By Francis Kagolo
THE US government has given a $300m (over sh695b) grant to Uganda to fight HIV/AIDS in the country.
Announcing the grant at the launch of the joint university partnership for medical training at Protea Hotel in Kampala on Friday, the US ambassador to Uganda, Jerry Lanier, said the funding was intended to strengthen health systems by increasing the number of health workers, fighting HIV/AIDS and improving service delivery.
Ugandaâ€™s doctor-patient ratio is 1: 24,725, yet the recommended ratio for a developing country is 1: 10,000.
Lanier said the money would be channelled through the Presidentâ€™s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) project, which is the cornerstone of president Barrack Obamaâ€™s global health initiative.
The ambassador called for increased government expenditure on HIV prevention and treatment as well as behavioral change, especially among the youth.
There are over 1.2 million Ugandans infected with the HIV virus and out of the 350,000 who need ARVs, only half the number gets them.
Lanier called upon the medical trainers to instill patriotism among students so that when they graduate, they can live and work rural areas.