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Champion of Public Health in Africa to Address UAlbany School

Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, first MPH graduate, Led Ugandan Fight to Quell AIDS Epidemic

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ALBANY, N.Y. (December 03, 2010) -- Dr. David Carpenter, dean of the School of Public Health in 1990, knew something special had occurred when Dr. Jotham Musinguzi entered the School's new Master of Public Health (MPH) program that year. Dr. Musinguzi arrived with a medical degree from Makerere University Medical School in Uganda and had already dedicated himself as a public health physician to fighting the scourge of AIDS in his native land.

Dr. Jotham Musinguzi

Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, MPH '91, a leader in African efforts at population growth and reproductive health, will speak at the School of Public Health on Thursday, Dec. 9.

He would become UAlbany’s first MPH graduate in 1991, return to Uganda and become a major factor in the nation waging the most effective national response to AIDS of any African country. He has become an international voice on behalf of reproductive health and family planning, as well as HIV/AIDS.

On Thursday, Dec. 9, the School of Public Health welcomes him back as he delivers an address as part of the School’s 25th Anniversary Distinguished Speaker Series. Dr. Musinguzi, now regional director of Partners in Population and Development of the Africa Regional Office Statistics House in Uganda, will speak on Attaining the United Nations Global Millennium Development Goals by 2015: Opportunities and Challenges.

"The School of Public Health is honored to have Jotham as an alumnus and as a distinguished alumni speaker during our 25th anniversary celebration," said Dean Philip Nasca. "For more than 20 years, he has been a leader in Africa in the fields of population studies, the fight to stem HIV/AIDs, maternal and child health, and in many important areas of reproductive health."

The program begins at 3:30 p.m. in the SPH auditorium. Event registration can be made by email at sph05@uamail.albany.edu.

"Jotham is one of our program's most distinguished graduates, and it was a remarkable coincidence that he happened to be the first one," said Carpenter. "It was certainly a good standard to set for everyone else."

Carpenter is not surprised by the magnitude of Musinguzi's career, or that his longtime friend would remain loyal to SPH and its programs. "I knew him even then as a fantastic individual — very motivated, very idealistic, and he's gone on to have an extraordinarily distinguished career. He came from a country that was among the very first to be hit severely by the AIDS epidemic, and today it has done an outstanding job of controlling the spread of the disease.

"He was also the first student from any African country to enter our school. Since then, we have had at least 10 students from Uganda, and all because they were recruited by Jotham."

For many years director of Uganda’s Population Secretariat, Musinguzi is currently a trustee of the Population Council of New York and a board member of the Africa Population and Health Research Centre based in Nairobi, Kenya. He has been president of Uganda Medical Association, chairman of the International Council on Management of Population Programmes, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and has represented Uganda on most major international meetings, including many U.N. summits.

As a member of these groups, Musinguzi has consistently advocated for inclusion of strong and clear language on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS in all official documents.

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