Ubongo Campaign

Ubongo Campaign







The Ubongo Brain Awareness Campaign is the Kenyan Chapter of the International Brain Awareness Campaign. Since its inception 5 years ago, the Ubongo Brain Awareness Campaign continues to promote brain awareness activities under the stewardship of Alumni of the IBRO Africa Neuroscience Schools. Each year, the Ubongo Brain Awareness Campaign organizes the Brain Awareness Week events in Kenya.







Advisory Committee.

Ubongo Campaign runs under the able leadership of our patrons from the College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi .



Prof. Jameela Hassanali

Department of Human Anatomy


Prof. Nilesh B. Patel 

Department of Medical Physiology



 Current Organizers.

  • Hussein Dossajee, MB.ChB.
  • Nchafatso Gikenyi Obonyo, BSc Medical Physiology (Neurophysiology)
  • Stephen M. Kimani, BSc Human Anatomy (Neuroanatomy)
  • Esther M Muthumbi, Medical Student (Level III)


List of Sponsors





Written by Administrator   

Tuesday, 14 July 2009 06:43

 Our sponsors include the following:-

  • International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)
  • IBRO – Brain Awareness Campaign
  • University of Nairobi
  • Society of Neuroscientists of Africa
  • The DANA Foundation: The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives
  • International Brain Bees
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Accord Healthcare (Intas Group of Pharmaceuticals)
  • Lords Healthcare Ltd.
  • Avenue Hospitals Group
  • Pfizer Pharmaceuticals







1. The International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)

The International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), or in French, l’Organisation internationale de recherche sur le cerveau, was incorporated 29 March 1961 by the Senate of Canada. 
The objectives of IBRO are:

  • To develop, support, co-ordinate and promote scientific research in all fields concerning the brain;
  • To promote international collaboration and interchange of scientific information on brain research throughout the world;
  • To provide for and to assist in education and the dissemination of information relating to brain research by all available means.

Visit IBRO Website: http://www.ibro.info

2. IBRO - Brain Campaign

The Brain Campaign is a joint venture between IBRO (the International Brain Research Organization), DABI (the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives), SfN (the Society for Neuroscience), EDAB (the European Dana Alliance for the Brain) and FENS (the Federation of European Neuroscience Associations). Increasing public awareness worldwide in regard to the contributions made by brain research and its application to human diseases is its primary goal.
Visit IBRO – Brain Campaign Website: http://www.braincampaign.org

3. The University of Nairobi

University of Nairobi Vision

A world-class university committed to scholarly excellence.

University of Nairobi Mission

To provide quality university education and training and to embody the aspirations of the Kenyan people and the global community through creation, preservation, integration, transmission and utilization of knowledge

Visit the University of Nairobi Website: http://www.uonbi.ac.ke

4. Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA)

SONA is a non-profit organization registered in Nairobi, Kenya and functions as the umbrella organization for the regional and national neuroscience societies and groups in Africa. The society's mandate is to promote research and teaching in neuroscience in Africa.
As part of its activities, SONA publishes a newsletter twice a year and holds an international conference every two years.
Visit the SONA Website: http://sona.ibro.info

5. The International Brain Bee

The International Brain Bee is a not-for-profit neuroscience competition for high school students. Directed by founder Dr. Norbert Myslinski of the University of Maryland, the Brain Bee is an attempt to motivate students to learn about the brain, to capture their imaginations, and to inspire them to pursue careers in biomedical brain research. There are currently about 70 Local Brain Bee coordinators worldwide that conduct competitions annually. The winner of each Local Bee is invited to attend a National Brain Bee competition in his or her own country, and the winner of each National Bee is invited to compete in the International Brain Bee Championship.
Visit the International Brain Bee Website: http://www.internationalbrainbee.com

6. Society for Neuroscience, USA

SfN's mission is to: 

  1. Advance the understanding of the brain and the nervous system by bringing together scientists of diverse backgrounds, by facilitating the integration of research directed at all levels of biological organization, and by encouraging translational research and the application of new scientific knowledge to develop improved disease treatments and cures.
  2. Provide professional development activities, information, and educational resources for neuroscientists at all stages of their careers, including undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral fellows, and increase participation of scientists from a diversity of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  3. Promote public information and general education about the nature of scientific discovery and the results and implications of the latest neuroscience research. Support active and continuing discussions on ethical issues relating to the conduct and outcomes of neuroscience research.
  4. Inform legislators and other policymakers about new scientific knowledge and recent developments in neuroscience research and their implications for public policy, societal benefit, and continued scientific progress.

