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CAGE-TB Project Vacancies: Three (3) PhD Fellows



We are recruiting three (3) PhD students to join the CAGE-TB programme, a multidisciplinary consortium supported by a grant from the European Commission and Coordinated by Stellenbosch University. CAGE-TB brings together African and European scientists to develop a mobile phone-based cough triage test for Tuberculosis (TB).

The Cough Audio triaGE for TB (CAGE-TB) project aims at promoting the adoption of mobile health-based cough audio triage testing for active pulmonary tuberculosis in health facilities in high-burden settings. Specifically the study aims are; a.) to generate and separately validate a cough audio classifier that meets the criteria for the World Health Organization (WHO) triage test target product profile for sensitivity and specificity, b.) to produce data on potential cost savings, and c.) to package the underlying technology into an easy-to-use smartphone app built using human-centred design ready-for-use in large-scale clinical evaluations. It will do so through:

  • Collecting cough audio data in a discovery cohort of patients with a prolonged cough who present to primary care clinics in Cape Town, South Africa; and optimising a classifier scheme;
  • Validating the audio classifier algorithm in separate clinical validation cohorts in Cape Town, South Africa and Kampala, Uganda and calculate potential cost savings; and
  • Using a human-centred design process to integrate the classifier into a smartphone application and identifying potential barriers and facilitators to its successful deployment.

CAGE-TB will provide opportunities for PhD training as part of its research activities. There will be three (3) PhD positions. The research topics for these PhDs will include aspects of diagnostic and implementation research, costing, mHealth, and human-centered design.

Under the supervision of a multi-discipinary research team, the PhD candidate will conduct mixed-methods research, hence the relevant tracks will be focusing on diagnostic OR implementation and costing research OR mHealth and human-centered design, to:

  • assess current smartphone and app usage among healthcare staff;
  • explore existing policies and practices of TB triage and diagnosis in primary health facilities;
  • conduct cost data collection and analysis of the phone-based cough triage test; and
  • support participatory app design process.

The role:

  • Design and conduct qualitative (e.g. structured interview guides) and/or quantitative research (e.g. survey questionnaires);
  • Develop a research protocol and obtain approval from ethical review committees;
  • Understand cultural background of participants to evaluate findings and methods in this context;
  • Analyze qualitative (e.g. coding) and/or quantitative data (e.g. statistical analyses)
  • Prepare and hold presentations for an audience with a varied disciplinary background;
  • Take the lead in authoring articles to be published in international peer-reviewed journals;
  • Compile a thesis based on the articles (and submitted manuscripts);
  • Participate in and present findings at CAGE-TB consortium meetings.

Professional background:


  • A completed master’s degree in a health-related social science discipline, such as medical anthropology, medical sociology, OR a masters in, biological sciences, Medical-related discipline, global/public health, health services research, clinical epidemiology, and biostatistics with a significant proportion of qualitative research.
  • Experience in designing and conducting qualitative and/or quantitative research, biomedical science research, implementation science research
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate complex findings to an audience with varied disciplinary background.
  • Willingness and ability to work independently and to collaborate with a multidisciplinary and international team.
  • Socially engaged, highly motivated to understand social dynamics, autonomous and creative.
  • The willingness to be part of an international research team.


  • Proficient in qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis software.
  • Experience of undertaking data collection in primary care settings.
  • Has taken a leading role in at least one article published in an international peer-reviewed journal (i.e., first author added advantage).
  • Demonstrable experience in the proposed track of choice i.e., diagnostic, implementation, and costing research, or mHealth and human-centered design
  • MUST be a Ugandan

Do you recognize yourself in this job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 31 January 2022. You can apply by sending the following to Ms. Nakayiza Hariet, email; kayizaharry[at] Please indicate ‘PhD TB-CAGE’ in the subject line.

  • CV. Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.
  • a transcript of all university courses taken, and grades obtained;
  • a one-page motivation letter which includes a brief statement of research interests and experience;
  • a concept note: two pages plus one page of relevant literature. Clearly whether you are interested in diagnostic, implementation, and costing research, or mHealth and human-centered design.
  • Two (2) reference letters

Please combine all documents into a single PDF file and send it to Ms. Nakayiza Hariet, email; kayizaharry[at] Applications need to be submitted on or before 31 January 2022.


METS Newsletter November 2023



The Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng (2nd R) visiting the METS stall manned by Jaba Jeremiah (L) and Musa Mwanje (blue polo shirt) at the First National Digital Health Conference held 13th - 14th November 2023. Photo: METS. Kampala Serena Hotel, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Support (METS) Program is a 5-year CDC-supported collaboration of Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Health Information Systems Program (HISP Uganda).

