Kampala, Uganda
Kampala, Uganda

Makerere University Kampala is Uganda's largest and third-oldest institution of higher learning, first established as a technical school in 1922 , and is now part of Uganda Christian University. In 1963, it became the University of East Africa, offering courses leading to general degrees from the University of London. It became an independent national university in 1970 when the University of East Africa was split into three independent universities: University of Nairobi , University of Dar es Salaam , and Makerere University. Today, Makerere University is composed of 9 Colleges and one school offering programmes for about 36,000 undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduates.Makerere was home to many post-independence African leaders, including former Ugandan president Milton Obote and late Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere. Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa current president of the DRC Joseph Kabila and the former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki are also Makerere alumni.In the years immediately after Uganda's independence, Makerere University was a focal point for the literary activity that was central to African nationalist culture. Some prominent writers, including Nuruddin Farah, Ali Mazrui, David Rubadiri, Okello Oculi, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, John Ruganda, Paul Theroux, V. S. Naipaul and Peter Nazareth, were at Makerere University at one point in their writing and academic careers. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-6-2014 | Award Amount: 2.04M | Year: 2015

B3Africa - Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa will dramatically improve and facilitate the development of better predictive, preventive and personalized healthcare worldwide. The rapidly evolving African biobanks are an invaluable resource: The African population has the greatest genomic diversity on the planet and represents an incredible resource of information to advance biomedical research. B3Africa aims to implement a cooperation platform and technical informatics framework for biobank integration between Africa and Europe. The collaboration harmonizes the ethical and legal framework, biobank data representation and bioinformatics pipelines for sharing data and knowledge among biobanks and allowing access for researchers from both continents. Main actors from the relevant initiatives including Human Heredity and Health in Africa project (H3Africa), European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources research infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC) and LMIC Biobank and Cohort Network (BCNet) collaborate in B3Africa to address the following objectives: Defining an ethical and regulatory framework for biobank data sharing between Europe and Africa Defining data models for representing biobank and research data based on existing best practices, standards and ontologies Designing an informatics platform using existing open-source software (with eBioKit and BiBBox as essential modules) integrating workflows for biobank applications Implementation of an education and training system for information and capacity building Validating the B3Africa concept with existing biobanks from both continents B3Africa will provide the critical mass to maximise efficiency in biomedical research, supports defragmentation through integration and allows efficient leverage of existing biobanks and e-infrastructures in Europe and Africa. The technical informatics framework will be designed for easy upscaling and integration with other research infrastructures.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: WATER-5c-2015 | Award Amount: 3.57M | Year: 2016

The WHO estimates that in 2015 in Africa ~156 million people relied on untreated sources for their drinking water. WATERSPOUTT will design, develop, pilot and field-test a range of, sustainable point-of-use solar disinfection (SODIS) technologies that will provide affordable access to safe water to remote and vulnerable communities in Africa and elsewhere. These novel large-volume water treatment SODIS technologies will be developed in collaboration and consultation with the end-users, and include: 1. HARVESTED RAINWATER SODIS SYSTEMS for domestic and community use. (South Africa, Uganda). 2. TRANSPARENT 20L SODIS JERRYCANS. (Ethiopia) 3. COMBINED 20L SODIS/CERAMIC POT FILTRATION SYSTEMS. (Malawi) These are novel technologies that will create employment and economic benefits for citizens in both the EU and resource-poor nations. WATERSPOUTT will use social science strategies to: a. Build integrated understanding of the social, political & economic context of water use & needs of specific communities. b. Examine the effect of gender relations on uptake of SODIS technologies. c. Explore the relevant governance practices and decision-making capacity at local, national and international level that impact upon the use of integrated solar technologies for point-of-use drinking water treatment. d. Determine the feasibility & challenges faced at household, community, regional and national level for the adoption of integrated solar technologies for point-of-use drinking water treatment. WATERSPOUTT will transform access to safe drinking water through integrated social sciences, education & solar technologies, thus improving health, survival, societal well-being & economic growth in African developing countries. These goals will be achieved by completing health impact studies of these technologies among end-user communities in Africa. Many of the consortium team have worked for more than 15 years on SODIS research in collaboration with African partners.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: HCO-06-2015 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2015

