News & updates
July 01 Issue 41
THE CARTA MONTHLY
Happy new month! Welcome to another edition of the CARTA monthly updates. Read on to keep abreast with what is new.
PROGRAM NEWS
CARTA Leads AESA’s Tele -Convening on Social Sciences
In June, CARTA led a tele-convening on COVID-19 social sciences and policy research aimed at supporting Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic organized by the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa. CARTA facilitated the sessions by leading the plenary and the discussions in the break-out sessions.

The objective of the tele-convening was to bring together scientists, researchers, stakeholders, and policymakers to identify the priority areas for intervention that require evidence synthesis to inform decision and policy as part of the Regional Community COVID-19 response strategy.   CARTA continues to work with AESA on the production of the rapid evidence synthesis and associated policy briefs that are aimed at promoting regional and continental policy coherence in COVID-19 response strategies. 

Look out for articles on this in our subsequent updates.
FELLOWS NEWS
How CARTA is Building African Universities’ Capacity to Solve Population and Public Health Problems in Africa
CARTA fellows who attended the fourth JAS in 2018, published an article in Plos One on their experiences at CARTA. The article titled 'Experiences of doctoral students enrolled in a research fellowship program to support doctoral training in Africa (2014 to 2018): The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa odyssey', focused on the organization of the program and its influence on the fellows’ individual and institutional development. 
Folusho Balogun and Sara Jewett, two Graduates who are part of the group that wrote the article have shared a blog piece with insight into the publication.

There have been previous efforts to address Africa’s population and public health problems using vertical programs and the provision of foreign training for African researchers. These efforts were not effective but resulted in stressing the already weak health systems. This was because the skills acquired could not adequately address the local health problems because of a near lack of knowledge about the dynamics of these health problems within the local context. There is, therefore, a need to provide appropriate responses to the health challenges in Africa using innovative, acceptable, and holistic approaches.
The role of a robust capacity-building program for African researchers in addressing these population health problems cannot be overemphasized.
The Intrigues and Rigours of a PhD Journey: Kagaha’s Story
For the #CARTA100 series, Alexander Kagaha (Cohort Seven Graduate, Makerere University) starts us off by sharing the interesting story of his doctoral studies. 

It began with an interest in discourses and discursive power and practice and its effects on population health. It then rose through rigorous engagements in joint advanced seminars in Kampala and Johannesburg, before finally finding focus in abortion care. This infancy stage was the most challenging, confusing, and yet enriching experience through which I discovered my ignorance, concretized my abstract concepts and acquired its communication art. The willingness to accept criticisms from peers and mentors, the realization that there is no shortcut to progress, and the willingness to move an extra mile in pursuing that idea, are some of the best lessons I draw from this phase.
Double Win! Awotidebe Awarded by the IPTTO and Appointed Vice Dean at OAU
Awotidebe Taofeek (Cohort One Graduate, Obafemi Awolowo University) was recently bestowed the Award of Excellent Performance in Research by the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO), Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, for outstanding achievements in research and exceptional contributions to promoting intellectual property assets in Obafemi Awolowo University. He was also elected as the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, for the 2020/2021 academic session.
 Marie Claire Set to Graduate from Wits in July
Marie Claire Uwamahoro (Cohort Seven Fellow, University of Rwanda), joins more of our fellows in their graduation from the University of the Witwatersrand in July 2021 after successfully completing all the requirements for the PhD degree.

We look forward to her graduation!
Watch: Charles Drago’s Covid-19 Bio-markers Project
Charles Kato Drago (Cohort Three Graduate, Makerere University) has recently been involved in a Covid-19 bio-markers project in a bid to understand group patients of Covid-19 and predict prognosis and mortality. The government of Uganda supports the project through the Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics.
Florence Participates in the UN Food Systems Summit
Florence Tushemerirwe (Cohort Eight Fellow, Makerere University) participated in the UN Food Systems summit discussions from June 14-15th. The theme for the virtual workshop was The Double-Burden of Malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Engaging Youth in Access to Nutritious Food. The format for this workshop was an Independent Summit Dialogue for the United Nations Food Systems Summit. The purpose was to explore important challenges facing the local food system in Sub-Saharan Africa and its relationship to the double burden of malnutrition in youth.  
PARTNERS NEWS
Why it’s Important to Improve Africa’s Research Output
Research output across the African continent is low. Many institutions that produce research are severely underdeveloped and underfunded. Many also have a major focus on undergraduate degrees and enrolments. This drive for an undergraduate degree has meant that postgraduate education and research is falling short.

In this episode of the Pasha podcast, our Co-director Sharon Fonn talks about the need to invest in Universities and research centers to improve research outputs in the continent.
CARTA Commences Course Review and Training of Trainers Development
CARTA has now commenced the Institutionalisation of the Advanced Research Training in Africa (iCARTA) project, which aims to mainstream the interventions of Faculty and Administrative Staff Seminars, Supervisors Workshops, and Joint Advanced Seminars in its partner Universities. This is in an effort to improve the quality of research training and research in Africa. The process to review the CARTA interventions’ course outlines and development and review of related digital resources for Training-of-Trainers (ToT) workshops has begun. This will strengthen the institutional facilitation capacities for partner institutions to be able to carry out the interventions. 
PUBLICATIONS

Experiences of Doctoral Students Enrolled in a Research Fellowship Program to Support Doctoral Training in Africa (2014 to 2018): The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa Odyssey

In this study published in PLOS ONE, 21 CARTA fellows, led by Folusho Balogun, who attended the fourth Joint Advanced Seminar in 2018, appraised the CARTA program from their perspective, specifically focusing on the organization of the program and its influence on the fellows’ individual and institutional development.
Associations Between Physical Functioning and Psychosocial Factors in Patients with Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus

Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) could impact both physical performance and psychological well-being. However, the link between physical functioning (PhF) and psychosocial factors (PsF) of patients with T2DM remains unclear. In this study published by the International Journal of
Diabetes and Clinical Research, Taofeek Awotidebe (Cohort One Graduate, Obafemi Awolowo University) investigated the associations between PhF and PsF in patients with T2DM.

