By Vision Reporter
PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni visited a number of institutions in and around Havana to learn more about the Cuban system of health care, education and service delivery, according to a statement from State House.
At the International University of Physical Education and Sports, the President, accompanied by his wife Janet and several ministers, greeted the eight Ugandan students who are studying there. Education is free and compulsory for Cuban citizens.
The President thanked the Cuban government for extending scholarships to Uganda and said his Government planned to sponsor more students to get higher education in Cuba.
The President commended the Ugandan students, led by Kigere Vianney Kamara, for the good academic performance and promised to give them five computers to help them in their research. He also pledged two pairs of sports wear each.
He also told the group that Ugandan students abroad will get a uniform top-up allowance from the education ministry.
At the Cuban Biological and Pharmaceutical Laboratories, the director told the Ugandan delegation that the institution produces vaccines and other diagnostics for the countryâ€™s livestock.
Dr. Jose Castro said his institution was willing to get involved in malaria control in Uganda and the eradication of the mosquito larvae from their breeding grounds.
The laboratories were established in the early 1960s to respond to the countryâ€™s demands for medicines and vaccines after the US had cut off all supplies to Cuba and boycotted Cuban exports.
Museveni said the eradication of mosquito larvae was not new to Ugandan scientists, whom he said should collaborate with their counterparts in Cuba in implementing their research findings.
Museveniâ€™s team also toured the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Bio-Technology, where 1,300 specialists are engaged in innovative research.
The director, Dr. Luis Herrera Martinez, told his guests that Cuban scientists had registered successes in cancer research and had produced various vaccines.
Museveni recommended close collaboration between Cuba and the Ugandan ministries of health and agriculture.