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The Africa One Health Network for Disease Prevention (ADAPT), Project Launch

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A consortium of Seven Sub-Saharan countries is implementing a 5-year intervention aimed at building the capacity of improved, sustainable, and locally–led management of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

AMR is a public health problem that poses the largest threat to human health, causes death, and threatens economies especially those of developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

In Uganda, the project is implemented by Makerere University in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB).  Prof. Dr. Damalie Nakanjako, the Principal CHS, and CoVAB’s Assoc. Prof. Julius Okuni are the Principal investigators.

The other sub-Saharan African states in the consortium include Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Sudan, while the other participants like Leipzig University are drawn from Germany.

At the project kickoff event held at Protea Hotel in Entebbe on Monday 12th May 2024 attended by all implementing partners, it was explained that the five-year project will investigate and sustainably develop the local capacity to identify and intervene with a diverse range of biomedical and sociocultural factors impacting human, animal, and environmental health in sub-Saharan African settings to better control AMR and NTDs.

Through a One Health Approach, the project will work with several stakeholders including Behavior scientists, Data scientists, veterinarians, Human health workers, and policymakers in developing the capacity of anti-microbial stewardship in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The project’s main tasks will include screening of AMR in humans, livestock, and poultry using surveillance and genetic mapping; investigating the relationship between helminthic infection and drug resistance bacteria to better understand the co-infection between pathogens; developing capacities for point of need diagnostics on AMR and NTDs using mobile tests for field use; identifying any changes in antimicrobial use and AMR incidences; controlling communicable disease transmission and building capacity for sustainable leadership.

Some of the participants at the kick-off event. Consortium of Seven Sub-Saharan countries; Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda, Leipzig University Germany, 5-year intervention aimed at building the capacity of improved, sustainable, and locally–led management of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Africa One Health Network for Disease Prevention (ADAPT), Project Launch, College of Health Sciences (CHS) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), Monday 12th May 2024, Protea Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the participants at the kick-off event.

The kickoff meeting was addressed by stakeholders from different sectors who made proposals aimed at ensuring a successful project implementation. Hon. Dr. Charles Ayume, the Chair of the parliamentary health committee, while addressing the forum urged the implementers to consider involving the political wings of the respective countries and to ensure that the politicians get to appreciate the concerns on Anti-Microbial Resistance and the Neglected Tropical Diseases.   He said that in the case of Uganda, the process of the formation of the Parliamentary Forum on AMR was in the initial stages and observed that several politicians were not well informed about the challenges of AMR.  He said bringing the politicians on board would help the project implementers and stakeholders lobby for financial allocations towards AMR or else refer to it as unfunded priorities because they do not appreciate its magnitude. Dr. Ayume regretted noting that although innovations were game changers, Research and development were underfunded and mostly anchored in the hands of the donors.  He said regarding the success of the project, research was important because of the need to domesticate AMR, by taking it down lower to the communities.

Hon. Dr. Charles Ayume, the Chair of the Parliamentary health committee, addressed the meeting. Seated are Prof. Damalie Nakanjako and Assoc. Prof. Julius Okuni. Consortium of Seven Sub-Saharan countries; Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda, Leipzig University Germany, 5-year intervention aimed at building the capacity of improved, sustainable, and locally–led management of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Africa One Health Network for Disease Prevention (ADAPT), Project Launch, College of Health Sciences (CHS) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), Monday 12th May 2024, Protea Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda, East Africa.
Hon. Dr. Charles Ayume, the Chair of the Parliamentary health committee, addressed the meeting. Seated are Prof. Damalie Nakanjako and Assoc. Prof. Julius Okuni.

Dr. Ayume said he was cognizant of the fact that there was a lot to do citing the example of the poor state of abattoirs regarding lack of adherence to public health regulations, poor sanitation as well and non-adherence to public health regulations. Legislation is important because several laws like the Public Health Act although amended do not cover AMR, he observed. He cited the recently enacted Animal Feeds Bill, as one example through which the Government can be held accountable.  He expressed commitment to further spread the AMR message through the Parliamentary Committees of Health from Africa, where he is a member.  For most of the issues that affect the region, he said there was a need to get together, and that this can be a way of domestication of AMR.

