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Mak Study Roots for Enhanced Health Programming for Adolescent Boys and Young Men

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By Joseph Odoi

Globally, the number of people living in urban areas is growing exponentially and envisaged to reach 60% by 2030.

Concurrently, people living in these areas face daily challenges such as a burgeoning use of social media, sedentary lifestyles, inadequate housing, poor social capital and lack of access to basic health services.

Adolescent boys and young men (ABYM) form a significant proportion of urban dwellers which leaves more questions than answers on their healthy transition into adulthood.

However, although global and national data show that adolescent boys and young men have poorer health statistics compared to their female counterparts, little, in terms of research and evidence has been generated to inform the realization of the health needs of this population. Moreover, data for the very young adolescents (10-14 years) are usually missing, since most surveys enroll participants aged 15 years or older.

Inspired by the need to generate evidence to inform health programming for adolescent boys and young men, a team of researchers at Makerere University School of Public Health, led by the Dean, Prof. Rhoda Wanyenze conducted a survey to assess different aspects of health as they pertain to adolescent boys and young men in the capital Kampala.

The study was conducted between July 30 and August 30, 2020, with funding from the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University’s Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

In the project entitled; “Formative assessment of the adolescent boys and young men’s health status in Kampala, Uganda”, the researchers collected data on alcohol use, dietary behavior, illicit drug use, tobacco use, sanitation and hygiene, mental health, physical activity & sedentary behaviour, protective factors, sexual risk behavior, violence, and effects of COVID-19 on adolescent boys and young men’s well-being.

As part of the study, the researchers were able to establish health needs, barriers to and opportunities for improving access to and utilization of health services among ABYM, and suggestions on how to reach adolescent boys and young men with health services.

The study team interviewed 2,500 in- and out-of-school adolescent boys & young men aged 10-24 years in all the five Divisions of Kampala District (Kawempe, Rubaga, Makindye, Nakawa and Kampala Central) and conducted 44 qualitative interviews including with adolescent boys and young men, organizations that target young people; as well as funders and other bilateral donors. Data was collected at household and non-household (e.g. work places) settings, using mobile phones.

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Health

UniCare App: 24/7 Access to Counselling

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UniCare App: 24/7 Access to Professional Counselling Services. Available on Google Play Store.

The Counselling and Guidance Centre (CGC) has developed UniCare, a counselling App for the Makerere University community members (Staff and Students).

Do you have personal concerns that need addressing?

Do you need to improve your life skills?

Are you struggling with something and need to talk to someone professional in confidence?

Then download UniCare from the Play Store and use it at any time of your convenience.

You can access counselling services through instant messaging, phone calls and other forms.

Enquiries:

Tel: +256-751-700897
Email: rbaguma[at]cit.ac.ug, henry.nsubuga[at]mak.ac.ug

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Health

Call for Applications: PhD Fellowships in Bioethics (4th Cohort)

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The Davies Lecture Theatre (Right), School of Biomedical Sciences (Blue) and other buildings at the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Mulago Campus, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

Applications are invited for PhD fellowships in bioethics from Makerere University College of Health Sciences (CHS) faculty and individuals who participate in the academic activities of the college who are interested and COMMITTED to becoming bioethics scholars.

Successful applicants should be willing to become bioethics scholars as they work within the structured and mentored training programme with a focus on any aspect of international research bioethics related to Health Sciences. Funding will be available to support 2 successful doctoral candidates up to 3 years of accelerated training leading to the award of the Makerere University doctoral degree.

Eligibility

This training is open to faculty including people who contribute to teaching and research at Makerere University or one of its partner institutions in Uganda, who meet any of the following criteria:

a. Able to articulate a clear research bioethics problem of interest to them.
b. Demonstrate prior participation in bioethics, beyond having submitted research proposals to an IRB.
c. Demonstrate a basic understanding of bioethics in order to know that this is an appropriate next step for the applicant.
d. Demonstrate past active participation in bioethics in health service delivery or at the interface of health related ethical-legal issues
e. Provide evidence of experience in research in bioethics and or authorship in this field
f. Prior master’s level or fellowship level training in bioethics or related fields.

Criteria for Selection

  1. Demonstrated interest in doctoral research training and conducting research with a focus on
    research bioethics.
  2. Potential to handle rigorous academic requirements of the doctoral program.
  3. Having a plan for career development
  4. Capacity towards attaining research leadership and international recognition in bioethics.
  5. Female candidates and medical doctors are especially encouraged to apply

Application Process

Applications must be submitted to makbioethics[at]gmail.com and should consist of a cover letter (1 page only), a resume (not more than 3 pages), a personal statement (Maximum 1 page), a Makerere University formatted PhD research concept (Maximum 10 pages) and two letters of recommendation (sent separately by the referees to makbioethics[at]gmail.com). The personal statement should include your contribution to the academic and research life of a department at Makerere University College of Health Sciences, your aspirations for career progression in the next 5-7 years, research interests and any information you consider relevant.

Closing date for the receipt of applications is 8th October 2021.

Enquiries can be forwarded to the PI, of the PhD bioethics research training Program on makbioethics[at]gmail.com

Timelines:

  • Application deadline: October 8, 2021
  • Interviews: October 15, 2021
  • Notification date: October 22, 2021
  • Proposed start date: November 1, 2021

Part of this training will take place at Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics in the USA in Year 1 for a total of 2-3 months. Successful candidates will receive a monthly stipend based on USA National Institutes of Health regulations, tuition, research funds and travel to the USA. Applicants should demonstrate excellent communications skills and will be expected to work as part of a highly motivated, result oriented bioethics group.

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Health

IDI Supports Wakiso’s Point of Care Electronic Medical Records

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Representatives from IDI, Mildmay Uganda and Wakiso District Leadership that took part in the handover of equipment to support EMR-POC on 13th September 2021.

The Makerere University Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) Kampala Region HIV Project handed over equipment worth UGX 460,000,000 to the Wakiso District Leadership to support Point of Care Electronic Medical Records (EMR-POC). This was made possible with support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The equipment includes Computers, furniture, biometric scanners and networking equipment for a wireless mesh. In attendance was the Wakiso District Leadership led by the Principal assistant secretary, Ms. Babirye Olivia, as well as representatives from IDI and Mildmay Uganda.

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