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

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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:

Required

  • 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.

Desirable

  • 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]gmail.com. 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]gmail.com. Applications need to be submitted on or before 31 January 2022.

Health

Boy Children Report More Physical & Emotional Abuse

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Men in the intervention group during the Parenting for Responsibility (PfR) project training session.

By George Kisetedde

On 3rd August, 2022, the CHDC (Child Health and Development Centre) disseminated study findings from one of the research studies carried out at the centre. These findings were presented under the title,“The Prevention of Violence against Children and Women: Baseline and Implementation Science Results from Parenting Cluster Randomised Trial.” Moderated by Dr. Anthony Batte, a lecturer at CHDC. Study findings were presented by Joseph Kahwa, the trial manager of the Parenting for Responsibility (PfR) project, under which this study falls.

Kahwa described PfR as a community based parenting programme delivered to both male and female parents. This programme aims to improve parenting skills, prevent violence against children, and to improve spousal relationships.

Findings from the study

Findings from this study showed that parents maltreat boy children more than girl children. The boys reported more emotional and physical violence than girls. Furthermore, the boy children reported that male caregivers specifically, maltreat them more. On the other hand, the girl children reported more sexual violence from caregivers than boys. On the whole, the children reported that female caregivers emotionally and physically abused them more compared to male caregivers.

More findings, according to Kahwa, showed that 46.5% of parents in Amuru can provide their children with soap to wash, 44.5% can provide school fees, 44.4% can provide school materials, 44.2% can provide new clothes, 43.3% can buy school uniform, and 35.9% can provide a pair of shoes.

How the research is conducted

The study is divided into 16 group sessions. The first 9 sessions are single sex, that is, male caregivers and female caregivers train separately. The next 7 sessions are mixed with male and female participants combined during training.

A mixed group parenting session for both men and women.
A mixed group parenting session for both men and women.

Kahwa explained that this programme was initiated to deal with VAC (violence against children) and IPV (intimate partner violence). These two vices are closely linked and have a significant impact on how children turn out.

Kahwa added that the PfR research programme aims at addressing the four major factors that may lead to VAC/IPV. These include; poor parental bonding, harsh parenting, unequal gender socialisation and spousal relationships.Poor parental bonding refers to the absence of a healthy close connection between a parent and their child. When a parent and child are not close, the parent may lack empathy for the child and the ability to perceive and respond to their child’s needs. When this bond is weak, a parent is unable to appreciate a child’s needs and can end up being unrealistically tough, which results in harsh parenting. Unequal gender socialisation generally refers to the different expectations that parents have of their children depending on their gender-male or female. The quality of the spousal relationship between parents also affects a child’s life. These four areas are what the parenting sessions concentrate on during the training.

The PfR study employed a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) design. Male and female caregivers were recruited from cluster villages in the Wakiso and Amuru districts in Uganda. One child aged 10 to 14 per household was randomly selected and assessed.

The caregivers were divided into two groups; the intervention group and the control group. The intervention group underwent all the 16 sessions of the training while the control group underwent a 2 session lecture on parenting. The impact of the PfR intervention was then ascertained by comparing baseline and endline results (or the before-and-after experiences of parents). The study participants were from 54 Villages selected in both Amuru and Wakiso districts. 108 caregiver groups (54 groups per intervention)were selected. This resulted in 2328 parents recruited and 886 children.

In conclusion, Mr. Kahwa said that maltreatment is still prevalent in the population. Generally, the PfR programme was well-received by parents and it had ad good attendance from parents. The programme also registered good male engagement. The peer facilitators who were recruited also had great potential in expanding the PfR programme at community level.

This study was conducted by Dr Siu Godfrey as the Principal Investigator. Other members of the team included Carolyn Namutebi, Richard Sekiwunga, Joseph Kahwa, Dr Betty Okot, and Martha Atuhaire. They were supported by the Director from CHDC, Dr. Herbert Muyinda and the CHDC Finance & Administration team. The team from Glasgow & Oxford Universities in the UK included, Prof Daniel Wight, Dr Jamie Lachman , Francisco Calderon and Dr Qing Han. On the other side, the team from the SOS Children’s Village from Gulu and Wakiso included, Rachel Kayaga, Sindy Auma Florence and Godfrey Otto.

Contact: George Kisetedde – kisetedde@gmail.com | Edited by Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Health

Makerere Medical Journal: Golden Jubilee Edition 2022

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Cover Page of the Makerere Medical Journal Golden Jubilee Edition 2022.

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Golden Jubilee edition of this phenomenal journal. Yes, The Makerere Medical Journal marks 50 years of publication with this year’s edition and all this has been made possible by the endless efforts and contributions of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences Staff and students because without your research submissions and financial support, the journal wouldn’t have made it this far. To you reading this, thank you for contributing to the sustainability of this great project, year in year out.

Here’s a quote to ponder on as you delve into this year’s well-crafted articles and it’s by Zora Hurston (1891-1960), “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” And doesn’t that just define our purpose as researchers?!

This edition’s articles cover pertinent topics ranging from Antimicrobial Stewardship, COVID-19 interventions, Oral Health amongst others. It also features student projects, write-ups on student-led organizations and societies that are making a difference in the life of a health sciences’ student and many more interesting writings. Featured in this issue are international manuscripts from countries like Nigeria and we were also honored to work with other universities within the country and feature some of their students’ articles.

I would like to extend my most sincere gratitude to my team of editors that engaged in a rigorous peer review process to ensure that the articles published are up to standard. As the editorial team, we are quite pleased to see the number of undergraduates involved in research steadily increasing and all the efforts that have been put in by the different stakeholders to see this happen are commendable.

With that said, I hope you enjoy every second of your read!!!

LINDA ATULINDA,
MBChB IV

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF,
Research and Writers’ Club 2021-2022

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Health

Call for Applications: HEPI Masters Support Fellowship

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Panelists L-R: Professor Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, Professor Francis Omaswa, Professor Jehu Iputo and Professor Joel Okullo at the HEPI-ACHEST Health Professions Education Symposium, 17th June 2022, Makerere University.

Applications are invited for the Health Professional Education Partnership Initiative (HEPI-SHSSU) Masters fellowship programme support from postgraduate students of:

  • Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS)
  • Kabale University School of Medicine
  • Clarke International University
  • Faculty of Health Sciences, Busitema University

The programme will support graduates in their final year of training leading to the award of a Masters degree on any of the Master’s graduate training programs at the stated University for a maximum of 19 successful candidates.

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 30th September 2022.

Inquiries and Applications must be submitted to hepishssu@gmail.com

See attachment for more details 

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