JUNE-AUGUST 2013 ISSUE
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WELCOME, FIRST YEARS

Chiromo, with its tranquil and woodland environment, is an ideal learning environment – home away from home. We welcome you to the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, and hope that we will mentor you through the first year and give you a firm foundation that will enable you become veterinarians five years down the road. The first year of veterinary school is an interesting year. One appreciates physiology, the normal bodily function - the fascinating ability of the body to maintain a normal internal environment in the face of an ever changing external environment, the crucial rapid control nervous system and the less rapid and more extensive endocrine system and various other organ system functions ranging from the cardiovascular to the renal system. Physiology is best understood by appreciating corresponding anatomy of the organ systems. Developmental aspects are appreciated through the prism of embryology, and histology offers a microscopic view of tissues and cells. All these and the molecular biochemical mechanisms and pathways elaborated in biochemistry gives the first year student a foundation in normal body function, structure and metabolism; placing the student on a solid platform to understand deviations from the normal as exhibited by pathological states that will be encounter in the clinical years succeeding the first year.

ACADEMICS

PROF. GEOFFREY M. OLE MALOIY DEFENDS HIS DOCTOR OF SCIENCE THESIS

Description: maloiy.jpgOn, June 7, 2013, Prof. Geoffrey M. Ole Maloiy of Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology defended his Doctor of Science thesis titled;Studies in Integrative Animal Energetics and Metabolism: Structural and Environmental Correlates.

This is the second Doctor of Science degree candidate that the University of Nairobi (UoN) has evaluated since its inception in 1956.
An evaluation panel led by Prof. George Magoha, Vice Chancellor, UoN, took Prof. Maloiy through a rigorous exercise that culminated in an oral public defense of his works to-date.
In his public presentation, Prof. Maloiy took the audience through his research journey which involved interactions with like-minded scientists pursuing science and intellectual discourse. In a presentation which included pictorial evidence, Prof. Maloiy focused on Biology, Biodiversity, Evolution, Ecology and Ecosystems as areas of research which he has worked on with the help of fellow scientists.
He has extensively researched on the physiology of various animals including crocodiles, lions, birds, etc. He also conducted an interesting research which was on the giraffe’s bodily functions, specifically the nasal and respiratory functions. In addition, Prof. Maloiy has studied the digestive physiology and nutrition of East African herbivores. It was established that the digestive physiology of the animals differed.
The highlight of the presentation was his research on the energetics of load carrying by African women. The research which was conducted in a laboratory mainly focused on respiration and amount of energy expended during the activity. Prof. Maloiy has published 5 books and 190 papers in professional journals.

GLOBETROTTING FOR SCIENCE
11th SONA International Conference in Rabat Morocco, from 13th-18th June 2013.

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Dr. Alfred Nyongesa will give a talk in Khat Symposium titled: "Neural and hormonal interplay on behavior in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aeltuips)"

ABSTRACT

Biological effects of cathinone on behavioural and endocrine functions are inadequately investigated, and available literature is conflicting. A number of these studies indicate varying information on effect of khat and cathinone on hypothalamo-hypophyseo-adrenocortical axis, mesolimbic system as well as neuro-endocrine disorders in humans and experimental animals. This study investigated the mechanism of action of cathinone on behavioural and hormonal alterations in vervet monkeys by elucidating the possible link between the reward centres of the brain and hypothalamo-hypophyseo-adrenocortical axis following cathinone exposure. Fourteen adult vervets were exposed to escalating doses of cathinone at alternate days of each week for 4 months. Controls were administered normal saline in the same pattern as tests via oral gavage. Results indicate a dose- and time-dependent effect of cathinone on behavioural and hormonal profiles. Composite scores of aggression, anxiety, abnormal responses, withdrawal and appetite loss increased in a dose-dependent manner. Serum prolactin and cortisol decreased with escalating doses of cathinone in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The findings demonstrate that at high doses and long-term exposure, cathinone causes behavioural and hormonal alterations probably via changes in presynaptic striatal dopamine system and hypophyseo-adrenocortical axis integrity and that these two systems appear to influence each other.

