Foreword by the Director General
PROFESSOR SAMUEL OKWARE
DIRECTOR GENERAL UNHRO
Greetings and welcome to the Uganda National Health Research Organisation (UNHRO) website!
UNHRO was established by Act of Parliament (2009) and charged with stewardship and oversight for health research in the country.
UNHRO is composed of the Board, Secretariat and constituent research institutes namely; Natural Chemotherapeutic Research
Institute (NCRI), Tropical Diseases Research Institute (TDRI), Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), Joint Clinical Research
Centre (JCRC) and the Uganda Malaria Research Centre (UMRC).
The Secretariat is charged with preparing of health research plan; coordinating, facilitating and monitoring the implementation
of health research programmes; establishing and coordinating research collaborations, enforcing ethical standards; providing
clearance for publications and other forms of dissemination of research findings; making arrangements for periodic evaluation of
constituent research institutes.
The Health Policy Review Commission appointed by the Ministry of Health recommended the establishment of a statutory body to coordinate health research in the country. A Task Force to do further consultations with senior health researchers and relevant sectors was appointed. This Task Force in 1992 recommended an establishment of a small Secretariat in the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) to initiate the process of coordination.
In 1995, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO convened a workshop which recommended the establishment of the Uganda National Health Research Organisation (UNHRO) as a semi autonomous organ for coordination, promotion and strengthening health research in the whole country.
An Interim UNHRO Secretariat was established in Entebbe. It started its activities in 1997. This interim Secretariat took up the functions of the small secretariat, which had been set up in the UNCST to coordinate health research. The interim UNHRO Secretariat was to assist the MOH in the process of establishing UNHRO by Act of parliament and provide coordination mechanism for Health Research.
Together with the Ministry of Health, UNHRO started working on a bill to formalize its existence and to regulate health research in the country. The Bill was presented to parliament in 2004 for its first reading but was overtaken by events leading to the transition from the Movement system of governance to the multiparty system. The bill was resubmitted to the new parliament in 2006. It had already had a first reading in the previous parliament and the Social Services Sectoral Committee of parliament had already gone through it. It was subjected to a second reading before becoming an Act (2009).
We would like to acknowledge the support of the Ministry of Health (Government of Uganda), the East African Health Research Commission, national research institutions, funding partners and other stakeholders.
The Uganda National Health Research Organisation Uganda (UNHRO) works to create a
culture in which health policy and application is driven by research evidence in order to
improve the health and socio-economic development for the people of Uganda.
The mission of the Uganda National Health Organisation (UNHRO) is to provide
stewardship for the coordination and conduct of quality health research and its
application in the country.
To promote health research and its application for the improvement of health care delivery
for the people of Uganda.
Integrity and accountability; Research and its application will be done in a transparent,
accountable and professional ethical manner.
Community responsiveness; Research will respond to the needs and equity concerns of
the community including gender.
Competitiveness; Excellence and innovation in operations and products.
The National Health Research Policy is a framework that was put in place to harmonise
research, operationalize the functions of UNRHO specifically to provide stewardship of
research agenda; coordination of health research; setting priorities; strengthening health
research capacity; promoting research information sharing; ensuring good practices and
ethics in the conduct of health research;knowledge translation, resource mobilisation, and
strengtheningpartnerships and collaboration in health research.