September 17, 2019
Secretary Azar Meets with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Ebola Preparedness
KAMPALA, UGANDA—Today, September 17, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, joined by other senior U.S. health officials, met with the Republic of Uganda President Yoweri Museveni regarding the multilateral response to contain the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The United States and Uganda have an important, decades-long partnership on public health. During the meeting, President Museveni and Secretary Azar discussed continuing this successful partnership and how to work together to prevent the spread of Ebola and strengthen surveillance efforts.
Earlier in the day, Secretary Azar and the delegation visited a treatment site near the shore of Lake Victoria facilitated by The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), a Ugandan organization that provides care and support services to HIV-infected and affected individuals. TASO has served as a model for the world through its development of the differentiated service delivery models, which initially provide home-based care, followed by community-based care. During his visit, Secretary Azar was able to see the effects of this work firsthand and hear patients tell their stories of living with HIV. Secretary Azar thanked them for their courage and TASO for the important work they have done to educate and provide medication to people in their communities.
Secretary Azar also toured the Uganda Virus Research Institute-Viral Special Pathogens Laboratory (UVRI-VSP) and participated in a technical exchange between UVRI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The USVRI-VSP lab has been a strong partner nationally and regionally to detect and respond rapidly to outbreaks. During the technical exchange, Secretary Azar and Ugandan Minister of Health Jane Aceng both expressed the importance of the partnership the U.S. and Uganda has fostered, especially for promoting their shared global health security goals. Global health security is a top priority for the Trump Administration and Secretary Azar’s tours today demonstrated how HHS and its partners have significantly assisted the Government of Uganda’s in its efforts to increase capacity to deal with outbreaks like Ebola.