Uganda Academy for Health_0326The Ugandan Academy for Health Innovation & Impact inaugurated
On 17th November 2015, The Ugandan Academy for Health Innovation & Impact was officially inaugurated at the Knowledge centre Makerere University. During the Inauguration, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), Ministry of Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust and the Global Public Health group of Janssen, the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson as an indication of a new partnership.
“The MOU signing is a significant milestone for the Academy which will fund nine projects over the next five years around HIV and TB clinical management, capacity building and applied research to address urgent health needs in Uganda” says Dr. Rosalind Parkes-Ratanshi, the Academy Director.
Uganda Academy for Health_0374The Academy is the flagship implementation of Call for Life™ Uganda – a collaborative new program to empower healthcare workers, academics, and patients to address critical health challenges, including HIV, TB, and maternal and child health in innovative, collaborative, and context-appropriate ways. The Academy will be initially funded by Janssen as part of its commitment to global public health through collaboration with the Johnson and Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust. Valued at US$6.7 million USD (about UGX 24bn) for five years, the project will contribute towards addressing existing gaps in HIV/AIDS research and other communicable diseases.
“The Academy is an exciting initiative and an excellent example of African-led international partnership aimed at producing practical African solutions to pressing challenges related to HIV and TB”, says Richard Brough, Executive Director, Infectious Diseases Institute.
As part of Call for Life™ Uganda, The Academy will bring together several Ugandan partners who jointly aim to improve disease prevention and outcomes in Uganda in a sustainable manner by building on local partnership, expertise and evidence. The Academy secretariat will be housed at the Infectious Diseases Institute, a non-profit health organization owned by Makerere University that has been in existence for over 10 years and focuses on infectious disease prevention, treatment and care with an emphasis on HIV.
Uganda Academy for Health_0318While officiating at the MOU signing ceremony, the Director General Health Services, Ministry of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, said the area of Research and Development is a key priority for the Government of Uganda as reflected in the Health Sector development Plan. “We need scientific evidence to inform Policy and decision and we believe the Academy provides a great opportunity for this.”
According to Prof. Elly Katabira, the Academy Board chair, Uganda has a long history of health research, but still faces critical health problems even though it has made great strides towards promoting research and innovation capacity which are key drivers in the development of the health system.
Uganda Academy for Health_0581“The Academy will ensure that the area of research, clinical management and training is boosted with the aim of having a better and improved health care system”, explains Diana Asiimwe Bena, The Academy Program Manager.
Dr Maik Stumpf, Director Disease Management Programs at Janssen, says that supporting the Ugandan Academy is part of a long Johnson & Johnson and Janssen legacy to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations, aiming to actively help build healthy communities worldwide through innovative and impactful healthcare solutions and partnerships. “With the Ugandan Academy and Connect for Life™, we intend to jointly prove concepts, take them to scale and replicate successful models for other public health areas. This is part of our longstanding commitment to help enhance health against some of today’s most pressing health challenges, like HIV, TB, and maternal and child health.”