The Rakai Health Sciences Program (RHSP) was established in 1987 as a collaboration between researchers at Makerere, Columbia and John Hopkins Universities, the Division of Intramural Research at the National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious diseases and the International Centre for Excellence Research (ICER). This was as a result of the first identification of clinical AIDS in Rakai district Uganda in 1982 by Drs. Sewankambo and Serwadda. The initiation of the Program, then known as Rakai Project led to a series of clinical studies characterizing the disease and its epidemiology; and also brought the partnership with other colleagues including Professor Maria Wawer and Prof Ronald Gray.
The Rakai Health Sciences Program commits to conducting innovative and relevant health research in infectious diseases, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and reproductive health to provide health-related services in order to improve public health and inform policy