A New Clinical Research Facility unveiled at Entebbe to Enhance Clinical Research in Uganda  

A New Clinical Research Facility unveiled at Entebbe to Enhance Clinical Research in Uganda   
The new UVRI/MRC/LSHTM Clinical Research Facility at Enteebe

The Medical Research Council (MRC) together with the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI)  and The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has today unveiled a state-of-the-art clinical research facility in Entebbe to support the successful conduct of clinical studies that can make significant contributions to science, policy, and practice in Uganda.

The Facility is one of the bases of the Unit’s clinical research and trials platform established by the Unit. The Facility was funded by the Wellcome Trust, a charitable foundation focused on health research based in London, the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom Research and Innovation/Medical Research Council. The solar-powered facility will be used to conduct clinical research on infectious and non-communicable diseases.

While officiating at the commissioning of the facility in Entebbe on 5th May 2022, the Minister of Health (MOH) Hon. Ruth Jane Aceng represented by the Under Secretary MOH Akili Keneth applauded the support from the funders of the facility including WeeCome Trust and UK’s MRC which she said contributed to research in Uganda and Arica.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Health, I wish to thank the Wellcome Trust and the UK MRC for funding this facility. This contribution builds on the long-term support and partnership with the UK Government and the outstanding research the MRC Unit and UVRI have generated over the years. We pledge to play our part, together with building a healthier nation.” she said

The facility commissioning ceremony was presided over by the Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health, attended by Her Excellency Kate Airey OBE, the British High Commissioner to Uganda, and Prof Liam Smeeth, the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

She said the facility go a long way in strengthening the national response to outbreaks with knowledge and useful recommendations to the government on how to improve the health of Ugandans.

The Director, Uganda Virus Research Unit (UVRI) and MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit, Dr. Potiano Kaleebu pictured above said that the Research Facility has for a long time attracted funding in various research areas including HIV, Vaccines, and Emergency outbreaks among others. He said that the Facility is contributing to policy and practice and capacity building.

Pontiano added that they received funding to the tune of UK Pounds 820,000 from MRC and UK Pound 200,000 from Wellcome Trust which he said was very useful in the construction, compensation, and expansion among others.

“This clinical research facility was constructed with support from MRC and Wellcome Trust. It seas on a 0.8Acre land, occupying 700sqm, integrating clinical labs, and accommodation to ensure effective patient management. We are very excited about this development; this facility will provide opportunities to strengthen and expand our clinical research and training in order to contribute to improving the health of our people” he said

The Mayor of Entebbe Municipality, His Worship Fabrice Brad Rulindi in picture below, pledged full support to the work of the research facility and lobbied for more funds.

“As a council I want to give my commitment to work with you, to lobby with you and push with you. I believe the future should benefit from this. I pray that the government of Uganda looks into increasing research funding“ he said

The MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit have over 30 years’ of experience in conducting clinical research and trials. This research comprises a range of studies that involve interactions with patients, research participants, and surrounding communities to understand disease mechanisms and natural history; translational research; diagnosis, prevention and therapeutic intervention trials; health services research; and epidemiological studies.


The Unit has developed strong clinical research expertise and infrastructure across its research sites and Programmes. This includes experienced clinical research staff with training in Good Participatory Practice (GPP) guidelines, Human Subjects Protection (HSP), Good Clinical Research Practice (GCP), Good Clinical and Laboratory Practice (GCLP), and Advanced Life Support certification.  The new Research Clinics will have equipment to facilitate evaluation of research participants; Pharmacies with capacity to manage clinical trial investigational medicinal products (IMP); Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory facilities. There will be continued engagement with the communities through Participant Advisory Groups (PAGs) and Community Advisory Boards (CABs) to ensure strong linkages between the research teams, local communities, and other stakeholders.

The research unit will also support sharing of expertise and experiences among researchers in Africa through training and facilitate the development of best practices in the management and conduct of clinical trials. 

Prof Liam Smeeth the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said

“This is an outstanding facility that cements the Unit’s position as one of the leading research institutes in Africa. Combined with the Unit’s talented and dedicated staff, the new facility will be the catalyst for more vital research that will improve the lives of Ugandans and the health of the continent.”

Her Excellency Kate Airey OBE, the British High Commissioner to Uganda in her remarks stated,

“This new facility is another sign of the commitment of the Government of the United Kingdom to partner with the Government of Uganda and scientists to find solutions through research that will lead to better health.”

The MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit is an internationally recognized center of excellence for research on HIV, emerging and re-emerging infections and Non-communicable diseases.

The Unit was established in 1988 to improve the understanding and control of the HIV epidemic in Uganda and globally, following a request from the Uganda Government to the United Kingdom (UK) Government. After wide consultations and in response to a changing public health landscape, Unit work has broadened beyond HIV to include other infections, neglected, endemic, emerging and re-emerging infections and expanded our work in non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

On 1st February, 2018, the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit formally joined the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and became The Medical Research Council/ Uganda Virus Research Institute and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit).


The Unit is based at the UVRI Entebbe campus with established outposts in Kalungu, Masaka, Wakiso, and Kampala Districts.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is renowned for its research, postgraduate studies and continuing education in public and global health. The School has an international presence and collaborative ethos, and is uniquely placed to help shape health policy and translate research findings into tangible impact.

Wellcome is a politically and financially independent global charitable foundation, funded by a £38.2 billion investment portfolio. Our strategy includes grant funding, advocacy campaigns, and partnerships to find solutions for today’s urgent health challenges.

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