The Deputy Principal, CoVAB, Assoc. Prof James Acai–Okwee welcomed the guests. Consortium of Seven Sub-Saharan countries; Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda, Leipzig University Germany, 5-year intervention aimed at building the capacity of improved, sustainable, and locally–led management of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Africa One Health Network for Disease Prevention (ADAPT), Project Launch, College of Health Sciences (CHS) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), Monday 12th May 2024, Protea Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda, East Africa.
The Deputy Principal, CoVAB, Assoc. Prof. James Acai–Okwee welcomed the guests.

The Deputy Principal, CoVAB, Prof James Acai – Okwee who spoke on behalf of the Principal Prof. Frank Nobert Mwiine acknowledged and welcomed the partners from other countries and the German Federal Ministry of Education for the project support. He said Makerere University aspires to translate into a research-led institution including research in AMR.  He explained that there was a significant animal factor in AMR, where infection in animals will always be shared in the human population because of the extensive microbial use in animal production.  Anti-microbial use is becoming the normal practice in production and therefore 75% of the infections originate from the animals that’s why we appreciate the one health approach in addressing AMR, the environment, food production, and public health he said, while appreciating the need for a multi-sectoral approach in addressing the challenge at hand. He expressed the colleges’ commitment and readiness to work with the project team led by Assoc. Prof. Julius Okuni.

Other presenters at the meeting included a representative of the Director General of Health Services, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Water and Environment, among others.

The Team visiting the labs at CEBIGH at CoVAB. Consortium of Seven Sub-Saharan countries; Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda, Leipzig University Germany, 5-year intervention aimed at building the capacity of improved, sustainable, and locally–led management of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Africa One Health Network for Disease Prevention (ADAPT), Project Launch, College of Health Sciences (CHS) and the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), Visit to CEBIGH, 15th May 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Team visiting the labs at CEBIGH at CoVAB.

Later on Wednesday 15th May 2024, the project team visited the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources, and Biosecurity where they interacted with the leadership and staff and took a guided tour of some of the laboratories.

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METS Newsletter May 2024

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The newly appointed CDC Uganda Country Director, Dr. Adetinuke Mary Boyd (7th from left) met with country implementing partner Executive Directors to get insights on ongoing projects, discussed leveraging of partnerships as well as strategizing for how best to strengthen health systems. Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI)-McKinnell Knowledge Centre, Makerere University, 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 May 2024 Newsletter

  • Enhancing Response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
    • Responding to and preventing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Violence Against Children (VAC) are critical components of Uganda’s national HIV prevention program. METS developed a new app designed to improve support for SGBV survivors. This followed an assessment in December 2022, that revealed gaps in service access and coordination in Fort Portal and Kampala Regions.
    • The METS team, in collaboration with regional implementing partners, is scaling up the app’s use in pilot districts such as Masaka, Kiryandongo, Fort Portal, and Mubende. The team visited facilities and police stations to install the app and train selected focal persons on its use.
  • Assessing Readiness for Integrated HIV and NCD Care Services
    • METS supported the Ministry of Health to conduct a site readiness assessment for integrated delivery of HIV and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) services from 22nd to 26th April 2024, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and various implementing partners. The activity was conducted in selected health facilities in Acholi, Mubende, Kayunga, and Rwenzori regions to determine their feasibility for participating in a comprehensive NCD evaluation.
    • The 48 facilities visited have already integrated NCD services (mental Health, diabetes, and hypertension). Of these, 78% have integrated mental health services in their PMTCT clinics. 40% of the facilities have a dedicated NCD services physicians /doctor in the ART Clinic, 29% have doc have dedicated physicians in the PMTCT clinics. 90%. Most of the facilities have clinical and nurses in the ART than PMTCT facilities but more nurses offering NCD services in PMTCT sites.
  • Digitalizing the health sector through strategic partnerships
    • In collaboration with CDC and METS, the MoH organized a national Electronic Medical Records (EMR) stakeholders meeting to orient stakeholders on the national EMR agenda and transition towards a comprehensive digital health facility package. Key actions discussed included expanding the rollout of the EMR and Community Health Information System (eCHIS) and urging development partners to support prioritized health information and digital health investments.
    • The introduction of electronic medical records (EMRs) in health facilities aims to improve the quality of health service delivery by providing real-time accountability transparency, and traceability of medical supplies, monitoring health worker absenteeism, enhancing patient satisfaction through efficient care provision, reducing unnecessary or duplicate diagnostic tests, and offering easy access to management reports for decision-making. Additionally, EMRs will lay the foundation for the implementation of national health insurance.
  • UgandaEMR+ Implementation Showcased at Kisenyi HCIV
    • METS and Reach Out Mbuya (ROM) showcased the implementation of UgandaEMR+ to representatives from the USG and the Ministry of Health (MoH) at Kisenyi HCIV. The visit was aimed at providing a clear understanding of the system’s functionality at the health facility, which serves over 1,200 outpatients daily and supports over 1600 clients on ART.
    • Dr. Peter Akonyera, the ART Clinic In Charge shared positive end-user experiences, noting simplified data use and analysis, efficient data retrieval, and the system’s popularity among users despite existing challenges. He appreciated METS’ support in maintaining system synchronization. The data visualization tools have been particularly useful for clinicians to manage patient schedules and workload distribution effectively, ensuring timely and efficient healthcare delivery.
  • METS Showcases Research at INTEREST 2024 Conference in Benin
    • The International Conference on HIV Treatment, Pathogenesis, and Prevention Research (INTEREST) brought together global scientists to share cutting-edge knowledge in HIV diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The conference also aimed to build a community of African physicians and scientists to develop local solutions for managing HIV and preventing its transmission.
    • METS submitted an abstract titled “Enhancing HIV Case Identification through a National HIV Testing Services (HTS) Continuous Quality Improvement” based on support to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in designing, implementing, and evaluating initiatives to increase the identification of HIV-positive clients, crucial for achieving the global target of 95% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) knowing their status.
  • Gallery
    • New CDC Director meets Country implementing partner Executive Directors
    • UgandaEMR+ support supervision at Kisenyi HCIV visit
    • EMR Stakeholders meeting
    • CBS guidelines meeting
    • INTEREST 2024 conference – Benin
    • Key Populations assessment – Ishaka district

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SIMCS-Trial Vacancy Announcement: Twenty-Five (25) Research Assistants

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An elevated shot of the School of Health Sciences and School of Medicine Building, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Makerere University. Mulago Campus, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Makerere University College of Health Sciences School of Medicine in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine received funding from US National Institutes of Health – Fogarty International Center to carry out a study on “Development and evaluation of an information management and communication system for population-wide point of-care infant sickle cell disease screening (SIMCS-Trial)”. The program seeks to recruit 25 research assistants at its study sites. 

Roles and responsibilities  

  • Identify and screen participants for possible enrolment into the study according to the Study Protocol.
  • Obtain informed consent from caregivers of eligible participants as per protocol accordance with GCP and HSP principles.
  • Counsel and explain study procedures to the caregivers of study participants using the mobile app.
  • Enrol eligible participants into the study to meet the study accrual targets.
  • Complete study CRFs, correctly and accurately in compliance with trial procedures/ SOPs and GCP standards.
  • Ensure study participants’ safety and privacy, data integrity and confidentiality.
  • Participate in collection of appropriate study samples/specimens from the participants as per protocol and SOPs as well as performing the test.
  • Carry out any other duties as assigned by superiors in line with your work.

Required Qualification and experience 

  • A degree in any health-related discipline, and registered with the relevant national bodies.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with Microsoft word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access as well as basic internet applications 
  • Skills in using common relevant computer packages and mobile technology for data collection
  • Previous work in a research environment is added advantage.
  • Basic knowledge of clinical research regulatory procedures. 
  • Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training and Research Ethics training skills and knowledge
  • Excellent command of English (written and oral) as well as the local languages (Luganda or Lusoga)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to develop relationships with participants.
  • Experience of living and or working both in urban and rural environment.
  • Team-working skills to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team 
  • Time management skills and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented and self-motivated/driven. 
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. 
  • Ability to professionally communicate in writing, verbally or other means deemed appropriate. 

Reports to: The SIMCS Co-Investigator/SIMCS Trial Coordinator 

Expected start date: July 2024

How to apply: 1-page type written application letter addressed to the Principal Investigator SIMCS Trial MakCHS SOM together with current CV, copies of academic certificates, and recommendation letters from two past employers should be e-mailed as ONE PDF DOCUMENT to makimpact22@gmail.com

Deadline for receiving applications: Friday 20th June 2024 at 5:00 pm

Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to the interview. 