Visit SfN Website:http://www.sfn. org

7. The DANA Foundation: The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives

What Dana Does:

  • Shares Knowledge
  • Sponsors Events
  • Reports News
  • Supports Scientists
  • Supports Arts Education

Visit the DANA Foundation Website: http://www.dana.org

8. The International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN)

The aims of the ISN are

  • To facilitate the worldwide advancement of neurochemistry and related neuroscience disciplines
  • To foster the education and development of neurochemists, particularly of young and emerging investigators

Visit ISN Website: http://www.neurochemistry.org

9. Accord Healthcare (Kenya) ltd
A subsidiary of Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Visit Website: http://accord-healthcare.com/corporate_profile.htm

10. The International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy

Visit ICTP Website: http://www.ictp.it

11. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, France

Visit UNESCO Website: http://www.unesco.org







Written by Administrator   

Thursday, 02 July 2009 08:44


The ubongo Campaign was founded by the following:


1. Emily N. Kuria, BSc. (Hons), M.Phil (SISSA).

Interdisciplinary PhD. course and research in Cognitive Neuroscience, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany and International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Italy


2. Nchafatso G. Obonyo, BSc. (Hons).

Finalist undergraduate student, MB.ChB programme, School of Medicine, University of Nairobi, Kenya

 3. Ambrose A. Agweyu, BSc. (Hons), MB.ChB.

Research Officer, KEMRI / Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya and MSc. Student, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

4. Peter N. Kariuki, BPharm.
Hospital Pharmacist, Chronic Care and ART, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Kenya

5. Hussein Dossajjee, MB.ChB.

Paediatric Residency Programme, Aga Khan University Hospital, Kenya and Chairman, Ubongo Campaign

6. Gilbert O. Mbeo, MB.ChB.

(no photo)
Research Program Supervisor, Department of Neurology, John’s Hopkin’s University, USA







Written by Administrator   

Tuesday, 14 July 2009 06:36

The ubongo Campaign wishes to acknowledge the following professionals for their input:-

  1. Prof. Paul G. Kioy, Department of Medical Physiology, University of Nairobi
  2. Dr. Julius A. Ogeng’o, Department of Human Anatomy, University of Nairobi
  3. Dr. S. Kiama, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Anatomy, University of Nairobi
  4. Prof. Z. W. Ngumi, Dean, School of Medicine, University of Nairobi
  5. Prof. I. O. Kibwage, Principal, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi
  6. Prof. L. W. Irungu, Principal, CBPS, University of Nairobi
  7. Dr. Peter Wanzala, KEMRI
  8. Dr. Juzar Hooker, Consultant Neurologist, Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi
  9. Dr. Michael Ndung’u, Research Scientist, Institute of Primate Research, Kenya
  10. Prof. Abdul Mohammed, IBRO Africa Regional Committee
  11. Prof. Raj Kalaria, IBRO Africa Regional Committee
  12. Prof. Elspeth McLahan, IBRO Public Education Committee
  13. Prof. Jameela Hassanali, Department of Human Anatomy, University of Nairobi
  14. Prof. Nilesh B. Patel, Department of Medical Physiology, University of Nairobi






Written by Administrator   

Tuesday, 14 July 2009 06:52

Facilitators of the Ubongo Campaign 2012 :-

  • Paul Nduati
  • Hemed El Busaidy
  • Viraj Patel
  • Fazal Yakub
  • Cynthia Waliaula
  • Eric Irungu
  • Otioli Wambalaba
  • Meggie Mwoka

Summary of Past Events


The Ubongo Kenya National Brain Bee Contest



Date: Saturday, 15th June, 2013.

Venue: Ford Hall, Nairobi National museum

07:45am Assembly of organizers and facilitators in Nairobi National Museu

08:00am Arrival of high school student participants

08:15am Assembly of all student participants and facilitators at the Ford Hall

08:30am Introduction and welcoming – Eric Irungu

08:45am Opening talk and overview of Ubongo brain awareness campaign –Eric Irungu

Neuroscience lectures, demonstrations and Brain Bee Contest (09:00 – 12:00noon)

09:00am Neuroanatomy- Fazal Yakub

09:30am Neuroevolution- Joseph Nderitu

10:00am Neurophysiology –Mohammed Omar

10:30am Learning, memory and drugs –Viraj Patel, Otioli Wambalaba and Cynthia Waliaula

11:00am Refreshments break

11:30am Brain Bee Quiz

Neuroscience career presentations panel discussion, Q & A session (12:00noon – 1:00pm)

12:00-12:30pm Career Talk- Dr. Peter Nguhiu ( Ubongo Kenya alumnus)

12:40pm Announcement of Brain Bee Quiz results and award of prizes and certificates –Meggie Mwoka and Eric Irungu

13:00pm Closing and departure

Read Report...



