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Wednesday, September 23, 1998 Published at 15:15 GMT 16:15 UK


Royal opening for African Aids clinic

Princess Anne meets the nurses at the clinic

Princess Anne has opened a British-built Aids clinic in Uganda - the first specialist centre for the disease in Africa.

Watch BBC Court Correspondent Jennie Bond's report on the royal opening
She was invited to do so after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, who had been scheduled to open it herself.

The clinic in the country's capital Kampala, which is being run by the British charity Mildmay, offers a holistic approach to treatment.

The centre, which also offers training for doctors, has 40 staff who will treat 200 people a day.

Although the centre will not open its doors to the public until October, patients have been queuing outside for days.

Uganda is one of the African countries worst hit by the Aids epidemic. Few families have remained untouched by the virus. Some 500,000 have died and another two million - one in six of the population - are infected.

[ image: Princess Anne visiting an AIDS support group earlier]
Princess Anne visiting an AIDS support group earlier
The Ugandan Government has put in place an aggressive programme of educatio. The rate of new cases is slowing and people with HIV are living longer.

However, in the slums outside Kampala one in four people are infected.

The Princess Royal is conducting an eight-day tour of Africa, taking in Tanzania, Kenya and Mauritius as well as Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth's daughter visited a support group on Tuesday where mothers infected with the Aids virus are helped to make "memory books" to help their children after their deaths.

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