Merle Sande and Allan Ronald
Academic Medicine, 2008
"Fourteen university-based Ugandan and North American physicians in 2001 founded a unique organization at Makerere University Faculty of Medicine in Uganda, the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care and Prevention in Africa (AA), with programs in training, research, prevention, and care. Funding was obtained from Pfizer, Inc.; in 2004, the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) was built to house the flagship training and care programs of the AA. Although HIV/AIDS was the initial priority, other infectious diseases have been added to the AA’s mission, and training has been provided to date to individuals from 26 countries in Africa. These programs are now supported by the Academic Alliance Foundation (AAF), which is based in the United States. The authors describe the AA’s programs to train health care workers and to offer ongoing support for health care professionals throughout Africa, as well as efforts to strengthen the health care system within Uganda. They also outline research and clinical services carried out by the IDI and research scholarship programs supported by the AAF. They state that it is too early to judge the success of the AA, and they acknowledge that the lack of trained health care providers and of an adequate care infrastructure are major challenges in Africa. They conclude that the critical challenge facing the AAF and the IDI is to diversify the funding base to sustain current program levels. They then enumerate issues that must be addressed to ensure long-term organizational strength and stability."