The MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit has unveiled a new state-of-the-art clinical research facility in Entebbe to further enhance its contributions to science, policy and practice in Uganda.
The facility’s commissioning ceremony was presided over by the Hon. Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, in the presence of Her Excellency Kate Airey OBE, British High Commissioner to Uganda, and Professor Liam Smeeth, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Funded by Wellcome and the UKRI United Kingdom Research and Innovation/Medical Research Council, the solar-powered facility will be used to conduct clinical research into infectious and non-communicable diseases.
It will also support the sharing of expertise and experiences among researchers in Africa and facilitate the development of best practices in the management and conduct of clinical trials.
The MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Research Unit in Uganda has over 30 years of experience in conducting clinical research and trials that involve interactions with patients, research participants and surrounding communities to better understand a range of different fields, including disease mechanisms and natural history, translational research, diagnosis, prevention and therapeutic intervention trials, and health services research.
Professor Pontiano Kaleebu, Director of the Uganda Virus Research Institute and Director of the MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Research Unit in Uganda, said: “We are very excited about this new facility which will provide to strengthen and expand our clinical research and training to help improve the health of our people. »
The unit has solid clinical research expertise and infrastructure across all of its sites and research programs. This includes experienced research and clinical staff in Participatory Good Practice Guidelines, Human Subject Protection, Good Clinical Research Practices, Good Clinical and Laboratory Practices, and Advanced Life Support Certification.
The new research clinics will house equipment to assess research participants, pharmacies to handle investigational drugs from clinical trials, and clinical and diagnostic laboratories. There will be ongoing engagement with communities through Participant Advisory Groups and Community Advisory Councils to ensure strong links between research teams, local communities and other stakeholders.
Professor Liam Smeeth, Director of LSHTM, said: “This is an exceptional facility which cements the unit’s position as one of the leading research institutes in Africa. Combined with the talented staff and dedicated unit, the new facility will be the catalyst for more vital research that will improve the lives of Ugandans and the health of the continent.”
This new facility is another sign of the UK government’s commitment to partner with the Ugandan government and scientists to find solutions through research that will lead to better health. »
Her Excellency Kate Airey OBE, British High Commissioner to Uganda
Hon. Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, said: “On behalf of the Department of Health, I would like to thank the Wellcome Trust and the UK MRC for funding this facility. This contribution builds on the long-term support and partnership with the UK Government and the outstanding research that the MRC Unit and UVRI have generated over the years. We are committed to playing our part, building a healthier nation together.