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AWE-Change Project Positions: Manager, Clinical Officer, Study Nurse & EEG Technician

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Epilepsy is a common, chronic, non-communicable disease of the brain which can affect any individual irrespective of age, race, sexual, social or geographical boundaries, and contributes approximately 0.5% to the total global burden of disease. The majority of affected individuals (>80%) live in low resource settings such as is found in Uganda, with the poor most at risk in view of their high exposure to other co-existing conditions associated with epilepsy, as well as limitations in accessing appropriate care. The AWE-Change project is an NIH funded initiative set up by the collaboration of researchers from Makerere University, School of Medicine in Uganda and Duke University, School of Medicine in USA to study various aspects of epilepsy in Uganda. The series of studies will clinically characterize epilepsy, and its psychiatric comorbidities and functional impacts, among children and adult cases; describe the magnitude, drivers, and the impact of epilepsy-related stigma on adolescents; and evaluate the impact of a community-based engagement program to reduce stigma among adolescents with epilepsy in Uganda.

The AWE-Change project seeks to employ the following personnel to work on the project and in the respective study clinics to be set up in various districts all over Uganda.

  1. Position:Project Coordinator/Manager. (1 Post)

Qualifications and abilities:

  1. Diploma or degree holder in a social science or health related field. (A Master’s degree will be an added advantage)
  2. Previous experience in the co-ordination of research studies, and some basic understanding of the scientific and ethical aspects of research studies.
  3. Ability to prioritize to appropriate deadlines.
  4. Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills.
  5. Computer literacy and experience with MS Office packages.
  6. Professional registration with an accredited organization.
  7. Flexibility to travel and reside in various districts all over Uganda over a two-year period.
  8. Expected to live in a nearby location next to the respective study clinics set up in various districts all over Uganda
  9. Fluency in three or more local languages will be an added advantage.
  10. Prior research experience in epilepsy or a related field will be an added advantage
  1. Position:Clinical Officer (2 Posts)

Qualifications and abilities:

  1. Diploma in Clinical Medicine and Community Health or Diploma in Clinical Psychiatry.
  2. A minimum of 2 year’s work experience in a clinical setting.
  3. Registered with the Allied Health Professionals Council.
  4. Previous training in epilepsy care or management is an added advantage.
  5. Good demonstrable communication and interpersonal skills.
  6. Prior research experience in epilepsy or a related field will be an added advantage.
  7. Fluency in three or more local languages will be an added advantage.
  8. Flexibility to travel and reside in various districts all over Uganda over a two-year period.
  9. Expected to live in a nearby location next to the respective study clinics set up in various districts all over Uganda.
  1. Position: Study Nurse (2 Posts)

Qualifications and abilities:

  1. A certified registered nurse however one with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing will be an added advantage.
  2. Registration with the Nurses and Practices Council.
  3. Minimum of 2 years work experience in a hospital or research setting
  4. Certified Good Clinical Practice training is a MUST
  5. Knowledge and experience in management of cases with epilepsy is an added advantage
  6. Good interpersonal skills.
  7. Fluency in three or more local languages will be an added advantage.
  8. Flexibility to travel and reside in various districts all over Uganda over a two-year period.
  9. Expected to live in a nearby location next to the respective study clinics set up in various districts all over Uganda.

4. Position:EEG technicians (2 Posts)

Qualifications and abilities:

  1. A diploma or high school education with evidence of on-the-job training in EEG, however one with a certificate or associate degree in EEG will be an added advantage.
  2. Minimum of 1 years work experience in a hospital or research setting.
  3. Knowledge in reading and distinguishing particular kinds of brainwave patterns.
  4. Experience in preparing, operating and maintaining electroencephalograph machines.
  5. Good interpersonal skills.
  6. Fluency in three or more local languages will be an added advantage.
  7. Flexibility to travel and reside in various districts all over Uganda over a two-year period.
  8. Expected to live in a nearby location next to the respective study clinics set up in various districts all over Uganda.

Duty Station:

Respective study clinics set up in various districts all over Uganda.

Applications should be e-mailed to:  awechangeproject@gmail.com

Closing date for sending applications: 18th March 2022

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted, any form of canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification. If you do not hear from us two weeks after the deadline of this advert, kindly consider your application unsuccessful.

Please see detailed advert below.

Health

METS Newsletter March 2024

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A team documenting the background and other governance structure requirements in the EMR Implementation Guidelines during the stakeholder workshop held from 26th February to 1st March 2024. Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), METS Program, 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 March 2024 Newsletter

  • Development of National Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Implementation Guidelines
    • To date, multiple Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems have been rolled out to health facilities without implementation guidelines to inform the standard EMR process/clinical workflows within a typical health facility, minimum requirements for various EMRs to integrate and exchange patient information, insurance and billing workflows, human resources management, among others.
    • METS Program and USAID/SITES organized a five-day stakeholder workshop on 26th February to 1st March 2024, to develop and validate the EMR Implementation Guidelines for Uganda.
  • Improving the Quality of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision
    • In February 2024, the METS Program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Implementing Partners (IMs), conducted targeted onsite mentorship across 56 safe male circumcision sites in CDC-supported regions of Uganda.
    • Key findings highlighted the overall facility performance score of 78%, with 5 out of 8 thematic areas scoring above 80%. Notably, 99% of circumcised males had received Tetanus vaccines.
  • Innovation To Strengthen National Health Care Quality Improvement
    • The 10th National Health Care Quality Improvement (QI) conference brought together health service providers from various parts of the country to share experiences and what they are doing to improve service delivery to patients.
    • The Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, called for solutions that will provide answers especially in areas of governance and leadership, health workforce, information systems, service delivery, financing, special groups, and health products.
    • METS made a presentation on improved service delivery models focusing on empowering young women to stay HIV-free with the help of the Determined Resilient Empowered AIDS-free Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) initiative.
  • Gallery
    • Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) launches state-of-the-art auditorium
    • Deploying latest EMR Version at Hoima RRH
    • Training of KCCA staff on use of Point of Care (POC) EMR
    • Stakeholder Workshop on Development of EMR Implementation Guidelines

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New Study Reveals Breastfeeding Mothers Embrace Nutrient-Rich Dish for Health Benefits

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Climbing beans on stakes in one of the gardens visited during the Efd-Mak Kabale District Sensitization in November 2021. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

A study whose results were recently published in Food Science Nutrition, a peer-reviewed journal for rapid dissemination of research in all areas of food science and nutrition has revealed that there is a growing preference for wholesome meals, highlighting its numerous health benefits.

