The Ministry is proud to call IDI a partner – Minister Aceng
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As the Infectious Diseases Institute celebrated its 20th anniversary from March 20 to 24, 2023, the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Ruth Aceng, commended IDI for the work that it has done to improve the health of Ugandans over the past two decades.

Speaking at the breakfast meeting, the first part of the week-long celebrations held at the Kampala Serena Hotel on March 21, Aceng reflected on the work that the ministry has done with IDI & congratulated the organisation on this important milestone.

“I had the opportunity to serve on the IDI board and was able to witness firsthand the work that the organisation has done in the fight against TB, HIV/AIDS, and malaria, and being able to expand over and beyond in improving health systems, strengthening global health security, capacity building, research, and innovation.

“Twenty years is indeed an amazing achievement. I speak for the ministry when I say we are proud to call you a partner.”

Dr. Aceng also recognized the efforts of IDI at the border posts during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and also other outbreaks and implored the organisation to tackle the issue of non-communicable diseases that are responsible for the deaths of many young people today.
“Many youths succumb to non-communicable diseases. Since IDI is very good at innovation and research, we need to venture into it and find ways of addressing this issue and bringing it under control. We look forward to ending some of these infectious diseases by 2030.”

In attendance at the breakfast meeting were Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. Umar Kakumba, the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health Dr. Henry Mwebesa, and the CDC Uganda Country Director Dr. Lisa Nelson among other partners and academia. A science fair and exhibition were organized as part of the weeklong celebrations, allowing the various units and departments at IDI to present their work and interventions. Both Mulago Hospital and Makerere University accepted blood
donations and planted trees.

IDI’s History
IDI was established in 2002 by the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa. The Academic Alliance was founded by a group of infectious disease experts from Uganda and North America, Dr. Merle A Sande, Dr. Henry A. McKinnell, and Dr. Nelson K Ssewankambo, whose vision and perseverance for an Africa free from the burden of infectious diseases enabled IDI to become a world-class centre of excellence.

With Pfizer funding, Drs. Sande, McKinnell, and Sewankambo were able to begin training healthcare workers, treating patients, and conducting cutting-edge research through the Academic Alliance. This public-private partnership aimed to provide excellent care for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in Uganda, train healthcare workers to serve the tens of millions of PLHIV in Africa, maintain the strategic emphasis on prevention, and conduct research relevant to improving the outcome of the epidemic.

In 2004, ownership of the Institute was transferred to Makerere University, and the Institute moved into its current building, the McKinnell Knowledge Centre.