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Uganda

The Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) is a non-profit partnership between Makerere University and MHRP. MHRP has been conducting HIV research in Uganda since 1998 and expanded its portfolio to include prevention, care and treatment activities in 2005 under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). 

MUWRPs scientists and partners are part of a robust research program focused on cohort development, surveillance, and vaccine studies. MUWRP staff have presented posters and abstracts at international and national conferences on MUWRP’s various research activities around HIV and Ebola.

The MUWRP laboratory is committed to research and to promoting sustainability of research within the project by supporting young and early career scientists, which Uganda desperately needs. Additionally, it collaborates with MUJHU, IDI, UCLA and other local and international organizations.  The program has expanded its portfolio to research into other communicable diseases of public health importance in Uganda.

HIV Research Studies 

RV217 (ECHO): HIV-1 Prevalence, Incidence, Cohort Retention, and Host Genetics and Viral Diversity in High Risk Cohorts in East Africa.

HIV-V-A004 HIV Vaccine trial: a phase II study of an HIV candidate vaccine for prevention using Ad26 prime with MVA and protein boost.

Ebola/Marburg Vaccine Studies 

In 2009, MUWRP and MHRP launched the first Ebola vaccine clinical trial conducted in Africa, using an early-generation DNA vaccine candidate developed by the Vaccine Research Center (VRC), RV247.

In 2015, MUWRP began a Phase 1b clinical trial of two experimental Ebola vaccines in Kampala, Uganda. The study uses Chimpanzee Adenovirus type 3 vector (ChAd3) vaccines, co-developed by the VRC, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and GlaxoSmithKine. The new study enrolled 90 participants and about 30 volunteers from the RV247 trial will receive a boost, or additional injection, of the cAd3-EBO vaccine to explore the more long-lasting effect of the vaccination. 

MUWRP also conducted a long-term follow up study with the survivors of the 2007-08 Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BDBV) outbreak in Uganda. Results show that survivors experienced negative health effects that persisted more than two years after the outbreak claimed 39 lives.

Avian Influenza/Pandemic Influenza (GEIS)

MUWRP expanded its portfolio to include active surveillance of influenza and influenza-like viruses in humans, animals, and migratory birds in Uganda. The program developed an infrastructure and built capacity in clinical and immunological laboratory testing, data management, conducting clinical trials, and other related activities.

Additionally, MUWRP has renovated a laboratory at Bombo Military Hospital to enhance antimicrobial resistance work also under the GEIS program and enhance mil to mil operations, therefore providing additional diagnostic capabilities for clinicians and additional skills for the lab personnel.  

Other Emerging Infections Research

A new program in 2016, Joint Mobile Emerging Disease Intervention Clinical Capability (JMEDICC) is creating a clinical research center of excellence able to deploy clinical trial capability into Ebola/Marburg outbreak settings in Uganda and in the region. 

MUWRP also conducts sepsis research, supported by the Austere Environment Consortium for Enhanced Sepsis Outcomes (ACESO) expanded its portfolio to include active surveillance of influenza and influenza-like viruses in humans, animals, and migratory birds in Uganda. The program developed an infrastructure and built capacity in clin

Model for Community Engagement

MUWRP is committed to actively engaging communities throughout the research process, from trial protocol development/design through implementation to dissemination of research findings.

Through its community outreach component, MUWRP has engaged communities in Kampala and Kayunga districts by interfacing with the media, dialoguing with policymakers, sensitizing communities and their leaders to public health issues, orienting health professionals and most importantly, working with Community Advisory Boards.

MUWRP has been working in Uganda to provide HIV care, treatment, and prevention services since 2005 with PEPFAR support. The Program has helped strengthen the infrastructure, capacity and systems of local public and private partners in central Uganda to ensure sustainable, high-quality and comprehensive HIV services for communities that have participated or could participate in research studies.

PEPFAR services play an integral part of the MUWRP program, and have grown from a small care and treatment program to a comprehensive program and currently provides HIV treatment to more than tens of thousands of people in the Kayunga, Mukono, Buikwe and Buvuma districts.  

Due to the in-country reprogramming and MUWRP’s exemplary performance, more money was allocated to expand their care and treatment program and to continue their aggressive roll-out of safe Male Medical Circumcision.  MUWRP has renovated several health care centers to improve patient flow, ease crowding and improve the general work environment for health care staff and patients. 

MUWRP manages only data-driven programs from ongoing program monitoring and evaluation. Finally, it’s strong emphasis on efficiency have helped MUWRP achieve improved economies in procurement, highly coordinated service delivery and expanded coverage of programs with low marginal costs.

Making HIV Services More Accessible

MUWRP refurbished a health center for the hard-to-reach people of Koome, which comprises 16 smaller islands and is located in Lake Victoria. Delivering a speech on behalf of People Living with HIV on the islands, a local resident thanked MUWRP for bringing HIV services closer to the people stating that this will lead to increased utilization, adherence and improved survival.

The HIV prevalence on Koome islands stands at around 14%, two times higher than the national average. Residents living with HIV will no longer need to travel far to access HIV services—all services are now available at the refurbished Health Centre.

MC Advertising.jpgMedical Male Circumcision Program

Medical male circumcision is a proven method to help prevent HIV infection. MUWRP partners with Kayunga health authorities to implement Uganda’s first mobile, low-cost, non-research circumcision service program, providing service to hundreds of men often in remote areas.

Reaching Youth

The Kayunga District Youth Recreational Center provides youth with daily counseling, clinic services, and recreational activities. The vibrant community-based activities include district-wide youth outreach and providing mobile counseling and testing services at venues such as schools that reach OVCs and untested youth. The center is a joint effort between MUWRP and the Kayunga District Health Authorities.