FRESH AIR is a 3 year project which addresses the urgent need to prevent, diagnose and treat lung diseases in LMICs and other low-resource settings where the greatest burden of disease is experienced. Our Consortium brings together leading international respiratory researchers, clinicians and policy experts from EU member states and the US who have expertise and experience of the challenges of implementation in LMICs and healthcare providers, policy makers and implementers from four countries that represent very different low-resource settings. Members will work together to adapt and test innovation and evidence-based practice in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung disease in four low-resource settings in Uganda, Kyrgyz Republic, Vietnam and Greece with high levels of tobacco consumption and exposure to Household Air Pollution (HAP). In so doing, the Consortium will transfer skills and technology from EU member states and the US to new contexts and explore a range of implementation science research questions. The new knowledge this generates will be widely disseminated nationally, regionally and internationally, ensuring the scale-up of interventions tested by the project and global impact of research findings. The project will also provide new perspectives on policy issues of concern to EU members, increase the international profile of EU funded research on key health challenges and open up markets for healthcare innovations. The project has 7 specific objectives focused on the following: 1. Identifying factors influencing the implementation of evidenced-based interventions 2. Exploring which awareness-raising approaches are most effective in achieving behaviour change 3. Adapting interventions that provide smoking cessation support 4. Testing innovative diagnostic methods for COPD 5. Promoting pulmonary rehabilitation as a low cost treatment 6. Reducing childrens risk of lung damage 7. Generating new knowledge, innovation and scalable models.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-21-2016 | Award Amount: 7.69M | Year: 2017

The new challenge in global health is to achieve Universal Health Care (UHC) by 2030. Having an adequate workforce is critical to achieving UHC. Efforts are in place to scale up the numbers of health workers. Improving health workforce performance is equally important as the quantity of health workers, but more challenging. Workforce performance improvement can be achieved better at management levels close to front-line workers. The PERFORM project developed a problem-based management strengthening intervention for management teams at district level in three African countries to improve both health workforce performance and service delivery more generally. The evaluation of the management strengthening intervention (MSI) demonstrated its effectiveness in enabling the management teams to solve workforce performance and other problems locally which improved service delivery, and become better managers. To have a wider impact and thus contribute to the achievement of UHC the PERFORM management strengthening intervention needs to be scaled up and embedded. The aim of PERFORM2scale is to develop and evaluate a sustainable approach to scaling up a district level management strengthening intervention in different and changing contexts. A framework and strategy for scaling up the intervention will be developed with government agencies in Ghana, Malawi and Uganda each country. Capacity will be developed to implement the scale-up which will be carried out over three years in order to use the MSI at scale and embed the process at district level. The scale-up framework and strategy will be subjected to process evaluation (to identify opportunities and barriers) and outcome evaluation. Both the framework and strategy will be validated for use in the study countries and elsewhere for use and adaptation. The use of the management strengthening intervention at scale in countries will be a major contribution to achieving UHC.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-15-2014 | Award Amount: 8.82M | Year: 2015

PROTEIN2FOODs aim is to develop innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient plant proteins rich food sources with positive impact on human health, the environment and biodiversity. The quality and quantity of protein from selected highly nutritious seed crops (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat), and legumes with high protein quantity (lupin, faba beans, pea, chickpea, lentil) will be significantly enhanced by using a multi-disciplinary approach that will include genetic, agronomic, food process engineering, sensory, socio-economic, and environmental assessment. Research is expected to improve the quality of plant proteins, produced in Europe, and of the sustainability of their production and processing. Through a better understanding of the: i) genetic mechanisms driving the protein formation and accumulation in the seed, ii) plant performance towards biotic and abiotic stresses, and iii) protein interactions with other components in the food matrix and its sensory repercussions in the final food products, this research should lead to the development of adapted plant protein sources with positive impact on environment and biodiversity as well as human health. Expected results in the project are: i) enhance the protein production by 25% through new effective breeding techniques and optimised crop management with an increase by 10% of the EUs arable land destined to protein-crop production, using also marginal soils, ii) accelerate protein transition from animal-based protein to plant based protein in Europe with clear impact on reduction of carbon footprint, iii) increase EU agro-biodiversity by introducing promising high quality crops and legumes. Further, activities will support the prototypes of new protein-rich-protein food with exceptional market potential. Finally, we will improve the EUs visibility in the area of food processing and technology through high impact factors scientific publications.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.4-07 | Award Amount: 1.06M | Year: 2012

