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2004 News Archive
New Institute to Boost AIDS Campaign in Uganda

November 1, 2004: The East African (Nairobi), By Esther Nakkazi, Special Correspondent Nairobi - The institute will treat up to 300 patients daily and train 250 physicians across Africa each year. AN INFECTIOUS Diseases Institute (IDI) dedicated to treating people with HIV/Aids using advanced medicines and techniques and training medical practitioners was officially opened at Makerere University, Kampala, last week.

The IDI will provide enhanced HIV care, educate and train HIV healthcare providers and monitor HIV therapy through its diagnostic laboratory. It will also support diagnosis of opportunistic infections, tropical and sexually transmitted diseases. The institute, a public-private partnership, will treat up to 300 patients daily and will train 250 physicians across Africa each year in HIV/Aids care.

"The training programme focuses on equipping healthcare providers to deliver antiretroviral therapy, comprehensive care and establish excellence in clinical practice. Investing in research provides hope for a better future," said the IDI director, Prof Keith McAdam.

President Yoweri Museveni, opening the centre said IDI would offer focused training to African health workers for HIV/Aids management. He praised the partnership, saying that combined efforts would overcome the virus.

The institute is a partnership between pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, Makerere University, the Academic Alliance Foundation for Aids Care and Prevention in Africa (AACCP), Pangaea Global Aids Foundation and the Infectious Disease Society of America.

Pfizer has already contributed over $15 million for setting up IDI and its programmes and has a commitment to provide over $24 million in funding between 2001 and 2009.

"As Pfizer, we're committed to improving the lives of people through partnerships such as this one. The training initiatives undertaken here will ultimately result in improved care for millions of patients," said Pfizer chairman and CEO Dr Hank McKinnell.

AACCP president Prof Merle Sande, "IDI reflects true partnerships between academicians in North America and Africa and the public-private sectors who have come together to combat the most threatening disease to attack mankind.

"We have focused on strengthening an existing African institution by enhancing its capacity to train healthcare providers and to conduct research. By integrating African and Western models of care, we are developing new models of HIV/Aids care for the African population," he said.

Over 250 doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals from 13 African countries have taken the institute's pilot one-month's course while over 8,000 HIV/Aids patients have been treated since the institute's inception in 2002.

Post-training follow-ups show that each of the graduates has trained 10 physicians in the latest treatment for HIV/Aids.

The Academic Alliance has established a fellowship in infectious diseases programme for young physicians and will receive a World Bank grant of $3.5 million to fund additional training for physicians and teachers from Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

The institute is the first major infrastructure component to be added to Makerere University's medical school in 35 years. Pangaea Global Aids Foundation ensured that its construction was completed on time and within the budget.

Pangaea has partnered with the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation to assist South Africa, Rwanda and the Bahamas in the development and implementation of countrywide plans for providing HIV/Aids care and treatment.

Turning Monday into Tuesday in Kampala

October 2004: By Warner C. Greene, Director, Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology - The gentle touchdown of the night flight from London to Entebbe International Airport in Uganda proved to be the only "normal" thing about my trip to Kampala last October. Although I knew all about the HIV pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa and had treated many patients with this terrible disease, I confess that I was not prepared for the scope of the problem or the possibilities that exist there.

My wife and I had traveled from San Francisco to attend the dedication of the new Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) at Makerere University and for me to participate in the first Academic Alliance Foundation (AAF) board of directors meeting held in Africa. The AAF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting AIDS care, prevention, and training in Africa, and its activities are centered at the IDI.

During the 30-minute trip by car from the airport into central Kampala, I was swept away by the natural beauty of Uganda. Although it was a Monday morning, very few cars were on the road, but the sides of the road were crowded with both adults and children walking briskly to work and school. Uganda is a country on the move. Although the average citizen earns only $240 per year, literacy rates are improving, there is increased access to clean water, and the economy and political structure are stabilizing. However, AIDS remains a serious threat. Life expectancy has dropped to 45 years because of HIV infection. We passed several vendors selling coffins-a burgeoning business in Uganda fueled by the huge numbers of people dying from AIDS.

