When scientists at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda hatched the idea of conducting an investigation into the then-mysterious “slim disease” in Rakai district, little did they know that their work would grow into the Rakai Health Sciences Program (RHSP). Nelson Sewankambo, MBChB, MMed, David Serwadda, MBChB, MSc, MMed, MPH, and Maria Wawer, MD, MSc, senior principal investigators of the Program, first met in 1987 when they initiated a small community cohort study. They worked from a tiny rented room at the Milano South-View Inn in Kyotera, Uganda. As Ronald Gray, MD, MSc, Tom Lutalo, MSc, and Fred Wabwire-Mangen, MBChB, MPH, PhD, joined the team of senior investigators, the Program moved into a few rented rooms in a local tin-roofed shop in Kalisizo and initiated a number of much larger community prevention trials and studies.
Today, the Program staff includes just under 400 highly dedicated and energetic principal investigators, multidisciplinary professionals, and support staff who conduct a wide range of reproductive health research and service activities. With a newly-built facility in Kalisizo, Rakai District, the principal investigators and staff have the resources they need to conduct cutting-edge research.
Milano South-View Inn, where the first meeting took place
Milano South-View Inn lobby
Entrance to the Rakai Health Sciences Center
Lobby of the new Rakai Health Sciences Program facility