Aquaculture is widely considered as important for enhancing food security, alleviating poverty and improving nutrition. However, little information is available concerning the direct and indirect impacts of aquaculture on food security and poverty alleviation in most developing countries and LIFDCs. Strengthening the knowledge base surrounding aquaculture and food and nutrition security through this project will provide the evidence upon which sound resource allocation and strategies can be based, and subsequently plan, implement and coordinate efficiently development and research programmes supporting the sustainable expansion of aquaculture and increasing its impact to food security and poverty alleviation. The project is to be implemented by 18 partners in 11 selected LIFDCs, 3 EU partners, and 3 international organizations. The project will strengthen the knowledge base on food security and poverty and develop new methodologies or more rigorous methodologies to quantify the contribution of aquaculture in combating hunger and poverty in developing countries and LIFDCs. This will endeavour to better understand aquacultures contribution to human development. Project partner countries were selected based on varied human development conditions and national level efforts in including aquaculture for improving national food security and alleviating poverty. They represent all major aquaculture regions and ICPCs where aquaculture has major contributions to national economy involve high numbers of small-scale aquaculture farms, and with high international trade of fish and fishery products. The results of the project will be brought to the attention of countries and development partners, particularly the EU, and outputs will help LIFDCs and various development partners to improve efficiency and coordination in development initiatives focused on aquaculture as a means of promoting food security and poverty alleviation.


The overall research objective of the SPICES project is to implement and evaluate a comprehensive CVD prevention and control program in five settings: a rural & semi-urban community in a low-income country (Uganda), middle income (South Africa) and vulnerable groups in three high-income countries (Belgium, France and United Kingdom) as well as to identify and compare the barriers and facilitators across study contexts. The project will be evaluated using a mix of formative assessments; pre/post and trial designs. At the beginning of the project, we will conduct baseline assessments including literature reviews, formative studies, household surveys (where feasible) and learn lessons from other projects to understand healthcare and lifestyle practices, barriers, and facilitators. A cost-effectiveness and cost benefit analysis will be included. In addition, the teams will conduct site exchanges visits to learn from each other and organise policy dialogues to ensure sustainability and maximise impact of the interventions. The implementation outcomesacceptability, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility, fidelity, implementation cost, coverage, and sustainability will be evaluated in order to understand the factors affecting the implementation, the processes, and the accruing results. The intervention of the SPICES project will aim to: (1) improve patients risk profiles (LDL-cholesterol, blood pressure, HbA1c (among patients with diabetes), modify lifestyles (diet and exercise and smoking cessation) and achieve recommended cholesterol, blood pressure and glycaemic control targets; (2) increase proportion of patients receiving appropriate BP, cholesterol and diabetes medication; (3) and mitigate the number of people developing complications such a stroke and myocardial infarction.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: HCO-05-2014 | Award Amount: 3.34M | Year: 2015

Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and pre-diabetes contribute increasingly to the global burden of disease with the health systems struggling to effectively manage prevention and control. This necessitates contextually appropriate, policy relevant solutions with high scale-up potential. The study is built on a consortium experienced in implementation and cross-cultural translation of disease prevention and management. We aim to strengthen capacity for T2DM care including prevention in high-risk population, through proven strategies like task shifting to community health workers, and expanding care networks through community-based peer support groups. Methods: A phased, participatory approach with built-in on-going policy dialogue will be used for implementing and testing a complex intervention in three countries representing low-, middle- and high-income settings: rural Uganda, urban South Africa and vulnerable immigrant populations in urban Sweden. These actions will follow an iterative process with modifications and improvements within and between the stages of formative research to implementation and evaluation. The testing will be conducted with a controlled design in two arms, a facility-only strategy vs. a combined facility and community strategy evaluated in terms of health systems, disease-related and equity outcomes. Outcomes: The study has a strong social innovations component that will leverage existing networks and platforms, to empower patients, their families and communities through the self-management approach. It will embed research into policy and practice from the beginning; and enable cross-lessons from other chronic conditions and reciprocal learning. It will re-introduce the essential but missing community component still existing in low- and middle-income countries back to the health system of a high-income country in a contextually appropriate form, which is relevant for Europe in tackling T2DM and other chronic conditions.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: MRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 888.67K | Year: 2015

Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) is a major causative agent of fungal meningitis worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, cryptococcal meningitis is the most common cause of meningitis in adults and causes 20-25% of AIDS-related mortality. The excessive early mortality from cryptococcosis is in large part due to the high cost, toxicity, and relatively limited repertoire of available anti-fungals, which have changed little in the last 30 years. For these reasons, the identification of new anti-fungals effective for the treatment of fungal meningitis must be a high priority. One problem with many current anti-fungal drugs is that they penetrate poorly into the brain. This is a particularly difficult problem in treating fungal meningitis, which is an infection around the brain. New research suggests that sertraline, one of the most widely prescribed antidepressants in the world, has anti-fungal activity against Cryptococcus. The findings are the result of investigations testing sertraline against Cryptococcus neoformans in culture, in a mouse model of infection, and in studies of its mechanism of action which appear to be inhibiting protein synthesis in the Cryptococcus yeast. Sertraline is known to be well-tolerated and is effective as an antidepressant. Preliminary investigations of sertraline in a mouse model of systemic cryptococcal infection revealed that it combats infection with efficacy similar to fluconazole, an oral anti-fungal drug used commonly for fungal disease since 1990. Most importantly, the combination of sertraline and fluconazole was found to work better than either drug alone. Sertraline is concentrated in the brain (average of 22-fold over blood levels), and thus may be an ideal oral medicine to add to standard therapy for cryptococcal meningitis. Despite these promising initial studies, no studies have been conducted in actual humans. This study seeks to help answer these questions. The research team, based in Uganda, plans to determine whether the addition of sertraline to standard therapy for CM will result in more rapid clearance of the fungal infection. An This project will have two phases. An initial pharmacokinetic dose finding and safety study was conducted Aug 2013-Feb 2014 which has informed the sertraline dosing choices, confirmed the general tolerability, and provided preliminary data that the rate of clearance of yeasts from the cerebrospinal fluid (termed early fungicidal activity) is approximately 25% faster over the first two weeks than current standard therapy. This proposal is for support of a multisite, Phase III study to determine whether sertraline improves survival in comparison to placebo. All research participants will receive standard anti-fungal therapy of amphotericin + fluconazole as induction therapy. The implications of this research are clear. Since strong safety data already exists, investigation into the use of sertraline as anti-fungal is greatly accelerated. If sertraline proves to be effective in treatment of Cryptococcus in humans, it would be immediately available for use, essentially creating a shortcut from bench to bedside. This would result in huge cost savings compared to bringing an entirely new drug to the market. Sertraline could have the potential to revolutionize cryptococcal care in Sub-Saharan Africa as it is an existing low cost, generic medicine made by >=25 manufacturers worldwide.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 97.25K | Year: 2015

Extending and sustaining access to safe and reliable water services remains central to improving the health and livelihoods of poor people, particularly women, in Africa. Here an estimated 350 million rural inhabitants still have no form of safe drinking water, and depend on poor quality unreliable sources for all their domestic needs. Improving access to water, and helping to achieve new international goals of universal access to safe water hinges on accelerated development of groundwater resources, usually through drilling boreholes and equipping them with handpumps. However, emphasis on new infrastructure has obscured a hidden crisis of failure, with >30% of new sources non-functional within 5-years and many more unreliable. This problem has remained stubbornly persistent over the last four decades, with little sign of sustained progress despite various interventions. Part of the reason for this continued failure is the lack of systematic investigations into the complex multifaceted reasons for failure and therefore the same mistakes are often repeated. The accumulated costs to governments, donors and above all rural people are enormous. Addressing the functionality crisis requires a step-change in understanding of what continues to go wrong. The complex issue must be approached from a truly interdisciplinary viewpoint: combining innovative natural sciences to assess the availability of local water resources and how this changes with seasons and climate; with detailed social science research of how local communities function and make decisions about managing their infrastructure; and understanding of how the engineered structures can degenerate. Underlying these reasons for source failure may be other contributory factors, such as government incentives, the role of the donor community, or long term changes in the demand for water. The overall aim of the project is to build a robust, multi-country evidence base on the causes of the unacceptably high rates of groundwater system and service failure and use this knowledge to deliver a step-change in future functionality. To achieve this aim, our research draws on a novel interdisciplinary approach using the latest thinking and techniques in both natural and social science and applies them to three African countries that have struggled for decades with service sustainability - Uganda, Ethiopia and Malawi. There are five main objectives:1.to provide a rigorous definition of functionality of water points which accounts for seasonality, quality and expectations of service; 2. to apply this new definition to Ethiopia, Uganda and Malawi to get a more realistic picture of water point functionality and therefore water coverage figures; 3. to investigate in detail 50 water points in each country by taking apart the water points and pumps, testing the local groundwater conditions, examining the renewability of groundwater and exploring in detail the local water committee; 4. we will also build on this information to forecast future rural water supply coverage by modelling the impact on water points of various potential future pathways; and 5. finally we will use all this information to develop an approach for building resilience into future rural water supply programmes and helping people decide when it is worth rehabilitating failed sources. To carry out this ground breaking research we have brought together a consortium, led by the British Geological Survey, of leading interdisciplinary UK researchers at BGS, KCL, ODI and Cambridge with groundwater academics from three highly regarded African universities (Universities of Addis Ababa, Mekerere and Malawi), and WaterAid, a leading NGO on developing rural water supply services across Africa with a history of innovation. The research has the potential to have a major impact on the delivery of reliable clean water throughout Africa, and if the results can be taken up widely break the pattern of repeated failure.

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