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MUWRP Commissions A New Boat to Enhance Health Care Access in Koome and Buvuma Islands

On June 21st, 2024, the Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) commissioned a brand-new motorized water vessel at Speke Resort Munyonyo, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance access to healthcare in Koome and Buvuma Islands. The 20-seater vessel was procured through the generous support of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Department of Defense Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (DoD/WRAIR).

During his speech, Ambassador Popp highlighted the importance of the boat in reaching out to remote communities and ensuring that they receive the necessary medical care. He emphasized the US Mission’s commitment to supporting Uganda in making HIV care accessible to all, regardless of their geographical locations.

Ambassador Popp officially commissioning the boat

Dr. Hannah Kibuuka, the Executive Director of MUWRP, expressed gratitude for the continued support from PEPFAR in improving public health service delivery. She acknowledged that the boat will serve as a lifeline, enabling healthcare providers to promptly reach island communities. “…the vessel will contribute to the timely delivery of HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to individuals on the islands without the added burden of travel difficulties.  This will ultimately contribute to reducing HIV transmission and enhancing the quality of life for people living with HIV in the islands…” She noted.

Dr. Hannah Kibuuka (left) enjoying a ceremonial boat cruise with Ambassador Popp after the commissioning of the boat

MUWRP is implementing a comprehensive HIV prevention, care, and treatment program in Buvuma and Koome islands with support from PEPFAR. The program serves over 5000 individuals on antiretroviral therapy in both islands. Additionally, the program offers services such as HIV counselling and testing, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, pre-exposure prophylaxis, voluntary medical male circumcision, and services for HIV-exposed infants and priority population.

The new boat complements the first one, procured seven years ago, to transport commodities, supplies, and health workers to the two islands.

The New Boat