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The MU-JHU Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) unit offers bone scanning facilities for studies that include bone density and densitometry services. The DXA facility is located in the MU-JHU 3 building basement. The DXA facility being a radiation-emitting device, laws and policies relevant to radiation protection and safety are being observed and monitored by Uganda Atomic Energy Council (AEC) and other relevant national and international laws.

DXA scanning activities started in 2009 mainly for clinical trial research evaluating the effect of anti-retroviral medications on bone strength for HIV infected and uninfected clinical trial participants. Over the years, there has been increasing demand and need for DXA scanning for the Ugandan population as the number of people living with HIV increases coupled with increasing life expectancy.

Low bone mass can present either as osteopenia or osteoporosis. Osteopenia refers to a mild reduction in bone mass which at severe levels results in osteoporosis. Osteoporosis per se is a condition characterized by a decrease in the density of bone, decreasing its strength and resulting in fragile bones. Osteoporosis will potentially lead to the abnormally porous bone that is compressible, like a sponge. This disorder of the skeleton weakens the bone and results in frequent fractures (breaks) in the bones.

The Goal of the DXA Unit

The overall goal of the Unit is to provide excellence in the diagnosis of osteoporosis, consultation, research, and improving patient clinical care to meet the needs of the Ugandan community in line with the mission of the organization.

Target population
  1. Geriatrics population
  2. Persons living with HIV
  3. Persons with a family history of osteoporosis
  4. Persons with risk factors for low bone density like persons with diabetes mellites, thyrotoxicosis, tuberculosis, liver or renal disease
  5. Persons taking medications known to interfere with bone metabolism (steroids, anti-convulsants, bisphosphonates, cancer drugs etc.)
  6. Sportsmen and persons in related fields
  7. Research participants within and outside MU-JHU

For more information, contact us at  partnerships@mujhu.org