Velma is a Ph.D. graduate fellow in the BUILD Uganda project, Veterinary Public health (VPH) component which seeks to strengthen veterinary public health at the point of slaughter. Her research will focus on the epidemiology of non-typhoidal Salmonella and E. coli in abattoirs and meat handlers in Uganda. She will also focus on improving food safety through the development and testing of a training tool for meat handlers on good hygiene and meat handling practices.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Technology from the University of Nairobi and a Master of Science in Global Health and Infectious Diseases from the University of Edinburgh (funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission of the United Kingdom). Before taking up the fellowship, she worked as a Research associate (2013-2020) in the Animal and Human Health program at ILRI where she gained a lot of research and diagnostic experience in infectious diseases. She supported diagnostics in various epidemiological projects on zoonoses including People, Animals, and their Zoonoses (PAZ) project, the Urban Zoonoses Project and the Zoo link project. She was part of the ILRI BeCA ELISA diagnostics service unit which offers testing and ELISA kits for tick-borne diseases.