Makerere gets Shs2b to boost disease research

Makerere University Main building

Kampala. Makerere University and Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) have received $7.2m (about Shs2.4b) under their joint Centre for Infection and Immunity Research and Training programme (MUII plus).
The programme funded by Wellcome Trust, a global foundation, is dedicated to improve health and enhance the capacity of local scientists to pursue research in infection and immunity regarding endemic diseases.
“The second phase programme is meant to see scientists who succeeded in the first phase do advanced research and become independent from the institute,” said Dr Edward Katongole Mbidde, the director of UVRI.

Speaking at the fund announcement at Makerere on Thursday, the university Vice Chancellor, Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu, commended Wellcome Trust for the support.
“The fund will help to contribute to the transformation of the university from a good university of higher learning into an excellent institution providing home-grown scientific research and training solutions to address Uganda’s development challenges,” Prof Ddumba said.

Government calls for more efforts

Dr Asuman Lukwago, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, promised more government support and collaboration with the research institutions, but called for more efforts in research work. “Whereas government will provide resources and other infrastructure, scientists too ought to dedicate more time and energy at building advanced research,” Dr Lukwago said.