NIH and Fogarty Centers Directors welcomed at MU-JHU

August 27, 2016
MUJHU upper parking
MUJHU awaits the Directors
MUJHU dances dance to the rhythm
Dr. Clemensia and team caught in a light moment
Prof. Philippa with the NIH Director and key guests
Dr. Maxensia gives a tour of the Maternal Child HealthClinic
Prof Philippa leads the NIH and Fogarty Center Directors through MUJHU
Dr. Monica Nolan welcomes the guests
Group photo of the meeting attended
MUJHU childrens play area
Opening of the MUJHU childrens play area by NIH Director Dr. Fran-cis  Collins
NIH Director Dr. Francis  Collins unveils the play area placard
Placard at the outdoor childrens play area in MU-JHU

On the 5th August 2016, MU-JHU was honored by a visit from the U.S. National Institutes for Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins and the Fogarty International Center Director, Dr Roger Glass during their recent visit to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. They were accompanied by Dr. Steve Reynolds (NIH resident representative) and a number of officials from Makerere University’s College of Health Sciences including Prof. Charles Ibingira (Principal MakCHS), his Deputy Associate Prof. Damallie Nakanjako and Deans of the MakCHS Schools. This visit was part of a tour to research institutions highlighting the work of the Mak U CHS and its collaborating partners.

The guests were treated to a traditional Baganda welcome with drums and dancers. Dr. Collins and Dr. Glass were welcomed by Site Leader Dr. Philippa Musoke and received flowers from a child (representing all the children served by MU-JHU).  After a brief tour of the research facility, the group gathered together with senior staff. Dr. Musoke shared a brief history of MU-JHU and highlighted some of MU-JHU’s research successes and its impact locally and globally. She gratefully appreciated NIH’s huge contribution including through Fogarty fellowships. Three inspiring women then shared their testimonies of participating in research studies and receiving services at MU-JHU.
Gloria shared how she joined the HIVNET 012 study at just 18 years and currently is happily married in a discordant relation-ship with 3 healthy children aged 17, 12 and 7 thanks to MU-JHU and NIH. She thanked Dr Collins and NIH for giving her life and a beautiful healthy family through the PMTCT work!  Ruth, an ASPIRE study participant shared her experience using the female controlled ring and thanked NIH for their tireless effort to fight HIV and empowering women to prevent HIV.

“When the woman is safe, the world is safe” she asserted. Ruth is committed to engage in the Open Label HOPE study. She will not rest until all women have access to an effective, safe female-controlled method to prevent HIV. Go Ruth! Josephine Nabukenya is one of the founding members of ‘Young Generation Alive’ and serves as the SLF MU-JHU Youth Coordinator. She shared her story of living with HIV since birth and the importance for children of being loved and accepted with psychosocial support such as she received at MU-JHU. She also thanked NIH for ongoing research to simplify dosing regimes for children which are so key to adherence.
Dr Collins and Dr Glass also shared some remarks. Dr Collins encouraged every one to hold on to the hope of an HIV cure in the next 10 years and realize the dream so that Josephine and others would not have to take medication daily. Dr Glass also paid tribute to the three women as the leaders of tomorrow. Dr Monica Nolan then thanked Dr Collins and Glass recognizing NIH’s but also their personal commitment to global health.
A further site highlight was the dedication, by Dr. Collins, of the new children’s play area which includes a stunning mosaic wall created by local artist David Kiggundu together with YGA members. Dr Collins unveiled a plaque dedicated to “Happy Healthy Children and Families— In recognition of 28 years of collaborative NIH sponsored research at MU-JHU to contribute to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability ”. As he cut the red ribbon, young children raced between his legs to play in the new sand pit!

Dr Collins and Dr Glass found the visit to MU-JHU particularly moving and memorable especially hearing directly from Gloria, Ruth and Josephine. Dr Collins shared this in his closing re-marks at the CHS later that day in front of the US Ambassador and other dignitaries. Thank you MU-JHU !!


Compiled by Nakyala Esther and Dr Monica Nolan

Romana Nabbosa