 

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Dr. Johnson Nasimolo present his research entitled: "Erythrina Abyssinica amelioriates Neuroinflammation in African Trypanosomiasis mouse model"

ABSTRACT
 Human African trypanosomiasis is prevalent in Sub-sahara African countries that lie between 14° North and 29° south of the equator.Trypanosoma brucei gambesience occurs in West and Central Africa while Trypanosoma brucei rhodesience occurs in East and Southern Africa. In this region, close to 60 million people are at risk of infection. The neurological stage of the disease is characterized by neuroinflammation and 10% of patients treated with the recommended drug develop PTRE (Post treatment reactive encephalopathy) which is fatal. Our study aimed at screening medicinal plants used by local communities for potential activity in reducing these side effects. Erythrina abbysinica was selected based on its wide use by different communities in Kenya and other parts of Africa. We used histology, GFAP immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy (TEM and SEM) to study the pathogenesis and grading neuroinflammation.We also used SDS-PAGE electrophoresis to compare the protein profiles of the different test groups. Data was analyzed by one way ANOVA to compare difference between treatment groups. Results indicated water extract ameliorates neuroinflammation and conserves some high molecular weight proteins.

DVAP lecture theatre

Experiences of new first year students of 2103 

 Vincent  Mwamidi

Freshiers’ Freshness’ 

The trip to Kabete Campus was fascinating. Glancing the horizon convinced me of a warm hearty welcome to a new life.  I marveled at the sites.  Poor I, a hectic and rigorous process that caused anxiety awaited – registration!  At the climax of the day I was bone-tired and unregistered.  Ironically, we hadn’t  physically laboured .  The same tension came the following day but thereafter was fruitfully registered.  Having not secured accommodation tired my nerves.  Nairobi city seemed new to me; I gathered a warrior’s  courage and commuted to Embakasi where my  uncle resides.  I found myself lost so severally in the middle of the city, later finding my route –“Bus No. 133’.

A week later lectures began.  This time I wasn’t bothered not until I found out how being a ‘freshier’ feels and friends.  So ‘fresh’ in all.  Fresh; - colleagues, terminologies, lecturers, life and friends WOW!  Fresh environment - corruption free zones, in both campuses of UoN.  I had to take vital time to take to everything.    Was I not going to drink the bitter knowledge, become sophisticated, to be titled a doctor? A question hard still hit boldly in my cranial nerves.

Having dwelled within the campus for about a month something ticks in my goddam head.  I had to build a solid foundation to accrue better future credits.  Regardless of expenses and how-multitasking it was, life must be  propelled.  I believe that were there no moments to learn bitter-hard facts and experiences that are remarkable in our lifetime, then history could have been amazingly boring.

Why not take the task at hand before it takes its toll and becomes difficult to disentangled, I affirmatively agree with myself, if not with you the reader.

 

My name is Vitalis Wagome. I am Vet. Medicine student at the University of Nairobi. I come from Kisumu, and I am a Nairobi School Alumnus. Vet School has been a great place for me and I have learnt a lot as I lay foundations for my career.  I come from a family where education is taken seriously. But apart from studying and joining the top ranked university in Kenya, I also work on my talents. I am a musician and I play several Brass instruments. I started Playing and studying music in High School and even after joining university music is still part of me.

I am a member of The Nairobi Orchestra, The Kenya National Youth Orchestra and The Kenya Conservatoire Orchestra. I also play in the Nairobi Jazz Orchestra and The Old Cambrian Band. At 6’6’’ I also play basketball (power Forward) for our campus team The U.o.N Terror Basketball.

Despite my busy school timetable I still find time to work on my God given Talents and Skills, because this institution nurtures us to be all rounded intellects, at the same time get our degrees. Vet. School is the best place one can be since it has a very conducive environment for one to study and also grow his/her talents.

