Friday, July 2, 2010

The AIDS Funding Dilemma

Via Miller-McCune, Paul Webster

Dr. Jerome Kabakyenga has just walked a pair of visitors through a pair of vividly different Ugandan hospital laboratories -- one ultramodern, the other an outdated relic. In the first, highly trained technicians investigate blood samples using a battery of high-throughput computerized systems. The brightly lit, air-conditioned facility is spotless. In the second lab on Kabakyenga's tour, there's little equipment beyond a clutter of microscopes, a pair of old refrigerators and a few centrifuges. The technicians here depend on daylight from a set of dusty windows, one of which is cracked. As he completes the tour, Kabakyenga, who is the dean of medicine at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in western Uganda, does his best not to say what's on his mind. He knows the contrast between the two facilities -- both of which serve a population of about 1 million Ugandans in the region around the city of Mbarara -- tells a startling story about medicine right across Africa. But today, Kabakyenga wants to let the labs do the talking.

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