The Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University, with funding and technical assistance from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), officially launches a project to pilot the use of medical drone technology in the West Nile districts of Moyo and Adjumani. This project will support surveillance mechanisms, early reporting of any health threats or outbreak indicators within the systems, including rapid response to COVID-19.
Drone technology has the potential to solve several challenges that make the delivery of health care services particularly difficult in the West Nile. With geographical barriers like difficult terrains and very remote areas, drones can solve a piece of the logistical puzzle. They can transport test samples within drastically reduced timelines, kickstarting timely treatments. The project will be using two different drone types; a multi-rotor for short distances, up to 30km, and a fixed-wing drone for longer distances; over 30km.
This research project will assess the efficiency and effectiveness of drone deliveries as a viable solution for Uganda’s health sector. This is done in close collaboration with the health service teams on the ground, to ensure that the drones actually solve part of the puzzle, contributing to the sustainability of this solution.
Assoc. Prof. Annettee Nakimuli wins US$1M grant for Maternal Health Research
Associate Professor Annettee Nakimuli, Dean – School of Medicine has been awarded US$1M grantfor Maternal Health Research from the Gates Foundation Calestous Juma Science Leadership Fellowship. The five-year grant, entitled “Enhancing prediction of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Africa through partnerships and innovation” will focus on Great Obstetrical Syndromes (GOS), such as pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, stillbirth, intrauterine growth restriction;to help develop context-relevant interventions for prevention and treatment.
This is a major research project because GOS is a major killer in sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 60% of the deaths of mothers. Maternal mortality in Uganda remains high in the region at 336/100,000 live births which is approximately a 14-seater bus of women dying per day.
Dr. Nakimuli, a graduate of Makerere University College of Health Sciences, is an internationally-recognized research leader in maternal health for Africa. Her work can be traced back to 2006 when she was appointed an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Makerere University. She then enrolled for PhD in 2009 to investigate how KIR and HLA-C genetic variants contributed to the pre-eclamptic risk in Ugandans which was the first genetic case-control study of pre-eclampsia in indigenous Africans – despite African ancestry being a predisposing factor to pre-eclampsia. She concluded that African women are at greater risk of preeclampsia than other racial groups. Dr. Nakimuli has researched extensively on maternal health, mentored young scientists and supervised manymasters and PhD students.
She will establish a cohort study of 4000 healthy pregnant women at Mulago and Kawempe Hospitals in Kampala, Uganda will be conducted where detailed clinical, biological and demographic information from mothers throughout pregnancy and from their babies at the time of birth will be collected. The study has potential to shed light on determinants, mechanisms and solutions for the excess burden of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in SSA and for women with African ancestry elsewhere in the world. This study builds on Dr. Nakimuli’s project where she is investigating predictors of pre-eclampsia in a cohort 1,500 healthy pregnant women; supported by the Future Leaders–African Independent Research (FLAIR) fellowship project funded by the Royal Society through the African Academy of Sciences.
Some of the products from the grant/study include: i) the biobank from this research will provide an important resource for future research studies. ii) build capacity for African scientists to solve problems of the Africa continent other than dependence on foreign experts iii) develop regional partnerships iv) multidisciplinary research where scientists from various areas work together.
Dr. Nakimuli expressed her appreciation for the opportunity given to her by the Gates Foundation to undertake the study as well as the support from colleagues at College of Health Sciences and Makerere University. She also highlighted the work accomplished through partnership with scientists at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cambridge, U.K headed by Prof. Gordon Smith.
Zaam Ssali is the Principal Communication Officer SoL & MakCHS
Monitoring & Evaluation in Global Health Course
Makerere University Lung Institute through its NIH funded Non-Communicable Diseases Research training program #D43TW011401 aims to develop capacity for researcher to learn and understand the necessary tools to develop and implement M&E frameworks tailored to the needs of their NCD research programs in Uganda. As part of the program the Institute will sponsor participants with interest in NCD research to undertake a Monitoring and Evaluation in Global Health course with the University of Washington. This course provides practical M&E skills that are required to create models and frameworks, indicators, design and deployment of M&E plans, quantitative and qualitative data collection, and data verification methods for working in complex local, regional, national, and global health environments.
How to Apply:
- Create an eDGH account: go to https://edgh.washington.edu, select ‘Log in’ on the top right, and then ‘Create a new account’. This will allow you to apply to the course and the account will keep track of your application and data
- Once you have created your account, go to https://edgh.washington.edu/courses/participant-application
- Select the “Site-Based Participant” option when applying and select your site as “Uganda Kampala Makerere University Lung Institute” from the list on the application:
- Note: You may be asked if you understand that you may be responsible to contribute to site fees – select yes, but please note that there will be no cost to you for taking this course with our group.
- You will receive a confirmation email once you have submitted your application.
Please make sure you submit this application form by 08th December, 2021.
