News & Updates

August 03 Issue 42


Happy new month! Welcome to another edition of the CARTA monthly updates. Read on to keep abreast with what is new.


CARTA Semi-annual Newsletter is out. Check it out Today!

In this issue of the semi-annual newsletter, we take an in-depth look at how CARTA adapted to going virtual and local to keep the program moving. We talk to our co-director Catherine Kyobutungi, about CARTA’s journey during the pandemic, the Program’s foray into the virtual realm, and the innovative transitions that have taken place so far. Our graduates also share their accounts of how they adapted to research and teaching in the new era. Besides one of our latest graduates, Marie Chantal Uwimana from the University of Rwanda talks to us about her PhD journey, the lessons she learnt, and most importantly, her progress despite the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In essence, we bring you stories of fellows, graduates, focal persons and partners; of their innovative, creative and triumphant ways, and of the progress, they have made as they worked, taught, and attended meetings and conferences virtually. 

Happy reading!

Read it here

Joint Advanced Seminar 4 (JAS4) Begins! 

The Joint Advanced Seminar 4 (JAS4), organised in collaboration with Makerere University, kicks off today, August 03, 2021.

The JAS4 seeks to equip fellows with skills such as grant writing and application, research leadership and management to shape them into compelling applicants and help them generate resources for their institutions and build their research portfolios. The seminar will also equip them with skills to translate knowledge and influence policy that will help them impact society and provide evidence for decision-making.


The virtual seminars have called for the adaptation of the curriculum to online learning and appropriate materials to suit the mode of delivery. This year, the team of facilitators has worked against the clock to get the teaching materials on Google Classroom. This will be a learning experience that will inform the general transition-to-blended process that CARTA has initiated. The facilitators have put in a great effort, and we hope that it will be most beneficial to the fellows who will participate in this round.

Joint Advanced Seminar 3 (JAS3) Town Hall

The University of Ibadan (UI) has started preparations for the Joint Advanced Seminar 3 (JAS 3) that is scheduled for October 2021. In July, the UI team held a town hall meeting with the fellows who are working to make it to JAS 3 this year, to share a general overview of the program. There will be two pre-JAS 3 refreshers in qualitative and quantitative data analysis that are to take place in August.


Great News! Six CARTA Fellows Graduate from Wits University!

We have been updating you as our fellows completed the requirements for their PhD degrees. Now, the graduation ceremony has come! Join us in congratulating six of our newest graduates who graduated from the Schools Public Health and Nursing Education, University of the Witwatersrand. The ceremony took place virtually on July 20, 2021.

Alexander Kagaha (Cohort Seven, Makerere University)

PhD thesis title: Policy and practice of abortion care in Eastern Uganda.The study investigated operations of power in policymaking and abortion-care practice, using critical ethnography.

Yolanda Kolisa (Cohort Five, University of the Witwatersrand)

PhD thesis title: Oral health-related quality of life and oral health needs of HIV-infected adolescents in Johannesburg.

Blessings Kaunda (Cohort Seven, University of Malawi)

PhD thesis title: Sexual and reproductive health service use and resilience among adolescents attending hospital teen clubs in urban Blantyre, Malawi.

Marie Claire Uwamahoro (Cohort Seven, University of Rwanda)

PhD thesis title: Development of an instrument to assess self-management barriers among patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Rwanda: A mixed-method study.

Molete Mpho (Cohort Six, University of the Witwatersrand)

PhD thesis title: School-based oral health programs in the Tshwane District of Gauteng: scope, implementation and outcomes.

Chrispus Mayora (Cohort Four, Makerere University)

PhD thesis title: Retail drug shops Market in Uganda. Incentives, effect on health care system and implications for child health.

Conquering Milestones: Reflections from my PhD Journey

For the #CARTA100 series, (celebrating CARTA's 100 PhD Graduates) Felix Khuluza (Cohort Five Graduate, University of Malawi) shares about his journey.

"Being the first PhD entrant meant that the road ahead would not be easy. The CARTA scholarship came to my aid in bridging this gap. CARTA’s program organizes Joint Advanced Seminars (JASes), which are meant to mentor and support PhD candidates from diverse African nations. Since then, my journey with JASes has reignited the academician in me, propelling me to greater heights."

Read more

Zakumumpa Appointed to the Board of PLOS GPH

Henry Zakumumpa (Cohort Four Graduate, Makerere University) was appointed to the Editorial Board of PLOS Global Public Health, a new open access journal for diverse research addressing global public health challenges and inequities.


"I am excited to serve on the Editorial Board of PLOS Global Public Health. PLOS is a well-respected platform worldwide. I buy into their vision for this new journal of open access, diversity and the inclusion of voices of researchers from the Global South. I am delighted that the CARTA vision of its graduates becoming research leaders is beginning to bear fruit." ~ Henry.

Mini-Grant Award 2021-2022: Effect of Motivational Interviews on Salt Intake Among Patients with Hypertension in Nigeria and Uganda

Temitope Ilori (Cohort Nine Fellow, University of Ibadan) is a team lead for a project awarded by the African Research Universities Alliance Centre of Excellence for non-communicable diseases. The study seeks to explore the use of motivational interviewing to achieve a reduction in salt intake among patients with hypertension in Nigeria and Uganda and to achieve better blood pressure control among patients with hypertension in the two countries.

