background image
disinfection (SODIS) project based in rural
primary schools in Southern Uganda has
been completed. The study showed that:

introduction of SODIS in primary
schools led to a reduction in average
absenteeism rates from 1.9 days per
term down to 0.2 days per term
20-litre water cooler bottles are suitable
for SODIS and are more convenient for
meeting classroom needs
Harvested rainwater is much more
amenable to SODIS than water from
surface water sources such as
open dug wells.
Additional funds donated by
the Princess Haya Foundation
and the RCSI Student Union
Chocolate Ball provided each
school with a 10,000 litre rainwater
harvesting tank, each class with
two 20-litre water cooler SODIS
containers and each pupil with
two two-litre SODIS bottles. The
rainwater harvesting tanks and
SODIS bottles will ensure a steady
supply of safe water for the pupils
throughout the dry seasons.
Work to establish a pilot study of
solar water disinfection (SODIS)
in primary schools in Tigray Province
in Northern Ethiopia is at an advanced
stage. Professor Mcguigan has secured
funds to complete the study. In April 2014,
he visited the area as a guest of the Relief
Society of Tigray NgO, to introduce the
technique into a small number of schools
in the area. The Tigray Federal Bureau of
Health has invited Professor Mcguigan
to run a one-day workshop on SODIS in
January 2015 in the University of Mekelle.
The workshop will be given to 250
community health officers and community
nurses from the region.
Department of International Health and
Tropical Medicine
The research work of the staff at the
Department of International Health and
Tropical Medicine focuses on developing
and evaluating new vaccines for resource-
poor countries, and on promoting and
evaluating the use of scientific data to
make good public policy.
The Department has designed, led and
organised clinical trials to measure the
safety, immunogenicity and effectiveness
of vaccines, some based at RCSI's Clinical
Research Centre in Beaumont, and some
in The gambia in west Africa, including
first administration into man studies,
for vaccines preventing Plasmodium
falciparum malaria and for treatment of
chronic hepatitis B, in collaborative teams
including industry partners, and academic
groups abroad. RCSI is a constituent
member of the European vaccine Initiative
(EvI), the main research network for public
funding of vaccine trials in Europe.
Malaria, while partly controllable with
current tools, remains a mass killer
disease. The Department has led the
development and evaluation of the
national malaria surveillance system
in gambia, in close partnership with
NgOs and government agencies there,
and funding from Irish Aid. The data,
and lessons learned has already led
to significant change in the control
programmes activities.
In Ireland at present, 17 percent
of the population were not
born here. Funded by the HRB,
RCSI has been investigating
the systems and processes
and policy guidelines about
screening refugees and asylum
seekers who have entered
Ireland for infectious diseases,
using funding. Some of these
findings have influenced new
screening guidelines.
Each of the medical students
and many postgraduate students
in RCSI learn about tropical
medicine and international
health as an integrated
compulsory component of their
RCSI curriculum. It is popular
with many students who find meaning and
motivation through their desire to serve
sick people in an altruistic way: people
who may not have had so much starting
advantages in life, and who may have
diverse challenging culture, language and
life experiences. Overall, we have had a
busy and productive year.
Professor Michael Earley
Committee for International Cooperation
Introduction of SODIS in
primary schools led to
a reduction in average
absenteeism rates from
1.9 days per term down
to 0.2 days per term.
COMMUNITY - global Initiatives
Mr Dermot O'Flynn, RCSI Institute of Leadership
(bottom left) pictured with the COSESCA
"Master Trainer" group in Kenya in June 2014.
Professor Kevin Mcguigan and some of the pupils of Kabuyoga Primary School in Southern Uganda
stand in front of their new 10,000L harvested rainwater tank which will be used to gather water for
solar water disinfection (SODIS).