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Trusted sources of information on COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic in Uganda. A crosssectional study
(Research squares, 2023-10-17) Oloya, Johnson Nyeko; Alema, Nelson Onira; Okot, Christopher; Olal, Emmanuel; Ikoona, Eric Nzirakaindi; Oyat, Freddy Wathum Drinkwater; Steven, Baguma; Ochula, Denish Omoya; Olwedo, Patrick Odong; Pebolo, Francis Pebalo; Atim, Pamela Okot; Okot, Godfrey Smart; Nantale, Ritah; Aloyo, Judith; Kitara, David Lagoro
Background. COVID-19 has dramatically impacted communities worldwide, especially in developing countries. To successfully control the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 80% vaccination coverage was required, and the flow of correct information to the population was critical. However, misinformation and disinformation could impact this, increasing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in some communities. Several studies have assessed the effect of misinformation and disinformation on COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and other responses to the pandemic in the African continent. Thus, the most trusted sources of information on COVID-19 vaccines to the population is critical for successfully managing and controlling the pandemic. This study aimed to assess the most trusted sources of information on COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic in northern Uganda.
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Nodding syndrome in Ugandan children—clinical features, brain imaging and complications: a case series
(BMJ Open, 2013-04-08) Idro, Richard; Opoka, Robert Opika; Aanyu, Hellen T; Piloya-Were, Theresa; Namusoke, Hanifa; Musoke, Sarah Bonita; Nalugya, Joyce; Bangirana, Paul; Mwaka, Amos Deogratius; White, Steven; Chong, Kling; Atai-Omoruto, Anne D; Mworozi, Edison; Nankunda, Jolly; Kiguli, Sarah; Aceng, Jane Ruth; Tumwine, James K; Kakooza-Mwesige, Angelina
Objectives: Nodding syndrome is a devastating neurological disorder of uncertain aetiology affecting children in Africa. There is no diagnostic test, and risk factors and symptoms that would allow early diagnosis are poorly documented. This study aimed to describe the clinical, electrophysiological and brain imaging(MRI) features and complications of nodding syndrome in Ugandan children. Design: Case series. Participants: 22 children with nodding syndrome brought to Mulago National Referral Hospital for assessment. Outcome measures: Clinical features, physical and functional disabilities, EEG and brain MRI findings and a staging system with a progressive development of symptoms and complications. Results: The median age of symptom onset was 6 (range 4–10) years and median duration of symptoms was 8.5 (range 2–11) years. 16 of 22 families reported multiple affected children. Physical manifestations and complications included stunting, wasting, lip changes and gross physical deformities. The bone age was delayed by 2 (range 1–6) years. There was peripheral muscle wasting and progressive generalised wasting. Four children had nodding as the only seizure type;18 in addition had myoclonic, absence and/or generalised tonic–clonic seizures developing 1–3 years after the onset of illness. Psychiatric manifestations included wandering, aggression, depression and disordered perception. Cognitive assessment in three children demonstrated profound impairment. The EEG was abnormal in all, suggesting symptomatic generalised epilepsy in the majority. There were different degrees of cortical and cerebellar atrophy on brain MRI, but no hippocampal changes. Five stages with worsening physical, EEG and brain imaging features were identified: a prodrome, the development of head nodding and cognitive decline, other seizure types, multiple complications and severe disability. Conclusions: Nodding syndrome is a neurological disorder that may be characterised as probably symptomatic generalised epilepsy. Clinical manifestations and complications develop in stages
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Interrogating the agency and education of refugee children with disabilities in Northern Uganda: A critical capability approach
(National Children's Bureau and John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2023-10-17) Monk, David; Walton, Elizabeth ; Madziva, Roda ; Opio, George ; Kruisselbrink, Annemaaike ; Openjuru, George Ladaah 
This paper draws on empirical evidence from a 3-year research project in Northern Uganda examining the educational experiences of refugees with disabilities. The authors present the compounded and interrelated challenges children with disabilities and their families face as they navigate their educational experiences and seek out opportunities to live well. The authors seek to make a contribution towards improving educational experiences by first highlighting compounding challenges faced by refugee children living with disabilities and their families and related policy gaps that have ramifications for refugee children's access to education in particular, and second by expanding discourse about refugee children with disabilities agency in relation to these liminal gaps and the impact the gaps have for accessing education. The authors use Powell and McGrath's(in Skills for human development: Transforming vocational education and training, Routledge, 2019; Handbook of vocational education and training, Springer, 2019) concept of critical capabilities and relationality, to expand Klocker's (in Global perspectives on rural childhood and youth: Young rural lives, Routledge, 2007) notions of thick and thin agency and to interrogate refugee children living with disabilities' agency in relation to education opportunities and rights.
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Towards a transformative lifelong learning agenda for non-traditional students at university
(Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 2023-09-16) Tumuheki, P.B.; Zeelen, J.; Openjuru, G. L.
Liberalisation of higher education in Uganda meant opening its provision to the private sector, and also running a public-private mix model at public institutions. Consequently, the composition and needs of the student population at universities have changed due to flexibility in provision of study programmes and access routes. Students who had previously been excluded are also joining in increasing numbers. This article uses the feminist frameworks to equality and difference, discourses of integration and exclusion, and the concepts of Othering and Other to unpack equality of access, equity and inclusivity spaces of these new types of students. The aim is to contribute towards a learning agenda that promotes quality and sustainable educational development for all. We draw our findings from the voices of non-traditional students at a public university in Uganda. We validate these with voices of other germane actors to understand better the institutional policy and practice environments available to them. The equal opportunity provision has widened access for NTS but their equity and inclusivity spaces remain inadequately filled. To achieve sustainable inclusive and equitable quality higher education, we suggest a policy, practice and provision environment that promotes a transformative lifelong learning agenda.
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Revisiting VET research paradigms: Critical perspectives from the South
(Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 2023-11-16) Monk, David; Molebatsi, Palesa; McGrath, Simon; Metelerkamp, Luke; Adrupio, Scovia; Openjuru, George; Robbins, Glen; Tshabalala, Themba
This paper reflects on a large multisite funded VET research project conducted by a large and diverse research team. Reflecting on two of our case studies, from Uganda and South Africa, we consider both the need for broadening the VET research agenda to incorporate more research on non-formal sites of vocational learning and work, and the imperative of continued critical reflection on modalities of researching the formal sphere. What we offer is a very fallible attempt to open up the debate about the future of VET research further through, we believe, a critical reading of some of our failures as well as successes in trying to ground our research ethically, ontologically and axiologically and not just methodologically. We advocate, where possible, a radical embeddedness of VET research in communities, whilst acknowledging that this is applicable only to some parts of a comprehensive VET research agenda. We also acknowledge that employers and the state are also legitimate stakeholders who should be part of research but point to the need for a more critical reflection into the patterns of power implicit in researching with/on these constituencies. We believe that our reflection on our successes and failures in these two cases and the project as a whole offers useful provocations regarding ways of making VET research more reflective of diverse settings, less extractive from those being researched and more equal in the participation of members of the research team from the South