Dr. Charles Batte
Makerere University Non-Communicable Diseases Training Program (MakNCD)
Call for Applications: CTCA Study Coordinator (Nov 2021-Nov 2026)
Quit4Life+: Adapting and Evaluating a Phone-Based Tobacco Use Cessation Program for People Living with HIV in Uganda and Zambia
The Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa is open for applications from suitably qualified candidates to coordinate a 5-years study in the field of HIV, tobacco use cessation and mHealth. The project targets young professional with a background in Public Health and clinical medicine from recognized university or any other related field institutions. The candidate should be interested in furthering research skills in the domains of HIV, tobacco control, mHealth, clinical trials and desirous of pursuing a PhD. The project provides opportunities for PhD.
About the Project
The Centre for Tobacco in Africa (CTCA), a constituent entity of Makerere University School of Public health responsible for capacity building and research for tobacco control in Africa. CTCA and the University of Southern California (USC) will be implementing a 5-year research project titled “Quit4Life+: Adapting and Evaluating a Phone-Based Tobacco Use Cessation Program for People Living with HIV in Uganda and Zambia”. This randomized control trial study aims to promote smoking cessation among HIV infected persons through adapting a standard short message service (SMS) for tobacco cessation program and the efficacy of SMS-based program tailored to meet the needs of PLWH (Quit4Life+) in comparison to the current standard of care in Uganda and Zambia.
The study will provide insights into the efficacy, feasibility, and applicability of delivering tobacco cessation interventions through health care professionals at HIV treatment centers in two countries with different tobacco use patterns, policy environments, and health care resources and provide needed information to providers and policymakers looking for cost-effective tobacco cessation interventions to inform scale-up of tobacco use cessation in LMICs worldwide. The project is therefore targeting public health professionals with experience in clinical trials and interested in fortifying their research skills who want to do a PhD.
While the PhD sponsorship is not embedded in the study, the project provides opportunities for a 5-year hands-on practicum the study coordinator will optimize to further his/her research and writing skills. The study coordinator will be expected to participate in teaching and to co-mentoring students interested to conduct research in the fields covered by the study. The candidate will be assigned an academic mentor from within the study team to further his/her career objective.
Scope of Work
The objective of recruiting a study coordinator is to strengthen coordination of the study to attain the project deliverables in the projected timelines. Therefore, the project seeks to recruit a professional responsible for holding the research program together in support of the project goal and specific aims to understand tobacco use cessation among HIV positive clients in health care settings. The search is for a full-time professional to hold the different components of the research project linked and desirous of undertaking a PhD. The successful individual will undergo a 6 months’ probation. The contract is renewable after successful performance appraisal for up to 5 years. In fulfilment of the PhD support, part of the individual salary will pay his/her tuition at Makerere University. The individual will use data from the project to write his/her thesis and also participate in the capacity building activities/session at the School of Public Health.
The study coordinator will;
- Develop the quarterly and annual work plans for the project
- Draft communication letters and memos for signature by the PI or his/her designate
- Schedule and convene virtual/physical meetings
- Act as secretary for the meetings
- Prepare terms of reference and job descriptions of project staff including field research teams
- Coordinate research capacity building activities and keep liaison with the study site teams in the two countries
- Ensure the study tools are up to date and protocols are submitted to IRB including renewals
- Support the procurement of the needed equipment to conduct the data collection
- Field supervision of study activities
- Supervision and appraisal of research assistants
- Overseeing data management and analysis, maintain, and update the research database for ease of follow up and reference
- Ensure quality assurance of the data collected
- Tracking progress against targets and documenting the study progress for timely and quality research outputs
- Preparing and submitting weekly progress reports to the PI
- Planning and management tasks for the smooth running of the research project.
- Track progress against targets and document the study process through compilation of monthly reports
- Coordinate the consent disclosure language and authorization, data collection, management, analysis and transmission
- Generate activity plans and the requisite operational schedules.
- Participate in preparation of manuscripts for publication in scientific journals.
- Compile monthly, quarterly, and annual report for review by the PI
- Participate is translating research outputs into peer reviewed journal articles, manuscripts, and publications.
- Organize dissemination of research information through various dissemination channels
- Any other duties related to the study that may be assigned by the PI
Key deliverables along the project path
The required deliverables include;
- Study tools
- Quarterly and annual work plans & budgets
- Performance Reports; Monthly, quarterly annual
- Term of references for the various level of the project team
- Checklists of project team
- A publication per year
- Supervision of students at master’s level
- Submission of a research grant for funding
- A PhD dissertation
The applicant should submit electronically by 15th December 2021 at 5.00pm EAT;
- A cover letter
- A detailed Curriculum Vitae highlighting relevant research experience
- Copies of academic transcripts
- A statement of motivation that indicates reasons for applying for this post
- Reference letters from two referees with active phone numbers, and email addresses
- Address your application EOI[at]ctc-africa.org
Preference will be given to applicants interested in pursuing a PhD and demonstrated ability to contribute to the overall project goal.
Call originally posted on CTCA website
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