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Ugandan Academy for Health Innovation and Impact Launches 5 Year Strategic Plan

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The Ugandan Academy for Health Innovation and Impact (‘Ugandan Academy’) has today officially launched a five year Strategic Plan for the period 2016/17- 2020/21.

There are an estimated 1.5 million people living with HIV and around 60,000 with tuberculosis (TB) in Uganda. Janssen, the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson created Connect for LifeTM, a collaborative program that engages the expertise of community healthcare workers, academics and patients and leverages available technologies to demonstrate a sustainable public health impact.

With the Ugandan Academy, Connect for LifeTM has implemented its first program in Uganda, focusing on HIV, TB, and maternal and child health, with potential to expand to other health areas and resource-limited settings.

The Ugandan Academy is initially funded by Janssen as part of its commitment to global public health through collaboration with the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust.

The initiative is a joint effort between Janssen, the Ugandan Ministry of Health, the Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda, the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust, and several other dedicated stakeholders.

Valued at 6.7 million USD (about 24bn UGX) for five years, the project will contribute significantly towards addressing existing gaps in HIV/AIDS research and other communicable diseases.

In its Strategic Plan, the Ugandan Academy spells out a clear vision of “Sustainable health care accessible to all in Uganda,” and its mission statement “to improve health outcomes through innovations in clinical care, capacity building, systems strengthening and research, which inform policy and practices, with a strong emphasis on HIV and TB.”

According to Prof. Elly Katabira, Academy Board Co-Chair, the Ugandan Academy’s Strategic Plan is well aligned to the Ugandan Health Priorities which include addressing malaria, maternal/child mortality, HIV/AIDS and health systems development.

The Ugandan Academy Program Director, Dr. Rosalind Parkes Ratanshi said, “The Ugandan Academy is a new entrant in the health innovation space in Uganda. The Academy strategic goals and objectives outline an ambitious and exciting pathway towards the establishment of the Academy as a key contributor to improving the health outcomes for vulnerable groups in Uganda.”

As part of Connect for LifeTM, the Academy will bring together several partners who jointly aim to improve disease prevention and outcomes in Uganda in a sustainable manner by building on local partnership, expertise and evidence.

The Academy’s office is housed at the Infectious Diseases Institute, a non-profit health organization owned by Makerere University that has been in existence for over 10 years and focuses on infectious disease prevention, treatment and care with an emphasis on HIV.

At the launch of the Ugandan Academy Strategic Plan, Prof. Sam Luboga, Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) Board Chair said, “Tuberculosis is the most serious opportunistic infectious disease among people living with HIV because it is the biggest cause of many of their deaths. I believe that the work of the Ugandan Academy will help support the development and implementation of a suitable model to increase the catchment of TB patients living with HIV and address TB mortality and morbidity among them.”

“The Ugandan Academy will engage actively with key stakeholders to broaden its influence to affect national health policies and decision making to drive innovation in the health sector,” explained Diana Asiimwe Bena, Academy Program Manager.

Dr. Maik Stumpf, Director Disease Management Programs at Janssen, said that as the world’s most broadly-based healthcare organization, Johnson & Johnson has a long-standing legacy of partnership to improve public health for individuals, families, and communities worldwide.

“We recognize that combining on-going innovation with widely-available technologies will be key to unlocking impactful solutions for public health, Innovative collaborations that spark creativity and inspire public health leadership are a core focus of Janssen’s and Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to global public health. Over the next years, the Ugandan Academy’s work will lay the foundations for improving health outcomes for Ugandan people living with serious infectious diseases for generations to come.”

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