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Funding from UAE helps Aids hospital in Uganda

A hospital which treats patients with HIV and Aids has opened in Uganda with the help of funding from the UAE.

A hospital which treats patients with HIV and Aids has opened in Uganda with the help of funding from the UAE. The family care centre in Kampala helps treat more than 3000 HIV/Aids-affected patients and provides care for their families. Last year, Zayed Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University (MU-JHU) received funding from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, to build the centre.

Dr Ahmed Mubarak al Mazrouei, chairman of the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, said the authority had been able to become part of the MU-JHU research and collaboration centre thanks to the "generous support" from the UAE. "This centre has the potential to become one of the leading human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) research and family care centres in Africa," he said. "It is an honour to support such a programme."

The centre covers 17,800 square feet and opened its doors on June 1. It offers psychosocial support, family planning and nutritional counselling for HIV-infected women and their families. It is based on a model of care developed by the MU-JHU research collaboration project team. Spread over five floors, it has clinic facilities, programme and administrative offices, a video conferencing centre, a nutrition clinic and space to offer vocational training to help families affected by HIV generate income. It is situated in the grounds of the Mulago Hospital in Kampala.

Dr Philippa Musoke, of the Makarere University School of Medicine, helped develop the care model for the centre. She is also an advocate for paediatric care for children with HIV in Uganda, along with support for their psychosocial and academic needs. "We are excited to have these new facilities dedicated to the comprehensive care and treatment of HIV affected women and their families in Uganda," she said. "We thank the Al Nahyan family of the United Arab Emirates for their generosity. It is great to see the UAE Royal family reaching out to help Africans across the continent and improve the lives of families affected by the HIV pandemic, which has taken its heaviest toll in Africa."

Johns Hopkins Medicine also manages Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, which is one of the biggest government hospitals in the country. munderwood@thenational.ae

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