16 May 2018

Uganda: Museveni Receives Delegation of Cuban Scientists

Entebbe — President Museveni yesterday received a team of Cuban scientists who are on a 10-day working visit to Uganda.

The core reason for the visiting Cuban delegation is to develop a strategy of bringing Gavac anti-tick vaccine into the country.

The Cuban scientists led by Dr Hector Luis Machado Morales from the Heber Biotec S.A. firm in Havana, were received by President Museveni at State House in Entebbe.

They were accompanied by their Ugandan counterparts led by Prof Anthony Mugisha.

According to a press statement issued by the State House last evening, the two science teams are scheduled to work together.

"President Museveni urged the scientists from Cuba and their Ugandan counterparts to expend their efforts in the fight against ticks in Uganda," the statement read in part.

The start

At the meeting, Prof Mugisha informed President Museveni that the programme implementation will begin with the hard hit districts in the country targeting 500,000 cattle.

Available research statistics indicate that Uganda is one of the countries hit hardest by the tick borne diseases with more than 30 per cent of the livestock lost to the diseases.

Meanwhile, President Museveni is yet to receive a report from a Ugandan delegation led by the Cabinet Health Minister that travelled to Havana to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cuban government about another deal to bring about 40 Cuban medical doctors into the country.

The government decision has since received opposition from the Uganda Medical Association and the National Organisations of Trade Unions (NOTU).

The health Minister, Dr Jane Aceng, has since indicated that the Cuban specialist doctors will be coming to train intern doctors and offer services in hard-to-reach areas where local doctors have continuously shunned.

In December last year, this newspaper broke the story of government's plan to import 200 Cuban doctors, attracting strong criticism from a cross-section of the population, including the medical fraternity.

Working team

The State Minister for Animal Industry, Ms Joy Kabatsi, has already constituted an inter-institutional team of scientists from Makerere University College of Veterinary Medicine, the National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO), the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and National Animal Genetic Resource Centre, to work with the Cuban team of scientists.

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