U.S extends funding for Uganda’s infectious diseases research

Ambassador Deborah Malac and Uganda Ministry of Health PS Dr. Diana Atwine exchanging the agreement. Looking on is the Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng

The United States government has renewed its funding support towards research in infectious diseases as well as health-related training in Uganda.

The U.S Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac signed the funding agreement with the Ministry of Health’s Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine on Tuesday May 9, 2017.

A statement issued by the Embassy indicated the move is aimed at developing new and improved ways to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases that impact Ugandans and millions of others around the world.

“This new agreement will strengthen and expand the Uganda-U.S. partnership for training and research on HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other emerging diseases,” the statement added:

“The agreement will also facilitate the continuation of the International Centers for Excellence in Research program in Uganda, an NIAID-supported science partnership program in countries with high incidences of infectious diseases.”

Uganda is an African leader in biomedical research; its scientists and institutions play a key role in global infectious disease research.

The US mission adds that the the agreement will help the U.S and Uganda to share data, collaborate on research projects, and benefit from training opportunities both in Uganda and in the U.S.

“The agreement will also facilitate the continuation of the International Centers for Excellence in Research program in Uganda, an NIAID-supported science partnership program in countries with high incidences of infectious diseases.

Ambassador Malac reiterated the importance of continuing the collaboration and the its positive effects it has on the health of all Ugandans.

“The U.S. government remains committed to supporting medical research that improves health across the globe, including in Uganda,” she said. “We look forward to working together to develop new and improved ways to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases that impact Ugandans and millions of others around the world.”

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the NIAID Director added: “NIAID is pleased to continue and expand its longstanding research partnership with the scientific community in Uganda. This research setting offers unique opportunities to study diseases of global significance such as HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in a country with strong laboratory and clinical site infrastructure, as well as outstanding scientists.”

The United States is Uganda’s biggest health sector donor. Annually, the US gives about $495 million to Uganda’s health sector that goes towards strengthening the country’s capacity to address HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal/child health, and emerging health threats. Since 2004, PEPFAR has invested nearly $3 billion dollars in Uganda’s fight against HIV.

Last November, Ambassador Malac and Vice President Edward Ssekandi jointly inaugurated Uganda’s first truly National Health Laboratory at Butabika. The health laboratory was made possible with a grant of US$8m in addition to technical assistance.

The New National Health Laboratory in Butabika was built with US government assistance

Henry Lutaaya is The Editor of The Sunrise, a Weekly Publication with a bias towards covering stories of social, economic impact with the view to transforming Uganda’s economy.
He is also acting as the Treasurer of USJA
He can be reached on henrylutaaya[at]gmail.com
hlutaaya[at]usja.ug
+256752863156 / +256787288345