KAMPALA – Makerere University in partnership with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) will start manufacturing diagnostic tools and devices made in Uganda, the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, has said.
Currently, diagnostic tools such as microscopes, CT machines and CD4 Machines are imported but Dr Tumwesigye said that with the help of US-based Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), students from Makerere University will be trained on how to make these devises.
“This university is helping our Makerere University to enable Uganda make its own diagnostic tools, devise under what we call bio-medical Engineering. In the past, we have been getting people from Belgium, Europe to service out lab equipment but with this collaboration, this will be reversed,” Dr Tumwesigye said on Tuesday at a symposium to celebrate the 30 years of partnership between Case Western Reserve University and Uganda.
He commended CWRU for boosting Uganda’s health sector.
He revealed that US university has trained doctors at the Uganda Heart Institute and the cancer institute on how to conduct heart surgeries, treat cancer and conduct kidney transplants.
The Makerere University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe said that he is optimistic that the second batch of bio-medical engineers they are training will be able to design the diagnostic tools which the private partners can take up and start manufacturing within the country.
He also said that they are going to start conducting research on food security and climate change given the current population exploitation.
The president of CWRU, Prof Barbra Snyder, said partnering with Makerere University in 1988, they have trained over 400 students from Uganda in the treatment of heart diseases, non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS prevention and non-nutrition diseases.
She said that the collaboration will continue and is going to be diverted to the emerging problems in developing countries.
The government of Uganda in 1988 invited the CWRU to collaborate with Makerere University in the fight against HIV/AIDs in the country.
The USA university started taking Uganda students, trained them and came back to consult research on the virus, which has to date been suppressed to a smaller extent.