USC professors spread fitness to Uganda

Professors from the Keck School of Medicine have packed their bags and headed to Uganda to encourage fitness and promote health. A group of USC experts, including professors Jane Schmitz and Jonathan M. Samet, arrived Tuesday to open a sports gym at the Uganda Parliament chambers.

Schmitz said she hopes Uganda can play a role in promoting African health awareness via exercise.

The group traveled with former national bodybuilder Robert Ssebugwawo, who spoke to Ugandan members of Parliament earlier this year about using exercise to fight “common non-communicable diseases,” such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

The gym opened in Parliament to serve as a role model for all Ugandans, Schmitz told the Daily Monitor.

The health promotion program, which includes the gym donation and related equipment, reportedly cost $50,000 and was implemented through USC’s Institute of Global Health.

“We are here for two weeks and hopefully we’ll do some good work,” Schmitz said.