Wakiso District | THE BLACK EXAMINER | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni inaugurated Uganda’s first-ever bone marrow transplant center at the Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) during its 30th-anniversary celebrations. The president also laid the foundation stone for a proposed cell and gene therapy building at JCRC headquarters in Lubowa, Wakiso district, on October 27, 2023. He commended JCRC for reaching this milestone and emphasized the potential cost savings for patients in Uganda by having bone marrow transplants available locally, rather than seeking treatment abroad.
Furthermore, President Museveni discussed the importance of gene therapy, likening it to selective breeding in cattle to produce better milk producers. He encouraged local scientists to conduct more research and develop vaccines to address current diseases. He expressed concern that Uganda has taken a long time to develop a vaccine for HIV/AIDS and urged local scientists to be proactive.
The visit to China by a delegation from the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) coincided with the China Belt and Road Initiative forum. During the visit, President Museveni and PAU Executive Director Ernest Rubondo discussed the progress of the Kingfisher project and CNOOC’s commitment to fulfilling its responsibilities.
The president praised the partners who have supported JCRC’s research and clinical development over the years. Awards were presented to former JCRC board chairpersons, including Amama Mbabazi, Stephen Kavuma, Crispus Kiyonga, Epelu Opio, and Ben Luwum.
Hon. Ruth Acheng, Uganda’s Minister of Health, commended President Museveni for establishing JCRC and its crucial role in HIV/AIDS research. She highlighted the improvement in life expectancy and the reduction in new HIV infections in Uganda. She also praised JCRC for pioneering the use of HIV drugs in sub-Saharan Africa and its groundbreaking research.
Dr. Cissy Kityo Mutuluuzo, the Executive Director of JCRC, highlighted the center’s contributions to research, including the evaluation of new HIV drugs given as injections every two months. She noted that JCRC continues to advance its research capabilities.
During the event, President Museveni donated 100 million Ugandan shillings to the JCRC members’ SACCO and contributed 30 million shillings towards the construction of a house for Ms. Josephine Nakandi, an inpatient at JCRC.
In conclusion, the visit celebrated the accomplishments of JCRC over its 30 years of service in the field of HIV/AIDS research and treatment.
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