 

Vitalis Wagome BVM UoN

 OKEYO FRED

The man is from the UK; United Kisumu

The man is from the UK; United Kisumu, the flood plains of the lake region within the sugar belts.  A quiet, steadfast and resilient chap got the chance for admission to the prime and highly esteemed varsity in the region.

After the long and winding hubbub and subsequent trying to locate the famous upper Kabete campus which, reportedly, was some 14 kilometers from the city suburb.  But Alas! After a joyous ride, he got himself infront  of a gate conspicuously written Kabete but not Upper - instead  Lower Kabete!, and had no otherwise but to take a u-turn heart-broken in effort to get the way to the intended destination.

It was yet another ride, and this time directed by the oblique tout, found himself right at Kabete Vet Labs  and after few enquiries from the personalities present he had to forge ahead in anticipation to catch up with the whole exercise of admission!  Finally he reached Upper Kabete CAVS in the most salient environment, with the whole load training behind only to meet the long queue but regardless felt  somewhat  at home. WOW!  So wonderful, the orientation crew were so welcoming and always ready to offer any kind of assistance to the totally confused “freshas”! Kudos to them.

The time came to report to the halls of residence at Mamlaka, the whole procedure for room allocation was swift but oops, the kind of mattresses issued was just discouraging; dusty, naked and foolscap-like in thickness in thickness, was the thing to survive on, but the condition called for it, with all that exhaustion no energy and mirth to complain.

It was time for adjustment from a normal routine one was used to; the bells, forty minutes lessons; classes found within the periphery, the teachers there to supervise all the undertakings and all sorts of curtailed freedom.  Indeed after the intense orientation, one is left to survive by themselves!  Instead of the dreaded  down preps the lectures starts at eight but still you can choose to miss, no boarding master to chase you up and down; beautiful;  “ehe wacha!” three hours lectures you lose your concentration after the  one and half hour.  The kind of trekking from the residence to lecture halls to those who were not used to day schooling is just strenuous. But they say a wise man changes with change  so here we are to conform and descend to serious business.

 

 

 Mwasi Amos

People go to the university to study hard

I had always believed that people study hard to go to the University. I now realize that actually, people go to the university to study hard!

The first thing I expected in vet med was to undertake a course in animal linguistics where we would learn the languages used by animals! Surely, how do you treat a patient that you cannot communicate with, it is difficult enough communicating with the caretaker!

I have come to strongly believe that if veterinary medicine was a common course, nobody else would remain in campus apart from the vet students. I’m proud to be a vet student.

 Jepkirui Naomi

Vet as a profession

This was not a common course to ladies out there in the village and having chosen to do and was fully settled to take it. No one imagined that I would take it to the end.  I was advised by many to change to education but I was determined take vet medicine.

After receiving my notice to join the University, I worked as high school teacher – an interesting experience.

First day experience.

I took a mat from the village heading to Nairobi, the place I had never been before.  I explained to the driver where I were going and kept reminding him not take me into the town.  I took the phone no. from the admission letter and called when I was able to trace the location of Kabete.  The queue was very long and kept us waiting to about 6.00pm. Having in mind that we would not finish registering then, and that most of us knew no one, we couldn’t imagine where we would sleep; but thanks to the Lord we were given temporary accommodation.

Getting to the lecture hall on May 27th; an introduction to Biochem, everybody ended up writing what they could hear, even the points that were not important.  The lecturer then called upon the class to choose the class rep. and I felt that wow! - this is what I could do!  I immediately asked the ladies and gents sited next to me to vote when the time came.

As a leader, this is actually a privilege.  It has enabled me gain the confidence of talking and making speeches – never mind my not imaging that a possibility! There are some challenges though e.g. when some students do not attend classes and you are like, where are they?  They sometimes text, and many times I no time and credit to text back! But finally I have to balance this responsibility with class work.

