I recently attended a conference in Uganda on building research infrastructure in Africa. Sixty percent of the delegates were African students and trainees.

There I met an inspired second-year medical student from Makerere University in Kampala, Pius Mulamira, who described efforts to assess the education and health status of villagers in his country. The university sponsors students to perform community-based appraisals throughout Uganda. The findings are striking but nothing is ever made of them; they are graded and forgotten. What if we could analyze these reports, he asked, and organize a global movement to address some of the needs?

That's where Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), the organization that I was in Uganda to represent, might be able help. UAEM is a student- and trainee-led organization focused on neglected diseases - that collection of parasitic, helminthic, and bacterial infections that afflict the poorest people on the globe. Our goals...


1. Chokshi et al., "Leveraging university to advance global health," JAMA, 298:1934-6, 2007.

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