Unlike mobile telephone technologies and social media innovations, which come at a high cost to the user, yet enjoy smooth penetration and acceptance in most parts of developing countries, there are simple interventions like hand washing, whose innovations struggle to hit the mark in the same space.
There are a thousand reasons for calling the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) of Makerere University a hidden gem of Uganda. IDI is a National Referral Centre for complicated HIV/AIDS cases. IDI cares for 300,000 people infected with HIV (almost 30% of the national population infected with HIV) in Uganda.
Welcome to Citizen Science – a new field of scientific research, where science is made responsive to community concerns and needs by engaging the public in research. It was my very first time to see ordinary citizens of Uganda actively engaged by professional scientists to achieve a common goal.

Uganda is one of the countries with hotspots for emerging and re-emerging pathogens, by being situated at the equator. Before the 2014 West Africa Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, Uganda had controlled and eliminated her largest EVD epidemic not to mention Marburg, plague, anthrax, cholera outbreaks.

Lessons learnt at the IDI Co-pay Comprehensive Clinic, at Mulago National Referral Hospital Complex.

The tortoise is neither lazy nor lacking in understanding. It just lacks the vehicle, the means to get to its destination in time’. These were the words of Naomi (not real name), a psychologist, working as a human resources manager (HR) in an institution I once worked for.