Simel munke silau

The Mistaken Institution

On the day of registration I set off to Nairobi for the first time, I persistently urged the driver to drop me at the first flyover at Kabete as I used to hear from others that the first flyover to Nairobi as you came from Narok is in Kabete.  But unfortunately, he forgot and I reminded him when we were past the safaricom house.  I alighted and was so happy.  When I saw Kabete Technical Training Centre, I thought that was the institution I was admitted to. I got there and waited for one and half hours for somebody to get out of the office.  It was by 1.00pm that I saw people out of classes and I decided to approach one officer and ask for the registration for the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS) admittance. I was informed that I was in the wrong place because they were not expecting any visitors on that date.  I got out worried and went to the nearby International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).  I was rudely rebuked by a security officer who harshly told me that am not supposed to see anybody at the time.  I humbly informed her that I needed to report for registration. She realized that I was lost after some description of Upper Kabete Campus, gave me the directions.  I still couldn’t find my way and I ended up at KARI.  Luckily, I met a lady who was coming to the campus and I followed her with a lot of relief!

I reached to the registration desk late, they were closing and I began to wonder where I would sleep - but the existence of the orientation team is indeed indispensable.  I slept in Wakulima Hostel, room no. 11. The following day, I got up early, got registered and headed to Main Campus and was issued  a room at House 5 room 8.  I knew that I was in finally in Nairobi.

Kelvin Gathiri

UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI: Experiences of the first few weeks in campus. 

 I find it interesting my experiences during my first few weeks in campus.  I was eagerly waiting for this day to dawn, though I did not know what would happen of me in such an institution that I had never adapted to.

 

The first day was the most challenging as I did not know where to start or end.  After much struggle to be admitted, I finally made ends meet and settled down in two days.

 

Needless to say, I really faced life the hard way in my first few weeks.  Being a drunk caused me much of agony!  More so in the unfamiliar streets of Nairobi! I had subsequent visits to two to three clubs in town with a few of my peers and made sure we were totally drunk (On a weekend). This did not augur well.  I found it challenging to drink and attend BVM classes!  These were in danger of being overtaken by the hangover of the drinks! Danger loomed bearing in the mind that BVM is a demanding course that needs one to be on top of his/her game.

 

Finally, I would say that alcohol or any other drug would diminish one’s vision, goal and reduce an individual to nothing.  I would urge my peers to keep a distance from drugs and in particular alcohol.  In conclusion I would say that UoN is the best institution of higher learning committed to scholarly excellence.

Kibet Sang Willy

Hi there! 

To start with, I can say it hasn’t been easy for me since I came to Nairobi specifically the University of Nairobi.  I had been coming to Nairobi before with different purposes but the stress begun on Monday 20th when I was expected to report and confirm the account, pay the fee and submit my details for registration.  Having collected the account number and forwarded it my parents so they could send the money, my father rejected it saying had given him an Airtel subscriber’s number (0731-021554 collection account) and that it was a setup!  This may have been due to the various attempts he tried getting me into the Army and got conned of lots of money!  He could not stomach losing a hundred and thirty thousand into an ‘Airtel number’ so I had to try my best convincing him that contacts have nothing to do with bank accounts and he finally gave in after three days.  Again paying the money went to the wrong reference number and upon reporting the incident to my parent, he was like, “you now see what I had told you that it was a setup?  See what you have done, how will we get that money back?”  I had nothing to tell so I switched off my phone and began working my mind to get the money to the right account number. 

 

Finally, it came through - but getting the registration number online via the students’ portal was another bump!  A china phone at hand, student site to get the registration number, and school looming in front of you, problems!  Monday is here and you know no lecture hall/room yet class starts at eight! You make it to the lecture hall but you get a ‘white’ lecturer in class and end up grasping nothing!

 

Then there was this Friday the 2nd week when I was to go home and collect a laptop. The unexpected happened.  With three thousand and a phone in my pocket, I walked to the stage.  I don’t exactly remember what really happened but believe you me - I had the money and the phone missing when I got to the stage!  In fact I laughed - checking all the pockets including that of my bag yet I was quite sure of the pocket I had kept the money and the phone.  I couldn’t believe it all! Amazing, hey presto! For now, bon voyage.

 

Source: 
Department
Frequency of Publication: 
Quarterly