Welcome to Natural Chemotherapeutic Research Institute
(NCRI) Uganda

The Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute, previously a laboratory is a government research and development Institute, a constituent Institute under the Uganda National Health Research Organisation (UNHRO), created by an Act of Parliament in 2015 and affiliated to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

It is located adjacent to the Ministry of Health headquarters, along Lourdel Road, Plot 2A in Nakasero, Kampala. It was created in 1964 with the mandate to carry out applied scientific research on natural products (plants, animal parts and minerals) with the view of justifying therapeutic claims from traditional medicine practitioners (TMPs) in Uganda. Originally, NCRL’s main focus was to research into plants constituents, with the main goal of finding the miracle ingredient which would make the scientist famous and the multinational pharmaceutical companies richer (Morisco 1999). Currently, the department undertakes the development of quality natural products and services for improved health care delivery by applying indigenous and modern technologies.

Institutional Mandate under UNHRO Act 2015 :  Research on traditional medicine and Health Systems for treatment and Management of Human disease


To conduct research in natural products and traditional health systems in the treatment and management of health diseases.


A Centre of Excellence for Scientific Research and Development in Herbal Medicine.


Research, develop and promote quality natural products and services for improved Health Care and Economic Development by applying Indigenous and Modern Technologies through Collaborative Efforts.


Transformation and Sustainable Utilisation of Herbal Medicine contributing towards its integration into the Health Care Delivery System


In carrying out its operations, NCRI is guided by principles that govern the manner in which work is done and the way in which staff relate with stakeholders.  These principles are enshrined in the following values; excellence, innovation, transparency and integrity, accountability, teamwork and empowerment

Core Values


Being a research institution and being charged with a responsibility of validating other people’s therapeutic claims, there is no way we can do less than excellent work. Our processes and equipment are designed to give true and reliable results.  Similarly, our staff are expected to offer excellent services in whatever they do.


In the modern scientific world, nothing has an infinite life span.  All scientific products and methods/techniques are subject to change as a result of new discoveries and experiences.  Therefore, at NCRI we always seek for new ways of doing things and new solutions to health problems

Transparency and Integrity

As a government institution, we are aware of our responsibility to conduct our business with utmost transparency and integrity and do not in any way hide or withhold information/data from those to whom it is owing


Recognising that we are a public institution which owes its accountability to Ugandans and other stakeholders, we undertake our operations with full accountability in mind.  We realise that both the public and our stakeholders have many expectations from us and hence we try our best to fulfil our obligations to all of them


Most of our processes require multi-disciplinary approaches and solutions.  Therefore, our staff recognise and value each others’ contribution towards fulfilling our obligations.  In this way are bound to acquire, share and utilise our multiple skills to enhance our capabilities.


Because we work with different categories of stakeholders, our approach is focused on knowledge and skills transfer to empower our people to stand on their own. Throughout our activities and programmes, we emphasise a “do-it” approach

Broad Priorities (Focus Areas)

  1. Product Development
  2. Medicinal Bio-diversity Conservation
  • Herbal Health Care Delivery Systems
  1. Integration of Herbal Medicine into National Health Care Systems
  2. Institutional Capacity Development



The Institution’s activities are funded by the government of Uganda and donor agencies such as WHO, Italian Cooperation and IDRC. The Department’s Ministry of Health Government allocation ranges between Ug.shs 300 to 400 Million per year. The other partners (donor agencies) contribute to research activities, policy formulation and sensitization. Their contribution accounts for 10% of the department’s annual budget expenditure while the rest comes from government.

Broad Priorities (Focus Areas)

  1. Product Development
  2. Medicinal Bio-diversity Conservation
  • Herbal Health Care Delivery Systems
  1. Integration of Herbal Medicine into National Health Care Systems
  2. Institutional Capacity Development