I distinctly remember walking into the clinic at the IDI and seeing benches and hallways overflowing with patients, yet I hardly heard a sound. Why is the clinic so quiet, I asked. Because it is Monday and not Tuesday, I was told. On Tuesday and Thursday, the fortunate few patients on antiretroviral therapy come to the clinic. Patients not yet receiving antiviral medications are seen on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

In the cancer ward, the physician in charge presented the case of a young man with Kaposi's sarcoma, an AIDS-associated cancer, that had spread to his lower extremities. Because he did not have the money for chemotherapy, the treatment plan was simple: amputate both legs. Although common in the early days of the AIDS epidemic here in the United States and Europe, Kaposi's sarcoma virtually disappeared with the advent of effective antiretroviral therapy. The same will almost certainly occur in Africa, but the global effort to save this continent from the ravages of HIV comes too late for this young man.

When I returned to the clinic on Tuesday, the difference was striking. The laughter and chatter of mothers and their children filled the halls, emphasizing how the broad availability of antiretroviral therapy could quickly transform the lives of millions of Africans infected with HIV-replacing despair with hope and enabling people to begin living instead of dying. Antiviral drugs clearly work well in Africa. In fact, African patients take their medications more faithfully than patients in United States.

Of course, drugs are not the only need. Equally important are physicians, nurses, and others trained in the care of AIDS patients, as well as adequate facilities for their work. The training of African physicians is a primary mission of the Academic Alliance. Already, more than 300 physicians from 13 African countries have completed intensive AIDS care training at the IDI. This training component is essential to sustain efforts aimed at curbing and ultimately halting the AIDS pandemic that is sweeping through Africa. More than 25 million Africans are infected with HIV, and more than 12 million children have been orphaned by AIDS. My personal goal is to turn Monday into Tuesday for the more than 10,000 patients attending the IDI clinics.

Wednesday proved to be an uplifting day, full of hope for the future. The AAF board of directors met to continue refining and executing its plan to ensure sustainable funding of the IDI programs. Dr. Keith McAdam, the newly appointed director of the IDI, and Dr. Nelson Sewankambo, dean of Makerere University School of Medicine, joined in the discussions. This meeting was focused and productive; clear short- and long-term plans were established, and an action plan was put in place.

Later that day the dedication of the new IDI, built with monies generously donated by Pfizer, was hosted by His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda. President Museveni more than any other African leader has led the fight against AIDS. His efforts have met with success. The prevalence of HIV in this country has dropped from 15-20% to 4%. Countless lives have been saved, but too many are still dying. With the ribbon cut and the inspiring speeches delivered, it is now time to realize the full potential offered by this wonderful new Institute. This will require a dedicated effort by all involved.

I plan to visit Uganda annually to teach in the IDI's training program and to work in its clinic. I hope to base as many appropriate research projects as possible there as well. Along with the others on the AAF board, I am firmly committed to securing the IDI's future. As was brought home to me so dramatically during my trip to Uganda, the tragedy unfolding in sub-Saharan Africa is too broad in its scope and tragic in its consequences for us to do anything less.

Largest HIV/AIDS Training Center in Sub-Saharan Africa Opens in Uganda; Institute Funded Largely by Pfizer

October 21, 2004: Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report - The largest HIV/AIDS training center in sub-Saharan Africa opened on Wednesday in Uganda, Reuters reports (Wallis, Reuters, 10/20). The Infectious Diseases Institute will be a "major" center for training health care workers in antiretroviral drug therapy and advanced HIV/AIDS management, according to AFP/Yahoo! News. The institute is expected to treat as many as 300 patients daily and train 250 HIV/AIDS specialists annually, AFP/Yahoo! News reports (AFP/Yahoo! News, 10/20). IDI is a public-private partnership among U.S.-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer -- which with the Pfizer Foundation has contributed more than $15 million to the project -- Makerere University in Uganda, Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, the Academic Alliance Foundation for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (PGAF release, 10/20). Many of the health care workers trained at IDI will work in rural clinics, "where resources are scarce," according to BBC News. Dr. Moses Kamya, IDI's head of training, said, "If and when they begin prescribing ARVs, they need to know what tests they can do without and still be relatively successful in monitoring and treating patients" (BBC News, 10/21). IDI Director Dr. Keith McAdam said that the center could treat up to 10,000 patients annually, according to the AP/San Jose Mercury News. McAdam added that IDI will provide treatment at no cost to patients who use antiretrovirals provided by large drug companies. "We are training trainers, people who will train others," McAdam said, adding, "The experts are trained to handle all drugs, including generics."

