New Institute to Enhance Treatment of HIV/AIDS Patients in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), a new medical facility providing state-of-the-art training and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases opened its doors on the grounds of the Makerere University. The institute, one of the largest centers of its kind in East Africa, has the capacity to treat up to 300 HIV/AIDS patients daily and will be a major center for training medical professionals in advanced HIV/AIDS management techniques.
The opening of the IDI is the result of a unique, public-private partnership between a number of organizations committed to working across borders to advance HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and care.
The partnership includes Pfizer Inc, a global pharmaceutical company, Makerere University, Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, the Academic Alliance Foundation for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Pfizer Inc and the Pfizer Foundation have contributed more than $15 million to support construction of the building, equipping and staffing programs at the new facility where training, operational research and patient care will be delivered under the same roof.
Professor Nelson K. Sewankambo, dean of the faculty of medicine at the Makerere University, said, “The establishment of the IDI is a significant milestone for the university. This project represents the first infrastructure investment at the medical school in 35 years. Pfizer’s staff and financial resources have been critical to this endeavor and will help Makerere renew its reputation as a leading educational institute in Africa and worldwide.”
The creation of the IDI was first announced in 2001 in response to a shortage of adequately trained HIV/AIDS medical staff and a growing need for improved treatment of people living with AIDS. The IDI began offering limited services from a small clinic at Mulago Hospital in 2002. Training activities also began in May of that year.
To date, more than 250 physicians, nurses and other health care professionals from 13 countries in Africa have received training at the IDI through a partnership of local and international HIV/AIDS specialists, including leading experts from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Added to this, more than 8,000 HIV/AIDS patients have been treated at the institute.
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