Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Gideon Nadiope, national director of the Iowa State University – Uganda Program, 44 staff members at the Mpirigiti Rural Training Center in Uganda received the first of two doses of the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine April 12.
David Acker, director of the Iowa State University – Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, was in Uganda for an administrative visit to the center at the time the clinic was held. He said Uganda has a very well organized public health system and the government has been vaccinating individuals since the first week of March. Availability of the vaccine in the country is improving daily, he added.
Located in the Kumali District in eastern Uganda, the Mpirigiti Rural Training Center opened in 2018 and is part of Iowa State’s Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods. The training center serves as a residential training facility for Iowa State University and Makerere University students and faculty. The facility also is used as a training and demonstration center for community members and a place to hold conferences and meetings.
Students, faculty and staff from Iowa State University, in a normal year, visit Uganda seasonally to take part in short-term or semester-long programs related to community nutrition, agronomy, livestock, sanitation and hygiene, school gardens, youth entrepreneurship and many others alongside Ugandans.