Reaction
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who officially opened the institute on Wednesday, said that 70,000 Ugandans were infected with HIV in the past year, according to the AP/Mercury News. "We need this new institute," Museveni said, adding, "We are very happy with the Americans. This multi-pronged attack on the enemy will bear results these days" (Wasswa, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 10/20). Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell said, "We know that one hospital in one African nation is not going to solve the crisis of HIV/AIDS," adding, "But we also understand that if professionals at this hospital can train a hundred like them in a year, then that hundred can train thousands more in the years that follow" (Wallis, Reuters/Washington Times, 8/21). Merle Sande, president of the American Alliance Foundation, said, "The IDI reflects true partnerships between academicians in North America and Africa and the public/private sectors who have come together to build infrastructure to combat the most threatening disease to attack mankind," adding, "Through integrating African and Western models of care we are developing new models of HIV/AIDS care for the African population" (PGAF release, 10/20). 

'Biggest' Africa HIV centre opens

October 21, 2004: BBC News - One of Africa's biggest HIV/Aids training centres has been opened in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

The Infectious Diseases Institute, largely funded by drug company Pfizer, will train up to 200 doctors a year.

It will also treat some 300 HIV patients a day with the latest anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs).

Uganda has been widely praised for its fight against Aids, where a government campaign that saw infection rates drop from 30% to 6% in a decade.

Correspondents say Uganda was chosen to host the centre because of this success.

Scarce resources

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni opened the facility along with Pfizer's head, Hank McKinnell.

"If professionals at this hospital can train a hundred like them in a year, then that hundred can train thousands more in the years that follow," Mr McKinnell told Reuters news agency.

The institute's training initiatives will ultimately result in improved care for millions of patients, he said.

After qualifying many of its students will go to work in rural clinics, where resources are scarce.

"If and when they begin prescribing ARVs, they need to know what tests they can do without and still be relatively successful in monitoring and treating patients," said Dr Moses Kamya, the institute's head of training.

Pfizer, one of the world's richest drug companies, says the training centre - based at Makerere University - is one of the largest of its kind in East Africa.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/africa/3760550.stm

Published: 2004/10/21 07:47:40 GMT

© BBC MMIV

Anti-AIDS school launched at Mulago

October 21, 2004: By Alfred Wasike - President Yoweri Museveni yesterday opened the US$4.5m teaching complex at Mulago Hospital, with a call for more partners to combat the disease.

The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), Africa's only anti-AIDS teaching hospital, is to train the continent's doctors in the management and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS.

Of the 40 million people living with the epidemic worldwide, more than 25 million are in Africa.

The ultra-modern two- story complex equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories is a result of a partnership between Pfizer (the main financiers), the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa, Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Academic Alliance Foundation (AAF), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Makerere University and Mulago Hospital.

Museveni said, "While we need more partnership to wipe out AIDS, we are going to start fighting some partners who have been stealing our patents. I have a quarrel with two groups. It is very unfair for our scientists to make discoveries and then other people steal them."

"Africa has a lot of ancient knowledge and the biggest variety of herbs. We have also established a special fund for scientists for innovation and another fund for turning the discoveries for real life use," he told an audience of mainly north American and European scientists.

Museveni warned, "Only a multi-pronged attack against AIDS will yield results. We need to focus on prevention, careful use of drugs, continued research and treatment."

He said Uganda had reduced the AIDS prevalence rate to below 6% through mainly "social immunisation because we had very low condom use per capita."

Museveni is a reknowned anti-AIDS crusader and award winner.

NEW INFECTIOUS DISEASES INSTITUTE (IDI) TO ENHANCE TREATMENT OF PATIENTS AND TRAINING OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

October 20, 2004: The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), a new medical facility providing state of the art training and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases opened its doors on the grounds of the Makerere University. The Institute, one of the largest centers of its kind in East Africa, has the capacity to treat up to 300 HIV/AIDS patients daily and will be a major center for training medical professionals in advanced HIV/AIDS management techniques.