Experiences of Health Care Providers Using Information and Communications Technology for Maternal and Child Health Care in Selected Health Facilities in Nigeria

Information and communication technology (ICT) interventions offer an effective approach to alleviating the health challenges, as well as improving health outcomes. To harness the value of ICT and facilitate its practicability for maternal and child health (MCH) care, it is important to explore the experiences of health care providers who are at the forefront of the Nigerian health system deploying ICT tools for MCH care. Oluwaseun Obasola (Cohort Three Graduate, University of Ibadan) writes more in Library Philosophy and Practice.
Single Motherhood, Social Independence and Non-communicable Disease (NCD) Outcomes among Young Females (15-24 years old) in South Africa

The relationship between social independence and NCDs suggests that policies and programmes in South Africa need to incorporate socioeconomic status as a determinant of disease and in particular, need to address socioeconomic indicators as additive measures and not autonomous indicators. In this study, published by AAS Open Research Nicole De Wet (Cohort One Graduate, University of the Witwatersrand) sought to determine the causal relationship between social independence and NCD outcomes among young, single mothers in South Africa.
Women Deprivation Index and Family Planning Utilisation in Urban Geography of West African Countries

In this study published by Frontiers in Global Women's Health, Jacob Mobolaji (Cohort Eight Fellow, Obafemi Awolowo University) aimed to investigate the extent to which women's deprivation status may influence modern family planning utilisation among urban women in West African countries adjusting for potential correlates and confounders.
Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles and Genes of Staphylococci Isolated from Mastitic Cow’s Milk in Kenya

Increasing numbers of potentially zoonotic multidrug-resistant (MDR) staphylococci strains, associated with mastitis in dairy cows, are being reported globally and threaten disease management in both animal and human health. However, the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance profiles of these strains, including methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS), in Kenya is not well known. Christine Minoo (Cohort Eight Fellow, University of Nairobi) in a study published in Antibiotics, investigated the drug resistance profiles and genes carried by staphylococci isolates from dairy cows in two selected counties in Kenya.
OPPORTUNITIES
African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence Pilot Programme | Call for Expressions of Interest
The African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence Pilot Programme (ARISE-PP) Grant is an opportunity for you to further develop your research career and become a principal researcher leading your own grant.

Deadline: July 30, 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

Off-Grid Cities: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Call
Call for applications for a PhD and two Postdoctoral Research Fellowship positions in the National Research Foundation (NRF) Off-Grid Cities project.

Deadline: July 31, 2021

Chalmers Medal Nominations are now Open!
The Chalmers Medal recognises researchers in tropical medicine or global health who demonstrate evidence of mentoring and professional development of junior investigators, and other forms of capacity building.

Deadline: July 19, 2021

The Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF) is accepting applications from early-career women researchers from, and currently employed in, Sub-Saharan African for a virtual workshop with expert facilitators on essential grant writing skills.

Deadline: July 08, 2021

Apply to be an AAS Affiliate
The AAS Affiliates Programme seeks early and mid-career scientists who demonstrate excellence in their development and application of science in Africa. These individuals become ‘Affiliate of the AAS’ for a period of five years during which they receive individualised professional development support and join a wider community of science leaders on the African continent.

Deadline: July 23, 2021

TWAS-CSIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme
This is for young scientists from developing countries who wish to pursue postdoctoral research in emerging areas in science and technology for which facilities are available in laboratories and institutes of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of India.

 Deadline: July 31, 2021

Conferences

ISQua's 37th International Conference

Join ISQua, Centro Regionale Gestione Rischio Clinico e Sicurezza del Paziente (GRC) and the Italian Network for Safety in Healthcare, in their next Conference. 

Dates: July 8-11, 2021

Find more opportunities on our website here.
Our Reads this Month
Is donor dependency stifling African health research?

A 2020 study found that Africa comprises 15% of the world’s population but bears 25% of the global disease burden and produces only 2% of the world’s research output. Though African-led research has the potential to lead to health improvement and economic transformation, it needs to overcome significant challenges such as poor funding and research infrastructure.
This article quotes our Co-director, Catherine Kyobutungi, and our Graduate, Henry Zakumumpa.

Countries spend less than 1% of GDP on research

No country in Africa is spending 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on research and development although, globally, spending on science and the number of scientists have been rising in the past five years, a trend that was pushed further by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to UNESCO.
RESOURCES
The Online Writing Lab

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material and provides these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Users worldwide can find information to assist with many writing projects. 

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
Share with us news and updates such as upcoming events, meetings, story ideas, new collaborations, new trials/updates, upcoming and published papers, policy briefs, community engagement activities, scholarships, what you are reading, if you won a grant, attending or about an upcoming conference, a call for applications/funding/papers, etc.

Share these before July 16, 2021, to be included in the next CARTA news & updates, by sending an email to cartaenquiries@aphrc.org.