Titled; Lactating mothers’ perceptions and sensory acceptability of a provitamin A carotenoid–iron-rich composite dish prepared from iron-biofortified common bean and orange-fleshed sweet potato in rural western Uganda,” this study was conducted among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers seeking care at Bwera General Hospital, in Kasese district, western Uganda, between 4th and 15th of August 2023.

Researchers in a 2019 study published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth among pregnant and breastfeeding women in Northwest Ethiopia discovered that pregnant and breastfeeding women bear the highest burden of this deficiency due to heightened physiological demands for iron and vitamin A. These demands increase significantly during pregnancy to meet fetal needs and continue during lactation to support breastfeeding.

The 2020 report on Developments in Nutrition among 204 countries and territories for 30 years since 1990 highlights the substantial impact of dietary iron deficiency and vitamin A deficiency on women of reproductive age in low- and middle-income countries across Africa and Asia. These micronutrient deficiencies are of paramount concern in public health nutrition due to their adverse effects.

A 2022 study published in The Lancet Global Health reveals that progress in addressing anemia among women of reproductive age (15–49 years) is inadequate to achieve the World Health Assembly’s global nutrition target of reducing anemia prevalence by 50% by 2030 in low- and middle-income countries, including Uganda.

Breastfeeding mothers require a higher intake of iron, ranging from 10–30 mg/day, compared to 8 mg/day for adult males. To help meet this increased need, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends iron supplementation programs during the postpartum period, starting immediately after delivery and continuing for the first 6 weeks.

On the other hand, the WHO advises against vitamin A supplementation during the postpartum period, as it offers no noticeable health benefits to either the mother or the infant. Instead, it encourages breastfeeding mothers to maintain a diversified diet that includes vitamin A-rich foods. However, it’s important to highlight that supplementing with vitamin A and iron during this time could enhance the content of these nutrients in breast milk.

In rural Uganda, breastfeeding mothers often face deficiencies in vital nutrients particularly vitamin A and iron. This is as a result of over reliance on plant-based local foods, like sweet potato and non-iron biofortified common bean like Nambale, which lack sufficient amounts of provitamin A and iron, respectively.

To improve vitamin A and iron intake among breastfeeding mothers, Uganda’s government, in collaboration with HarvestPlus, a global program dedicated to ending hunger through providing nutrient-rich foods launched biofortification programs. These initiatives introduced orange-fleshed sweet potato rich in provitamin A and iron-biofortified common bean as staple food in Uganda.

As part of his postdoctoral study, Dr. Edward Buzigi, a Nutritionist and Food security expert, at University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, evaluated the perceptions and sensory acceptability of a dish made from a combination of orange-fleshed sweet potato and iron-biofortified common bean, known for their high levels of provitamin A carotenoids and iron.

The aim was to determine whether the test food could replace the traditional white-fleshed sweet potato and non-iron biofortified common beans, which lacks these essential nutrients.

Ninety-four breastfeeding mothers took part in the study comparing two foods. Participants assessed the taste, color, aroma, texture, and overall acceptability of both the test and control foods using a five-point scale. Ratings ranged from “dislike very much” to “like very much,” with attributes deemed acceptable if participants rated them as “like” or “like very much.”

Also, focus group discussions were held to explore participants’ thoughts on future consumption of the test food alongside statistical analysis done using the chi-square test to compare sensory attributes between the two food options, while the qualitative data from focus group discussions were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings revealed that taste, color, and aroma were satisfactory to the mothers and showed no significant difference between test food and control food. Mothers had favorable views of the taste, aroma, and color of orange-fleshed sweet potato and iron-biofortified common bean but expressed concerns about the soft texture of orange-fleshed sweet potato. Despite this, breastfeeding mothers expressed positive attitudes towards consuming orange-fleshed sweet potato and iron-biofortified common bean, as long as it was accessible, affordable, and easy to prepare.

Dr. Buzigi lecturers at the Department of Community Health and Behavioural Sciences at Makerere University School of Public Health in Uganda.

Read the scientific article here;  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/fsn3.4053

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Call for Applications: AWE Change Masters fellowship programme support

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L-R: The Departments of Family Medicine (School of Medicine) and Human Anatomy (School of Biomedical Sciences) Buildings, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Mulago Hill, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University College of Health Sciences in collaboration with Duke University, USA are conducting a national collaborative research study on Epilepsy with local leading researchers in the fields of neurology and psychology in Uganda and international experts in the field of neurology and neurosurgery in the USA. The study aims to investigate the panorama of epilepsy in Uganda across the life span by clinically characterizing its features, comorbidities, and risk factors among the general population, with a focus on stigma among adolescents.

Applications are invited for the AWE Change Masters fellowship programme support from postgraduate students of:

  • Makerere University College of Health Sciences
  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology
  • Gulu University

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 22nd May 2024.

Submit all Enquiries and Applications to awechangeproject@gmail.com

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