Outstanding employees receive Director’s Awards of 2021

Prof. Moffat Nyirenda handing over an award to John Matovu Sserwanga who won the best team player award for Kyamuliibwa field station

On Friday 10 December 2021, the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute & London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Uganda Research Unit held its Annual Director’s Awards Ceremony where individual employees were awarded for their outstanding performance at the Unit.

Unlike the previous Director’s Awards where only the overall best performing staff have been given awards for their performance generally, this year’s awards were slightly more inclusive with more individual certificates of recognition given to other outstanding employees within departments and field stations. 

In a bid to ensure adherence to the COVID-19 standard operating procedures, attendance to this year’s awards ceremony was blended where a few selected members physically represented their operational units and field stations and the greatest number of the employees followed the event virtually on Zoom and Facebook live.

The first set of awards was officiated by the Prof. Moffat Nyirenda and, these included; the Team Player and Best Rising Star Awards. 

At the climax of the Event, the Director of the Unit Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu officiated the Excellence Achievers Awards won by Yunia Mayanja and Zephyrian Kamushaaga while the Overall Best Publisher Awards were won by Daniel Lule Bugembe and Gyaviira Nkurunungi as the First Runners Up.

While giving his congratulatory remarks to the winners, Prof. Pontiano revealed that on top of celebrating the employees that have won individual awards, there is also need to celebrate the achievements of the Unit as a whole. He added, that amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Unit has recorded tremendous achievements from confirming in research, operations but also in tackling the pandemic. Since the first COVID-19 infection in Uganda was confirmed in 2020, the Unit has supported of the Ministry of Health through UVRI and other partners in diagnosing cases, with sampling at the boarder, providing the first COVID-19 sequences from Uganda as well as research and the role of COVID-19.

Relatedly, the Chief of Operations at the Unit, Dr. Jonas Lexow revealed that in the same challenging period the Unit has grown in terms of staff numbers, projects and outputs giving everyone at the Unit a reason to celebrate.

What the winners say

John Matovu Sserwanga - Team Player Award winner (Kyamulibwa)

Am so happy. I want to thank my Kyamulibwa team for appreciating what I do. I promise to continue working hard for the Kyamulibwa station and for the Unit in general. I also urge others to work hard for the Unit.

Jane Francis Lunkuse - Rising Star Award winner (Statistics & Data)

I am honoured to have received the rising star award. I am grateful to my supervisors for their contribution to my career. To my teammates, thanks for the support and encouragement.  

Kenneth Wasajja -Team Player Award winner (Masaka)

I would like to thank my team. Am happy and promise to continue working hard. And Let’s all work hard because at the end we are all winners when the Unit wins.

Daniel Lule Bugembe - Best Publisher Award Winner (Overall)

I represent a team of excellence like Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu, Prof. Matthew Cotten, Dr. Ssemwanga Deogratious and Associate Prof. Dr My-Phan who have been excellent and admirable to me. My wish is to see that the unit is recognised. Giving more credit to the Unit is my highest target.

List of award winners

Award: Team Player

Programme/Station/Categorisation: Kyamulibwa
Candidates selected for Director's approval: John Matovu Sserwanga (Team Player Award)

Programme/Station/Categorisation: Masaka
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Kenneth Wassajja (Team Player Award), Cissy Nalubega (Certificate of Recognition), Paddy Kafeero (Certificate of Recognition)

Programme/Station/Categorisation: Entebbe
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Laban Kato (Team Player Award), Florence Akello (Certificate of Recognition), Alex Mutazindwa (Certificate of Recognition), George Opio (Certificate of Recognition), Simon Isabane  (Certificate of Recognition), Christine Illangu (Certificate of Recognition)

Award: Excellence Achievement

Programme/Station/Categorisation: HIV Intervention
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Yunia Mayanja (Excellence Achiever Award), Jonathan Kitonsa (Runner up)

Programme/Station/Categorisation: Cancer & Epidemiology
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Eva Nambi (Certificate of Recognition)

Programme/Station/Categorisation: CDLS
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Zephyrian Kamushaaga (Excellence Achiever Award)

Award: Rising Star

Programme/Station/Categorisation: Cancer & Epidemiology
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Frank Matovu (Certificate of Recognition)

Programme/Station/Categorisation: Operations
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Andrew Mairu (Rising Star Award)

Programme/Station/Categorisation: Statistics & Data
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Jane Frances (Rising Star Award), Isaac Sekitoleko (Runner up), Brian Ssengendo (Certificate of Recognition), Julius Mutagubya (Certificate of Recognition)

Programme/Station/Categorisation: PGPI
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Jonah Omooja (Rising Star Award)

Award: Best Publisher - Programme

Programme/Station/Categorisation: Social Sciences
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Rachel Kawuma (Publisher Award)

Programme/Station/Categorisation: IVAC
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Gyaviira Nkurunungi (Publisher Award)

Programme/Station/Categorisation: PGPI
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Daniel Lule Bugembe (Publisher Award)

Award: Best Publisher - Overall

Programme/Station/Categorisation: Across the Unit (Director's Selection)
Candidates selected for Director's approval: Daniel Lule Bugembe (Publisher Award), Gyaviira Nkurunungi (Runner up)

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