Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) recently on 16th September 2022 hosted a team from DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung); an international development and advocacy organisation that has been a long-standing advocate for EDCTP’s mission. The tour begun with Nsambya Hospital in Kampala which is a partner site to UVRI project work. The visiting team was able to capture the activities of the EDCTP-funded projects UVRI coordinates: EACCR3, CaFe-SEA and EAPoC-VL. This featured researchers and medical staff doing research on poverty-related infectious diseases and medical staff providing care to patients.
The visiting team was led by Ffion Storer Jones; an advocacy officer in the DSW EU office, she is also part of the team working on global health research and innovation (R&I). She was accompanied by Giuseppe Martone, a communications officer. The team advocates for increased EU support for R&I into new and improved health solutions to fight poverty-related and neglected diseases (PRNDs), including HIV & AIDS, TB, malaria and NTDs, and some emerging infectious diseases – with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
During the visit they were able to meet with organizations working within this field, and to undertake content gathering activities to inform and support the advocacy work. The team visited both clinical and research facilities to document ongoing efforts to tackle PRNDs, including through the capturing of photos, testimonials, videos, and interviews.
Some of the interviewees included Dr Andrew Sekitoleko- CEO of Nsambya hospital and Dr Peter Kirabira, a project coordinator at the hospital. Dr Kyakuwa Nassim was interviewed from the UVRI clinic while Juliet Nkugwa Asio was interviewed as PhD candidate on the CAFÉ SEA programme. The entire visit was locally coordinated by Dennis Ssesanga-a knowledge management officer from UVRI.
Given that UVRI is a recipient of EDCTP funding, the visiting team focused on documenting research activities, as outlined above, and to meet with members of the teams involved in EDCTP funded projects. The content gathered would be used to inform and strengthen the advocacy work at EU level, calling for greater funding for, and support to R&I on PRNDs - including via the EDCTP and other programmes.