The Rakai Health Sciences Program (RHSP) was established in 1987 as a collaboration between researchers at Makerere, Columbia and John Hopkins Universities, the Division of Intramural Research at the National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious diseases and the International Centre for Excellence Research (ICER). This was as a result of the first identification of clinical AIDS in Rakai district Uganda in 1982 by Drs. Sewankambo and Serwadda.
The initiation of the Program, then known as Rakai Project led to a series of clinical studies characterizing the disease and its epidemiology; and also brought the partnership with other colleagues including Professor Maria Wawer and Prof Ronald Gray.
Over 30 Years’ experience in Research and Health Services delivery
Over the years the research and services activities RHSP has conducted resulted in key peer reviewed publications. The Program has grown in the breadth of sciences, size, funding and also expanded its collaborations to include other institutions such as Kalorinska Institute, Sweden and several networks/consortiums including ALPHA, INDEPTH and IeDEA.
Due to the good quality of and cutting age science which has influenced policy over the years, RHSP was identified and named an International Center of Excellence in Research (ICER) site of the NIAID in 2005. The Program has also attracted both in-country and international scientists, scholars, fellows and students on placement.
The program conducts health research and services delivery activities in Rakai and neighboring districts. The research arm focuses on population based research on HIV, infectious diseases and reproductive health and encompasses observational studies, randomized clinical trials, operational research and basic science research. A wide range of services such as intensive community education, HIV Counseling and Testing, HIV care and treatment, and Medical Male Circumcision are provided. RHSP is a fully foreign donor aided program. These activities are of national and international interest in the HIV prevention, HIV care and Treatment.