Today, Amsterdam UMC, Makerere University (Uganda) and the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) signed a memorandum of understanding to consolidate their collaboration. Amsterdam UMC and the AIGHD have been working with Makerere University on rs for a long time in terms of research and the exchange of knowledge. This is in line with Amsterdam UMC's focus on sustainable collaborations in the field of Global Health. 

The collaboration stems from a 2006 research programme on infectious diseases, including HIV and tuberculosis (TB), led by Frank Cobelens, Professor of Global Health and Senior Fellow at AIGHD. As part of a similar collaborative project, Ugandan researcher Willy Ssengooba obtained his PhD in Amsterdam. Ssengooba is now head of the TB laboratory at Makerere University. Through such projects, the collaboration is embedded in the work of all three organizations.  

"We face the same challenges; Climate change is a good example of something that both our countries are facing together. And while the solutions may differ depending on the national context, we can only solve the huge problems by working together. This applies not only to climate change, but also to healthcare," says Hans van Goudoever, chairman of the Executive Board of Amsterdam UMC.  

Room for expansion

For now, the focus of this collaboration remains focused on infectious diseases, such as the publication earlier this week on important TB research. However, there is also room for expansion in areas such as oncology, pediatrics and traumatology. "Our collaborations must be sustainable. This means that it has to be more than a casual personal relationship. In the future, we want to organise joint PhD programmes and continue and expand cooperation in scientific research. What is important to us is that we work together internationally for the benefit of health and access to healthcare worldwide," says Constance Schultsz, Head of Global Health at Amsterdam UMC and Scientific Director of AIGHD. 

"I am the second generation of this collaboration, a collaboration that started because of a global health challenge [HIV] in 2006 and has really improved since then. But the challenges keep coming, and we need to work together to address them. Let's keep going from strength to strength," said Damalie Nakanjako, director of Makerere University College of Health Sciences. 


The coronavirus pandemic has shown that health knows no borders and that global health is an important issue for everyone. The Dutch government has also indentified this a priority. Amsterdam is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with a population of different cultures and ethnicities. As a large university medical center, Amsterdam UMC has a responsibility to contribute to achieving equality and equal access to care for all. To improve health and health care, a great deal of attention must be paid to research and education, and this can only be done through sustainable partnerships. 

Global Health: health for all  
Amsterdam UMC works with partners from all parts of the world to improve the health of people worldwide: Global Health. In this way, knowledge exchange and joint research have a global impact, both far beyond the border and in the Netherlands. Since the corona pandemic, for example, researchers at Amsterdam UMC – together with international colleagues – have been working even more specifically to prevent a new global health crisis.