  1. Brain Awareness Event held in Kenya on March 12th 2011 at Large Lecture Theatre, Chiromo Campus 

    9:00–9:20 Registration and settling in of visitors and guest speakers
    9:30–9:40 Welcome by Prof J. Hassanali: UBONGO and MSAKE.
    9:30–10:00am Dr. Boniface Kavoi: Neuroscience Research and Ibro/ Sona Neuroscience Schools
    10-10.30am:  Dr P Kariuki and Dr. Ambrose Agweyu: UBONGO CAMPAIGN 6years and Google Search
    10.30 – 11am Dr. Idle Farah Director General, National Museums of Kenya: Museums and Research Potential 
    11am – 12.30pm Institute of Primate Research (IPR)
    ·         Dr. Tom Kariuki (Director): Research related to Primates and Neuroscience
    ·         Dr. Michael Ndungu: Stroke and vascular lesions in primate, ongoing study
    ·         Dr. Barrak Suleman: Stress, hormones, memory and hippocampus 
    ·         Questions and discussions
    ·         Tea Break 
    1-2 pm      Prof. Nilesh Patel: Neurobiology of Drugs: Blue Brain project, computer model of human brain: Vote of Thanks
    Read report...

  2. High School Brain Awareness EventTargeting Secondary School Students (form 3 and form 4) at Choromo Campus, UoN, Saturday, 14th May 20 from 9am to 2pm 


    9:00-9:30       Arrival of schools and gathering of students for welcome speech Mr Charles   Masaki and Prof Jameela Hassanali. Students sorted into groups of 10 for 6 stations.

    a)    Gross brain
    b)    Histology of the Nervous Tissue
    c)    Neurophysiology
    d)    Fun facts about the brain
    e)    Drugs and their effects on the brain
    f)     Artificial Neural Networks by Dr. Peter Waiganjo - School of Computing and Informatics

    9: 30-12:30    Station rounds. Each group will take 30min per station. 20min for presentations by facilitators and 10min for an interactive evaluation session

    12:30-1pm     Break in the grounds for snacks followed by Neuroscience career talk by Dr. Michal Ndungu  from Institute of Primate Research                         
    Awards for the two best students from the results of the quizz on all stations.

    1-30pm         Closing speech by Prof. Patel
    Intereaction with students and feed back form teachers.  

    2pm.             Official ending of the event. 
    Read Report...



  1.  Brain Awareness Campaign and Brain Bee Competition held at Ngong Township School, Ngong on Saturday, 4th July, 2009.
  2. Continuous Medical Education talk on Advances in Stroke Care by Prof Rafael Llinas of John Hopkins University and a talk on USMLE board examinations. This was in conjunction with Medical Students Against AIDS (MESA).
  3. Public education on stroke among Diabetes Patients held at the Diabetes Clinic in Kenyatta National Hospital.



  1. Brain awareness among High school students and undergraduate students at the University of Nairobi. Venue Chiromo Campus.
  2. Brain Awareness among High school students at Kianda School.

In both instances we held the first Brain Bee Neuroscience competition for High school students in Kenya.



  1. Symposium on Brain Ageing and Dementia in Developing Countries at the Safari Park Hotel Conference Center in Nairobi, Kenya.
  2. Public Lecture by IBRO faculty, practical Laboratory sessions on neuroscience research and a later visit to the diagnostic centre in Westlands, Nairobi.

Target for both events were Undergraduates in Medicine and related fields.



The Ruiru brain campaign at Thome primary school. Target audience were students in Class 7 and 8.


  1. Brain awareness event targeted to high school students. Venue: Chiromo Campus
  2. AIDS Outreach to rural community in Ole Tepesi. This was in conjunction with Medical Students Against AIDS (MESA)






Written by Administrator   

Tuesday, 14 July 2009 07:11

Certificate Awarded to Ubongo Campaign by the DANA Foundation: DANA Alliance for Brain Initiatives for excellent performance in 2007.




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African Dryland Institute for Sustainability , University of Nairobi