The opening of the IDI is the result of a unique, public-private partnership between a number of organizations committed to working across borders to advance HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and care. The partnership includes Pfizer Inc, a global pharmaceutical company, Makerere University, the Academic Alliance Foundation for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Pfizer Inc and the Pfizer Foundation have contributed more than $15 million USD to support construction of the building, equipping and staffing programs at the new facility where, training, operational research and patient care will be delivered under the same roof.

Professor Nelson K. Sewankambo, Dean, Faculty of Medicine at the Makerere University said, "The establishment of the IDI is a significant milestone for the university. This project represents the first infrastructure investment at the medical school in 35 years. Pfizer's staff and financial resources have been critical to this endeavor and will help Makerere renew its reputation as a leading educational institute in Africa and worldwide."

"Our participation in this important partnership reflects Pfizer's commitment to focus on initiatives that will benefit patients that have the greatest medical need," said Pfizer Chairman and CEO, Hank McKinnell, Ph.D. "We are confident that our vision for the IDI will further strengthen this institution of medical education in Africa. The training initiatives undertaken here will ultimately result in improved care for millions of patients."

The creation of the IDI was first announced in 2001 in response to a shortage of adequately trained HIV/AIDS medical staff and a growing need for improved treatment of people living with AIDS. The IDI began offering limited services from a small clinic at Mulago Hospital in 2002. Training activities also began in May of that year. The new center opened today will offer services five days a week and will be able to treat 300 patients daily, a three-fold increase in capacity.

To date, more than 250 physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals from 13 countries in Africa have received training at the IDI through a partnership of local and international HIV/AIDS specialists, including leading experts from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Added to this, more than 8,000 HIV/AIDS patients have been treated at the institute.

"The IDI reflects true partnerships between academicians in North America and Africa and the public/private sectors who have come together to build infrastructure to combat the most threatening disease to attack mankind. We have focused our energies on strengthening an existing African institution by enhancing its capacity to train health care providers and to conduct research. Through integrating African and western models of care we are developing new models of HIV/AIDS care for the African population", said Merle Sande, M.D., President of Academic Alliance Foundation.

Pat Christen, President of the Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, commented, "Our organization brought basic project management skills and played a key role in ensuring that the vision of the partners was turned into sustainable reality on the ground at the IDI. Pfizer's willingness to provide sufficient and flexible private sector funding throughout this project was essential to its success."

Construction of the IDI has benefited the local economy through its emphasis on local procurement of resources and professional skills. A workplace safety program implemented during the construction resulted in an exceptional safety record with no reportable accidents over almost 300,000 person hours of construction. 

U.S. Firm Opens $15M Ugandan AIDS Clinic

October 20, 2004: The Associated Press, By HENRY WASSWA - The largest training center in Africa for health workers treating AIDS sufferers opened outside of Uganda's capital Wednesday in what officials said was a major step toward dealing with the epidemic on the world's poorest continent.

The $15 million Infectious Diseases Institute at the University of Makerere will teach 250 health professionals a year how to train other medical workers in the most modern methods of treating HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

In the process, the center will treat 10,000 patients a year, Dr. Keith McAdam, the director of the institute, said. The university has treated 8,000 patients so far and has already trained 250 health workers since 2001, but the new facility was not opened until Wednesday.

The institute, which comprises of clinics, laboratories and lecture rooms, will be the largest training center in Africa devoted to treating HIV and AIDS. The project was funded by a major U.S. pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer Inc.

"The institute will help in training people how to manage and handle (antiretroviral) drugs. It will train experts to handle people living with AIDS, to care about AIDS patients, prevention of infection and how to best treat people," McAdam said.

McAdam, who is also professor of clinical tropical medicine at the University of London, said the institute will provide free treatment to the patients using drugs provided by major drug companies.

"We are training trainers, people who will train others," he said. "The experts are trained to handle all drugs, including generics."

The use of generic copies of patented drugs has been a major controversy in Africa, where most people live on less than a dollar a day. An estimated 38 million people are infected with HIV worldwide, 25 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

Aid groups have advocated importing cheap generic antiretroviral drugs from India, Brazil and Thailand, while the patent holders, major pharmaceutical companies, have expressed concerns about illicit trade in generics, poor quality pills and drug resistance developing due to improper use.

President Yoweri Museveni, who officially opened the institute, said that 70,000 Ugandans were infected by the AIDS virus last year and he said he hoped that the facility will help find a cure for HIV.

