of animals. The activity was carried out at Makerere college school which is a secondary school located around Makerere University.’

Members of the club, led by one of its driving forces Mr Ssuna Paul and Dr. Sylvia Nalubwama (Makerere LINK) presented talks to over a hundred pupils and their teachers on ‘the basics in animal welfare including but not limited to: animal freedoms and their provisions, how to care for animals both small and large, why its important to care for animals, sentience in animals and its relevancy in handling of animals’. Pupils also took part in a quiz. At the end of the event the pupils were asked to fill in a questionnaaire that to collect information on their animal welfare knowledge, attitude and practices. The data from the questionnaires has yet to be analysed. 


Students who won T-shirts with UFAW logo after a brief quiz on the seminar topics

With support from the LINK scheme, a student ‘s club was stablished at the university - the Makerere University Animal Welfare Students Club and a one day seminar was arranged on “Promotion of Animal Welfare: The Role of Stakeholders”.

The seminar was attended by a total of 114 delegates of, which approximately 1/3rd were staff and 2/3rds students. Speakers, which included Dr. Ojala Robert (chief executive officer of the Uganda Veterinary Association), Dr. Omara Robert (President of Big Fix Uganda), Dr. Sylvia Nalubwama (UFAW LINK for Makerere University), Ssuna Paul (president of Makerere university animal welfare students club) and Professor Anthony Mugisha (School Dean), shared their experiences and encouraged students to join initiatives geared towards animal welfare.

The seminar showed that outreach programs, student professional education in animal welfare and fundraising for animal protection initiatives are important and require support. Additionally, it was concluded that seminars like this need to be held regularly so as to inform policy makers and other stakeholders.

Brief report on Animal Welfare Seminar held on 24th April 2014 at Makerere University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB)