Stakeholders convene in Uganda on responsible use of the life sciences

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Uganda has taken proactive steps to mitigate biorisks and govern dual-use analysis by being a pioneer nation within the WHO African Area to pilot the Global guidance framework for the responsible use of the life sciences: mitigating biorisks and governing dual-use research (the framework).  The Uganda Workplace of the Prime Minister was entrusted with coordinating this pivotal undertaking in collaboration with the World Well being Group, recognizing its significance in enhancing nationwide and regional biosecurity. 

Since October 2023, key actions have been undertaken, together with the nationwide stakeholder engagement workshops. Notably, a stakeholders’ workshop to pilot the framework, which was held from 21 to 23 November 2023, gathered over 80 stakeholders from numerous sectors, fostering consciousness and collaborative growth of a draft roadmap for implementing the framework within the context of Uganda. 

Subsequently, a technical stakeholders’ workshop, which was convened on 6 –7 March 2024, additional bolstered consciousness and strategic planning. Over 30 technical consultants recognized and outlined key roles of stakeholders and refined the draft roadmap for efficient operationalization of the framework. 

A high-level stakeholders’ sensitization assembly was held on 15 March 2024, marking a major milestone and showcasing Uganda’s dedication. Attended by over 50 high-level stakeholders, together with authorities officers, heads of establishments, and WHO representatives, the assembly aimed to advocate and safe possession, nationwide buy-in, dedication and assist for the framework’s implementation.  

The opening remarks, led by Dr Monica Musenero, Honourable Minister of Science, Know-how, and Innovation for Uganda, marked Uganda’s dedication to piloting the framework. Dr Musenero emphasised the necessity for strong biosafety, biosecurity and dual-use analysis governance, aligning with Uganda’s aspirations for sustainable growth and world well being safety.  

Dr Daniel Kyabayinze, Director of Public Well being, Ministry of Well being for Uganda, echoed this dedication, stressing the framework’s position in fostering moral analysis practices amid well being challenges like COVID-19. Representing WHO, Dr Andrew Niwagaba Bakainaga highlighted the framework’s transformative potential in enhancing analysis governance and selling ethics and integrity. These remarks collectively underscored Uganda’s dedication to advancing accountable life sciences use by way of collaboration and innovation. 

A number of displays have been delivered to offer context to the assembly, together with an outline of Uganda’s biosafety, biosecurity, and dual-use analysis governance capability, legal guidelines, and rules; the rationale for adopting and operationalizing the framework; an introduction to the pilot undertaking; an outline of the framework; and the up to date roadmap. Every presentation was adopted by vibrant exchanges, discussions and concrete methods ahead.  

As a gathering final result, the Minister of Science, Know-how and Innovation made a robust dedication by taking the general result in advance the domestication and operationalization of the framework in Uganda and assigned the federal government chief scientist in collaboration with Uganda Nationwide Council of Science and Know-how (UNCST) to make sure the technical lead within the means of domesticating and operationalizing the framework in Uganda underneath the final coordination of the Workplace of the Prime Minister.  

The next subsequent steps have been agreed upon: 

authorities cupboard assembly to sensitize related Ministries concerned on the framework to undertake the Ministerial assertion and dedication and begin discussing the mobilization of home funding; 

assembly with UNCST to harmonize the undertaking implementation;  

specification of roles and obligations and timeframe within the closing roadmap for the domestication and operationalization of the framework in Uganda to maintain accountability and measure collective successes; 

continued bilateral conferences with different key stakeholders’ teams to safe their engagement and dedication in addition to continued consciousness elevating actions; and  

documentation and dissemination of Uganda’s expertise and classes discovered on piloting the World steerage framework for accountable use of life sciences  

In abstract, the Minister of Science, Know-how, and Innovation outlined concrete actions to advance the framework’s implementation, emphasizing inter-ministerial collaboration and stakeholder dedication. These initiatives replicate Uganda’s proactive stance in the direction of accountable life sciences use, efficient governance of dual-use analysis and world well being development. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Well being Group (WHO).

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