"We need this new institute. We are very happy with the Americans," he said.

He praised the institutes approach of teaching prevention and offering drugs to treat those infected.

"This multi-pronged attack on the enemy will bear results these days," he said after cutting a red ribbon at the gate of the rectangular, single-story, building.

Pfizer executives said the facility was built in Uganda because of the government's steadfast acceptance of the existence of AIDS in the East African country 17 years ago and its aggressive program to control the disease.

Uganda has over a million people who carry the virus that causes AIDS. More than 900,000 of its citizens have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the disease was identified in the country in the 1980s. Hundreds of thousands of children have been orphaned.

"We have an enormous opportunity to build capacity to train trainees in Africa. We are moving from prevention and care to training experts in handling infectious diseases," Pfizer chairman and chief executive, Hank McKinnell, told The Associated Press in an interview.

"With this institute, we now have the capacity to train hundreds or thousands of people. The purpose is to provide high-quality clinical care in Uganda and more widely in Africa," he said.

New institute offers hope to HIV patients in Africa

October 20, 2004: Winnipeg Free Press, By Dan Lett: A new training and treatment institute in Uganda, founded by Winnipeg researcher Dr. Allan Ronald, is bringing new hope to HIV/AIDS patients in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) has just opened a $5 millionUS facility in Kampala for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients, and training of physicians to administer and manage antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.

Ronald, a professor at the University of Manitoba and one of the founders of the university's renowned HIV/AIDS research project in Kenya, said the facility will treat more than 300 patients a day while providing leading-edge training to doctors, nurses and other health care professionals on the administration of ARVs.

The institute hopes to double its current caseload of 3,000 patients, he added.

The widespread administration of ARVs has been a controversial subject in developing countries. The cost is often out of the reach of many governments, and there have been concerns about whether patients in developing countries and their physicians can properly manage the complex combination of medications necessary to keep HIV in check.

Although the new facility creates greater capacity, Ronald said he is still struggling to secure donations of costly ARVs. As it stands, only 1,000 of the 4,000 patients being treated at the institute are able to obtain a full course of ARVs, Ronald said.

"Our mandate states that we are not allowed to turn anyone away," said Ronald. "It's going to be difficult. We really need more drug donations."

The IDI was first established three years ago in partnership with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc., which contributed $15 million toward the construction, staffing and equipment for the new facility. The institute offered services out of a makeshift clinic at Mulago hospital in Kampala.

Even with less-than-suitable facilities, Ronald said the institute has been able to train more than 250 health care physicians from 13 countries in Africa.

Now complete, the new building was constructed at the site of the medical school at Makerere University in Kampala.

Uganda opens Africa's biggest AIDS training centre

October 20, 2004: Reuters, By Daniel Wallis - The biggest HIV/AIDS training centre in sub-Saharan Africa opened in Uganda on Wednesday with officials hopeful it will significantly boost the continent's ability to fight the deadly pandemic.

The Infectious Diseases Institute, largely funded by drug giant Pfizer, aims to teach hundreds of health care workers advanced techniques in fighting a disease the United Nations estimates has infected 26 million people in Africa.

"We know that one hospital, in one African nation, is not going to solve the crisis of HIV/AIDS," Pfizer <PFE.N> chief executive officer Hank McKinnell said before the opening, which was attended by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

"But we also understand that if professionals at this hospital can train a hundred like them in a year, then that hundred can train thousands more in the years that follow."

The centre will also be the biggest facility in East Africa for treating HIV/AIDS sufferers with the latest life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), its founders say.

AIDS killed up to 2.2 million Africans last year, while some 3 million contracted the HIV virus.

Uganda, once seen as the epicentre of the virus, was chosen to host the centre largely due to the success of a proactive government campaign that saw infection rates drop to 6 percent from around 30 percent in the mid-1990s.

The new facility, once fully operational, is expected to treat as many 500 patients a day and aims to train about 200 doctors a year.

"Our students will, in many cases, return to rural clinics that lack the most basic resources," said Dr Moses Kamya, the institute's director of training.

"If and when they begin prescribing ARVs, they need to know what tests they can do without and still be relatively successful in monitoring and treating patients."

