The Princess Royal started the four day Uganda visit on 25th October 2022 at the Medical Research Council (MRC), Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Ugandan Research Unit. She was welcomed by Prof Kaleebu who gave her a tour around the campus and was able to see a variety of research work projects currently ongoing.
During the visit, The Princess toured the facilities and learnt more about the unit’s work to conduct high quality, energy efficient research that is contributing to the development of strong health policies for the control of infectious and non-communicable diseases.
Prof Pontiano Kaleebu, the director of Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), revealed this after Princess Anne’s visit at the Entebbe-based Medical Research Council (MRC)/UVRI and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine research unit.
“She (Princess Anne) says we need to work as partners and she says addressing some of these pandemics and outbreaks needs partnership, people coming with the different skills, which is quite important and good for the country,” Prof Kaleebu said in an interview.
The MRC is a partnership between UVRI, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), supported by the UK government and other partners. The princess is the chancellor of LSHTM.
While at the research unit, which is part of the activities of her four-day visit to Uganda, the princess visited the state-of-the-art laboratories, bio-banking and clinical research facilities.
“She came here to see the work that we do in the lab. Some of the work we do includes looking at the viruses, growing the viruses, sequencing the viruses,” Prof Kaleebu said.
He added: “The work we do in Covid-19, the work we do in HIV drug resistance, the work we do in looking at vaccines and immune responses to vaccines and eventually to see also the work that we do here in terms of clinical work and also, the various activities done by our scientists and students.”
During the visit, the princess was also introduced to the unit’s high capacity solar energy system, an innovation to increase the conduct of energy efficient research.
The facility, through a recent grant of £1.3m (Shs5.9b) from the UK government, is set to increase existing solar power generation to 70 percent by 2023, according to information from the research unit.