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CTCA Call for Proposals: Enhance Tobacco Control Institutional Capacity in Africa

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Call for Proposals - Project Title: Enhance Tobacco Control Institutional Capacity in Africa; Grant #339. Deadline 30th June 2024, by 5pm EAT. The Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA), School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Project Title: Enhance Tobacco Control Institutional Capacity in Africa; Grant #339

Introduction:

The Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA) received funding from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for the 2024-2026 to implement a project on institutional capacity. The project investments are geared towards sustaining human resource capacity and knowledge generation to reduce use of all forms of tobacco products in Africa. Specifically, the project aims to:

  1. Enhance training opportunities for African governments and relevant actors in tobacco control in
    the continent
  2. Increase access to knowledge for guiding tobacco use prevention and control in Africa
  3. Reinforce the institutional development of CTCA for an optimal performance of its functions
    and processes.

In 2020, CTCA developed a Tobacco Control Research Agenda (TCRA) with the aim of providing a guide for generating local evidence to drive tobacco control policy formulation and implementation in Africa.

Therefore, CTCA with support from ACBF is seeking researchers across the African continent to be awarded 6 small grants of USD 5000 to implement research that aligns with the TCRA thematic areas below:

  1. Patterns and trends of tobacco use and exposure for all tobacco products including the new
    products at country and regional levels (sex, age, region, types of products, new products).
  2. Effects of tobacco use and exposure on sustainable development (poverty, education, culture, food security, environment, HIV, TB, reproductive health, NCDs).
  3. Tobacco use and populations at risk (youth, young adults, women/gender, elderly, residents
    of urban areas, miltary, prisoners, mental health patients, populations in low socio-economic
    dwellings like slums).
  4. Tobacco control policy research and analysis (smoke free, TAPS, GHWs, ceasation) of cost
    effectiveness, impact, drivers, enablers, innovation, challenges, communication and advocacy
    for tobacco control.
  5. Sociocultural context of tobacco use
  6. Tobacco industry and tobacco control policy
  7. Tobacco production, alternative livelihoods and environment (distribution, value chain,
    environmental impact, historical and determinants of tobacco production)
  8. The economics of tobacco and tobacco control (product, pricing, illicit tobacco trade,
    taxation)

The full research Agenda can be accessed in English and in French.

Submissions

We are pleased to invite submissions from researchers based in Africa. Successful proposals should align with any of the 8 thematic areas of the CTCA Research Agenda. Innovative proposals that address critical issues and contribute to evidence-based policy and practice in the respective areas to inform Tobacco control in Africa are particularly encouraged.

Requirements

These grants will fund work that relates to the CTCA Research Agenda. Activities will include
proposal development, data collection and analysis, report writing and dissemination. All research to be implemented will be approved by the institutional review board and published in peer reviewed journals. These grants are intended for; 1) Researchers based in Tobacco Control Programs/Response; 2) post graduate students who would like to complete their research projects aligned to this call and 3) early and middle career researchers. It is required that this research is executed, and the report completed within 12 months. The applicant should have a mentor in an established institution.

Eligibility

Eligibility is restricted to Africa-based researchers. This refers to individuals who are (a) currently studying at a university or research institute in Africa, and/or b) currently working within a university, research institute, or in tobacco control in Africa. All persons associated with tobacco industry will not be funded and therefore should not apply. Successful applicants will be required to sign a declaration of interest that they do not have any relationship with tobacco industry.

Evaluation criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by a group of experts and researchers. Projects will be assessed against six, equally weighted evaluation criteria:

  • Knowledge contribution in respect to policy, strategy, and evidence to answer local
    challenges:
    Does the study articulate the research gap? Does study make a significant
    contribution toward advancing knowledge in the tobacco control field? Does it answer
    new questions or introduce novel methods, measures, or tobacco control interventions? Is
    it aligned to the WHO FCTC and tobacco control local context requirements? Does the
    study add to the existing body of research?
  • Policy relevance: Will results from the research have generalizable implications? How,
    if at all, will the “lessons learned” have relevance beyond the study? Will the study
    outcomes influence decisions in tobacco control?
  • Technical design: Do the methods appropriately answer the objectives and the questions
    outlined in the proposal? Is the proposed study feasible in one year?
  • Project viability: Are there any other logistical or political obstacles that might threaten
    the completion of the study, for example, government authorization or Human Subjects
    review, civil strife, social cultural sensitivity?
  • Value of research: Is the cost of the study commensurate with the value of expected
    contributions to policy? Are the planned activities justified and coherent?
  • Ethics: Reviewers will consider whether there are any risks of harm to research
    participants, what the proposed risk mitigation strategies are, and how the possible
    benefits of the research compare to the possible harms.

Application Process

Apply HERE not later than 30th June 2024, by 5pm EAT. Applicants are required to provide a
recommendation/support letter from their supervisors or heads of department.

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