Uganda Virus Research Institute

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The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), located in Entebbe, Uganda, was established in 1936 as the Yellow Fever Research Institute by the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1950, after gaining regional recognition it was renamed the East African Virus Research institute (EAVRI). After the collapse of the East African Community in 1977, it became a Uganda Government public health research institution and was renamed the Uganda Virus Research Institute. The Government of Uganda now administers and funds the institute through the Uganda National Health Research Organization (UNHRO) which is an umbrella research body within the Uganda Ministry of Health.

The mission of the institute is to carry out scientific research concerning communicable diseases, especially viral diseases of public health importance and to advise the government on strategies for control and prevention. It consists of 3 buildings linked by a 2.4 GHz secure wireless network, with a satellite uplink.

The institute also plays a large role in coordinating and administering virology related clinical trials within the county. Most recently the institute has been involved in human HIV vaccine clinical trials. The HIV/AIDS Reference and Quality Assurance Laboratory (HRL), which is part of the institute plays an important role in making public policy recommendations to the Uganda National Drug Authority on the access and usage of new drugs and medical technologies. The role of the Uganda National Drug Authority is similar to that of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.

The institute (before it became the UVRI) was the first to isolate more than 20 new arboviruses, including West Nile Virus, Bwamba Fever, Semliki Forest Virus, Orungo, Kadam, and O'nyong'nyong.

Major Efforts[edit]

The Rakai Project: A population-based HIV and STD study currently covering all consenting adults in 44 villages in rural Rakai District in southwestern Uganda.