Highlights of the METS November 2023 Newsletter

  • Strengthening Regional Referral Health Systems: A Year of Progress
    • In 2021, MakSPH-METS in collaboration with MoH designed a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health System building blocks was developed. This framework employs a Progression Model to measure improvements in health systems capacity.
    • The framework was piloted at the RRH in 2022 to obtain a baseline on the existing health capacities at the hospitals. A follow-on assessment was conducted in 2023 to measure if there were improvements in the health systems capacities. Overall, significant improvements were observed across the six health system building blocks: Governance and Leadership; Medicines, Health Supplies, Vaccines and Equipment; Health Information System and Integrated Disease Surveillance & Response; Human Resource
  • for Health; Health financing; and Service delivery.
  • Welcoming new Implementing Mechanisms (IMs)
    • METS, the lead Strategic Information (SI) mechanism, in collaboration with CDC, organized an orientation workshop to support new implementing mechanisms as they transition to take on work load in the various regions in Uganda.
    • The new mechanisms are Trust AIC Foundation supporting Soroti Region, Reach Out Mbuya Community Health Initiatives in Kampala Region. METS will continue supporting the new mechanisms to ensure compliance with national and PEPFAR requirements.
  • Unlocking Scientific Excellence Through Collaborative Learning
    • The METS program and CDC Uganda’s Office of Science collaborated on a five-day writing workshop aimed at synthesizing program results and advancing the development of scientific papers for publication.
    • Key focus areas included reporting methods, analytic approaches, manuscript writing best practices, and regulatory protocols. Moving forward, the plan involves sustaining momentum by engaging program teams, utilizing regular touch-base sessions with CDC Office of Science and Subject Matter Experts to ensure quality and coherence in scientific content.
  • Enhancing Client-Centered Care through use of Innovative Tools
    • In a concerted effort to revolutionize client centered care, the Ministry of Health (MoH), working closely with MakSPH-METS and USAID – Uganda Health Activity (UHA), introduced an audit tool, embedded within the national quality improvement collaboratives.
    • A one-day national Training of Trainers (ToT) was organized to not only enhance client-centered care but also empower regional teams as Trainers for the widespread implementation of this tool.
  • Gallery
    • The scientific writing workshop
    • The Union World Conference on Lung Health 2023
    • Workshop on Leveraging the HIV platform for Hypertension control in Uganda
    • Lauch of National Global Alliance campaign aimed at eliminating AIDS in children by 2030
    • South African Health Informatics Association Conference 2023
    • The 1st National Digital Health Conference 2023

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Mak’s GMI Labs Authorized to Conduct DNA Paternity Testing



Some of the equipment used to store samples at the Makerere University Biomedical Research Centre (MakBRC), College of Health Sciences (CHS). Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Genomics, Molecular, and Immunology Laboratories (GMI Labs), operating under the auspices of the Makerere University Biomedical Research Center (MakBRC), have achieved another significant milestone in their journey of diagnostic excellence. The labs, renowned for their pivotal role in infectious and non-infectious disease research, have received official approval from the Director General Health Services at the Ministry of Health (MoH), Uganda, to conduct DNA Paternity Tests.

Situated at the Dept of Immunology & Molecular Biology under the School of Biomedical Sciences at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, the GMI Labs have been at the forefront of cutting-edge research, diagnostic testing, and training initiatives. Their remarkable contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic, where they conducted nearly a million PCR tests, underscored their unwavering commitment to public health and scientific advancement. The labs’ exemplary performance and reliability were further highlighted by their successful management of two critical COVID-19 prevalence surveys. The findings of these surveys served as foundational data for crucial decisions guiding the country’s lockdown strategies and phased reopening, earning commendation from the President and the Ministry of Health.

This latest authorization from the Ministry of Health marks a significant expansion of the GMI Labs’ diagnostic capabilities. With the approval to conduct DNA Paternity Tests, the labs are now equipped to offer a crucial service addressing the need for accurate and reliable genetic testing for determining biological parentage. In a letter dated 22nd November 2023, the Director General Health Services emphasized the laboratory’s rigorous adherence to international standards, proficiency in molecular biology techniques, and their proven track record in delivering precise and credible results. This approval further solidifies the labs’ position as a trusted institution for advanced genetic diagnostics in Uganda.

Prof. Moses L Joloba, the Director of the GMI Labs, expressed immense pride in the team’s dedication and expertise that led to this authorization. He highlighted the labs’ commitment to upholding the highest standards of ethical practice, confidentiality, and accuracy in DNA paternity testing, ensuring the delivery of dependable results crucial for legal, personal, and familial purposes.

The inclusion of DNA Paternity Testing within the GMI Labs’ list of services aligns with their overarching goal of advancing healthcare through state-of-the-art diagnostics, research, and education. This milestone represents not only a significant achievement for the labs but also a valuable resource for individuals seeking reliable and comprehensive genetic testing services. As the GMI Labs continue their unwavering commitment to excellence in healthcare and research, this new capability reaffirms their pivotal role in advancing the frontiers of molecular diagnostics and genetic testing in Uganda, working closely with reputable institutions such as Makerere University Hospital and other top-notch health facilities.

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MNCH e-Post Issue 121: Learning from Nsambya Hospital Human Milk Bank to inform national scale-up & save preterm babies



A Screenshot of Prof. Peter Waiswa during his interview with NTV. MNCH e-Post Issue No. 121, MakSPH, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Welcome to this exclusive interview with Prof. Peter Waiswa, lead expert from the Makerere University Centre of Excellence for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health. Dr. Victoria Nakibuuka from St. Francis Nsambya Hospital, and Dr. Jesca Nsungwa from Ministry of Health Uganda. In this video, they discuss a groundbreaking innovation in Uganda’s healthcare landscape: the country’s first-ever human milk bank at St. Francis Hospital Nsambya. This initiative represents a significant stride towards improving the survival rates of premature and vulnerable infants by ensuring access to essential breast milk, even when mothers are unable to produce enough. Watch Video

Click here to View the full MNCH e-Post Issue 121

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