The facility was set up by a wide array of doctors' associations, academics, pharmaceutical companies, civil society groups and the Ugandan government.

Pfizer has spent $15 million on building the centre and says it will support the operating costs of the centre.

A Winnipeg researcher is bringing new hope to AIDS patients in Uganda

October 19, 2004: WINNIPEG (CP) - A new training and treatment institute founded by Winnipeg researcher Dr. Allan Ronald in Uganda is bringing new hope to HIV/AIDS patients in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Infectious Diseases Institute has just opened a $5-million US facility in Kampala for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients and training of physicians to administer and manage antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.

Ronald, a professor at the University of Manitoba and one of the founders of the school's renowned HIV/AIDS research project in Kenya, said the facility will treat more than 300 patients a day while providing leading-edge training to doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.

The institute hopes to double its current caseload of 3,000 patients, he added.

The widespread administration of ARVs has been a controversial subject in developing countries. The cost of the drugs is often out of the reach of many governments, and there have been concerns about whether patients in developing countries and their physicians can properly manage the complex combination of medications necessary to keep HIV in check.

Although the new facility creates greater capacity, Ronald said he is still struggling to secure donations of the costly drugs. As it stands, only 1,000 of the patients being treated at the institute are able to obtain a full course of ARVs, Ronald said.

``Our mandate states that we are not allowed to turn anyone away,'' said Ronald. ``It's going to be difficult. We really need more drug donations.''

The institute was established three years ago in partnership with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc., which has also contributed $15 million toward construction, staffing and equipment.

To date the institute has been able to train more than 250 physicians from 13 countries in Africa.

(Winnipeg Free Press)

Museveni to Open Aids Institute

October 19, 2004: New Vision, By Barbara Bitangaro (Kampala) - Mulago hill is alive with activity as scientists and public health workers prepare to launch the new multi-million-dollar Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) tomorrow.

"The new building houses a state-of-the-art laboratory certified to do trials that are acceptable to international regulatory authorities," Keith McAdam, the Director of the Institute and Emeritus Professor of Tropical Medicine at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said in an interview yesterday.

"The laboratory facility will support clinical research to be conducted to determine treatment protocols with the greatest efficacy and cost effectiveness within African settings," he said.

The IDI will be involved with improving HIV/AIDS care through the provision of clinical care, research and training. It has well-equipped training facilities, a library and excellent IT connectivity and operates two adult and paediatric clinics.

To date IDI has trained over 200 physicians from 13 countries in Africa in its month-long course on enhanced management of HIV including the use of antiretrovirals.

McAdam said the structure, "which was set up largely with the funding of Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company, was a brilliant way of bringing scientists from Africa together with those from resource-rich countries."

Hank Mckinnell, the Pfizer Chief Executive Officer, Professor Merle Sande, Board Chairman AAF and Pat Christen, President Pangaea, are visiting to participate in the launch of the IDI.

The IDI is a project of the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa (AAACP), an alliance of five North American scientists and nine Ugandan scientists aimed at consolidating HIV/AIDS care and treatment in Africa. Makerere University and Mulago Hospital are senior partners in the alliance. Luke Nkinsi, Global Health Programme, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation representative and a team of internationally renowned researchers will review AAACP project activities.

Scientists from different organisations will today take part in what has been code-named 'Celebrating a Partnership.' This involves scientists and care providers from different organisations in the country giving presentations about their activities.

 

 

"This day aims at understanding what key partners are doing and sharing experiences of what has been achieved by different partnerships," said Professor Fred Wabwire-Mangen, Board chairman AAF. President Yoweri Museveni will cut the tape to the new complex at Mulago Hospital tomorrow in the presence of stakeholders and scientists dealing with HIV treatment, prevention and care from North America, Europe and the rest of Africa.

On Friday there will be a Gates Grant Scientific meeting where key scientific presentations that show results will be presented.

"My vision is that the IDI should be an outstanding centre in the region for clinical care and training and this should spread through Africa as a centre of excellence for Training the Trainer," McAdam said.

Prevention has been the cornerstone of Uganda's HIV activities plus a strong element of care and support across a continuum (hospitals, health centres, community, NGOs).

With prevalence rates of over 30% in 1992 at various sentinel surveillance sites, Uganda has managed to bring down its infection rates to as low as 5.6% at some sites.

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