U.S.- Uganda Partnership Advancing Global Health Security
Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Natalie E. Brown | July 30, 2022
Press conference at CDC Offices at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), Entebbe, Uganda | (as prepared for delivery)
Good afternoon! I am delighted to be here today as we welcome the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, to Entebbe.
Today marks the final day of Dr. Walensky’s visit to East Africa, where she has observed firsthand the impact of the United States’ work in public health in the region carried out through CDC. During her time in Uganda, Dr. Walensky joined representatives from CDC Uganda, the Ministry of Health, implementing partners, and beneficiaries to witness the impacts of the CDC in the United States’ global health programs and partnerships.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the important contributions CDC makes every day in support of the U.S. Mission’s strategic priorities in Uganda. CDC has worked closely with the Ministry of Health for over 30 years to build in-country capacity to prevent and respond to disease threats such as HIV, malaria, Ebola, COVID-19, and more. CDC’s work focuses on technical exchange and partnership. As the Public Health agency of the United States, the CDC knows what the Ministry of Health of Uganda and all public health partners know – that the only way for people in either of our countries to be safe is for all countries to be able to manage disease outbreaks at their source. To support the collective goal of strong and capable health systems in Uganda, in addition to the technical collaboration the CDC has also contributed more than 2 billion dollars towards improving the health of Ugandans, contributing to the considerable progress Uganda is making towards achieving the UNAIDS 95-95-95 HIV testing and treatment goals. These investments have also supported more than 500 public health professionals trained through the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), hundreds of outbreak investigations (260 since workforce training began in 2015), international accreditation of 34 Ugandan laboratories, and the systems needed to make the internationally-acclaimed health journal, The Lancet, name Uganda one of the top 10 countries in the world for their response to COVID-19.
The U.S. Mission could not be prouder of this 30-year collaboration between CDC and the Ministry of Health. Dedicated Ugandan health leaders, combined with support from CDC and collaborating USG agencies, have helped Uganda to make substantial gains in strengthening health systems, advancing science-based public health initiatives, and enhancing capacity for surveillance, early identification, and control of epidemics and other disease threats. Dr. Walensky’s visit signals the importance of the partnership between the people of the United States and the people of Uganda, and of Uganda’s leadership in global health security.
On behalf of the U.S. Mission, we are so honored to have hosted Dr. Walensky these past few days. It has been a great opportunity to reflect on and celebrate CDC’s many achievements in Uganda; to interact with women doing amazing things in medicine and public health, sending a strong signal to girls everywhere about the benefits on studying STEM; and to meet with our partners in civil society. Every individual that has participated in this visit represents a commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Ugandans. I am so pleased to welcome Dr. Walensky and to introduce her to you today. Dr. Walensky, we wish you a safe journey home and we hope to see you again in the Pearl of Africa.