Read more

Olufunmilola Presents Abstract at the Annual Congress of the West Africa College of Surgeons

Olufunmilola Ogun (Cohort Seven Fellow, University of Ibadan) presented an abstract relating to her PhD work at the 61st Annual Congress of the West Africa College of Surgeons, held in Cotonou, Benin. The title of the paper presented was: "Ocular abnormalities among adolescents with visual impairment attending special education institutions in Oyo State, Nigeria- A situational analysis."


Julia Bohlius Takes Over as Focal Person at Swiss TPH

Julia Bohlius succeeds Nino Künzli as the focal person for CARTA at our non-African partner institution, Swiss TPH. Nino brought a wealth of knowledge to CARTA, and without a doubt, the fellows benefited a great deal from his expertise.

Bohlius' two major research areas are cancer epidemiology in people living with HIV and evidence synthesis to assess the effectiveness and safety of oncological drugs. She also leads diagnostic test accuracy studies, guides the creation and implementation of a Cervical Cancer Prevention and Care Cascade, supports the development of evidence-based guidelines.

We welcome her to CARTA!


Environmental factors influencing the prevention of secondary health conditions among people with spinal cord injury, South Africa

People with spinal cord injury are at risk for secondary health conditions, with this increasing readmission rates and decreasing quality of life. In this study published in PLOS ONE, Sonti Pilusa (Cohort Seven Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand), sought to explore environmental factors influencing the prevention of secondary health conditions in people with spinal cord injury.

Read more

The secondary transmission pattern of COVID-19 based on contact tracing in Rwanda

Understanding the dynamics of Covid-19 disease transmission is critical for devising strategies to control its spread. In this study published in BMJ Global Health, François Niragire (Cohort One Graduate, University of Rwanda) and team, used tracing data in Rwanda for understanding the geographic patterns of Covid-19 to inform targeted interventions.

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High Prevalence of Multidrug-Resistant Clostridioides difficile Following Extensive Use of Antimicrobials in Hospitalized Patients in Kenya

Several studies have suggested that C. difficile infection (CDI) may be underreported in many African settings. In this study published in the Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, Winnie Mutai (Cohort Four Graduate, University of Nairobi) sought to determine the prevalence of CDI in hospitalized patients, evaluate antimicrobial exposure, and detect toxin and antimicrobial resistance profiles of the isolated C. difficile strains.

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Dispensing antiretrovirals during Covid-19 lockdown: Re-discovering community-based ART delivery models in Uganda

In this publication in the BCM Health Services Research, Henry Zakumumpa (Cohort Four Graduate, Makerere University) set out to explore health-system resilience at the sub-national level in Uganda with regard to strategies for dispensing antiretrovirals during Covid-19 lockdown. They concluded that while Covid-19 lockdown restrictions undoubtedly impeded access to facility-based HIV services, they revived interest by providers and demand by patients for community-based ART delivery models in case-study districts in Uganda.

Read more


Call for Applications: The Woodrow Wilson International Center Residential Fellowship 2021

The Wilson Center’s nine-month flagship international Fellowship Program is open to applications from scholars, practitioners, journalists and public intellectuals from all over the world.


Deadline: October 05, 2021


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Sydney Brenner Fellowship: Call for Post-doctoral fellowship 2021

The Sydney Brenner Fellowship aims to contribute to the advancement of biomedical research on the African continent, by providing support to advance the careers of young researchers of African nationality in health-related research.

Deadline:  20 August 2021


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2021 Call for Applications: The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund

The Fund supports pairs of researchers (post-doctoral level and above) from the University of Cambridge (or an affiliated institution such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, NIAB and British Antarctic Survey) and sub-Saharan African institutions, across all disciplines, to initiate and/or strengthen research collaborations.

Deadline: September 03, 2021.

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Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program provides funding to the very best postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to Canada's economic, social and research-based growth. The program funds the following areas of research: health, natural sciences and/or engineering, and social sciences and/or humanities. 


Deadline: September 2021

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Company of Biologists: Traveling Fellowships

The Company of Biologists’ journals – Development, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Biology and Disease Models & Mechanisms – offer Travelling Fellowships of up to £2,500 to graduate students and post-doctoral researchers wishing to make collaborative visits to other laboratories.

Deadline: August 16, 2021 (for travel after 27 September 2021)

More Details

Find more opportunities on our website here.

Our Reads this Month

Have we learned from past epidemics?

In this blog published in the AAS Open Research, Henry Zakumumpa (Cohort Four Graduate, Makerere University) writes as informed by a series of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) tele-convenings around science and policy engagement in response to COVID-19 in Africa.

Read it here

Journal clubs are beneficial for early career researchers

In this blog, Dolapo Somefun (Cohort Six Graduate, University of the Witwatersrand) Somefun Dolapo Oluwaseyi discusses the benefits of a journal club, the different types of clubs, and some tips for young researchers who want to start their own club.

Read it here


Open Dissertation Database by EBSCO

EBSCO Open Dissertations is a free database with records for more than1.4 million electronic theses and dissertations from more than 320 universities around the world. This is an ideal resource for graduate students who want to see the prevailing research in their fields of study. 

Find out more.


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