Uganda Hub Fosters Global Gealth Research Collaborations, Education and Engagement with African Partners

This story was originally written by Katie G. Nelson and posted by the Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility. Read the full story.

Tackling the devastating effects of global health phenomenon is central to the work of health scientists and educators around the globe. No place is their work more critical than in Africa where the onslaught of deadly epidemics like HIV/AIDS and Ebola, coupled with worsening environmental crises such as climate change and food scarcity, have affected generations of people and challenged leading scientists for decades.

That’s why the University of Minnesota and Makerere University in Uganda partnered to establish the Uganda Hub of Innovation.

The hub aims to leverage long-standing, cross-continental relationships to mutually strengthen local and international research talent. It also provides a platform to exchange knowledge, experience and skills, and to further solidify cross-cultural, interdisciplinary connections between academic institutions.

Establishing a centrally located innovation hub could help better predict and prevent destructive health phenomenons in Africa and across the globe. It is the first of an emerging network of University of Minnesota global health hubs.

“The Minnesota/Makerere collaboration is one of the most successful partnerships in the relatively short history of [our] Infectious Disease Institute,” said Richard Brough, Executive Director of the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) at Makerere University.

The hub was formally launched in November 2015, spearheaded by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility.

Brooks Jackson, M.D., M.B.A., Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School, was an instrumental leader in the development of the Uganda Hub. He said strengthening ties across academic disciplines is key to furthering research – and ultimately stopping – deadly disease outbreaks across the continent.

“If we’re going to rid Africa of infectious disease and address other pressing public health challenges we’re going to need a global effort,” he said. “Collaboration will expand our abilities to make a difference in the communities we serve.”

The hub aims to open access points to existing research collaborations in Uganda, and provides the support and resources on the ground in Uganda to help faculty make those connections.

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