News & updates
June 02 Issue 40
Happy new month! Welcome to another edition of the CARTA monthly updates. Read on to keep abreast with what is new.
CARTA Celebrates 100 Graduates: A Monumental Milestone
Shortly after our tenth anniversary, celebrated last year, CARTA now revels in surpassing the mark of 100 PhD graduates! CARTA has contributed to developing a vibrant African academy capable of leading world-class multidisciplinary research that positively impacts public and population health. Our goal is to strengthen the research ecosystem of African universities and support early career researchers to undertake their doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships on the continent and become internationally recognized research leaders, influencing society.
As we celebrate this milestone of exceeding 100 graduates, we will look at the contribution of our fellows and graduates to the research ecosystem in their institutions and Africa at large.
Great News! Two More CARTA Fellows Graduate
Join us in congratulating Justine Bukenya (Cohort Five Fellow, Makerere University) and Kaitesi Batamuliza (Cohort Four Fellow, University of Rwanda), who graduated from Makerere University in May 2021. For her PhD project, Kaitesi investigated the burden and care-seeking behaviour for ear infections in children under five in a district of Kigali city in Rwanda. On the other hand, Justine Bukenya assessed pregnancy planning and utilization of maternal health services (MHS) among female sex workers (FSWs) in Uganda.  

We are proud of their achievement and congratulate them on this great milestone!
Kagaha, Kolisa and Kaunda Set to Graduate from Wits
Alexander Kagaha (Cohort Seven Fellow, Makerere University), Yolanda Kolisa (Cohort Five, University of the Witwatersrand) and Blessings Kaunda (Cohort Seven, University of Malawi) will graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand in July 2021 after successfully completing all the requirements for the PhD degree.
We look forward to their graduation!
Okunola Defends Thesis
Okunola Oluseye (Cohort Seven Fellow, Obafemi Awolowo University) defended his PhD thesis titled ‘Sociological Analysis of Self-medication practices in the care of Under-five Children by Caregivers in Southwestern Nigeria.’

We congratulate him and await his graduation!
Creating Awareness on Food and Beverage Advertising to Children in Uganda
Florence Tushemerirwe (Cohort Eight Fellow, Makerere University) is participating in a research project to understand advertising patterns of unhealthy foods and non-alcoholic beverages towards children below 18 years in Uganda. The study seeks to promote regulated unhealthy food and sugar-sweetened beverage advertising.

During a media appearance, Florence discussed aggressive food advertising and the techniques used by the food industry, the demand for processed foods (food value addition), and the desire to reach out to customers. Watch the TV interview here.
This is part of her research co-sponsored by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovation Fund.

Read the Newspaper/online articles here and visit their website here.
Special Feature: Mobile Phone Use and Acceptability for the Delivery of Mental Health Information 
For the mental health awareness month in May, we invited our graduate Adeyinka Adefolarin (Cohort Three Graduate, University of Ibadan) to share an article based on her publication.

Teenage mothers are at a higher risk of depression and other mental health problems. The adolescent stage is a period of physical and psychological development with many identity crises that could predispose them to delinquencies and mental health issues. These teenage perinatal mental health problems may lead to poor outcomes, including parenting with anger, hatred, neglect, poor child’s physical and psychological development, and mother’s poor quality of life
African Countries Must Muscle up Their Support and Fill Massive R&D Gap
Fredros Okumu (Ifakara Health Institute) and Catherine Kyobutungi (APHRC), in collaboration with other authors (Ngozi Erondu, Janet Midega, Emelda Okiro, and Ifeyinwa Aniebo), penned this second letter, now calling on African political and research leaders to take greater responsibility to streamline research programmes and funding. They emphasise that responsibility for addressing the current gaps in research and development lies with the international community – as well as with African governments and their institutions.

Economic costs of terminal care for selected non-communicable diseases from a healthcare perspective: a review of mortality records from a tertiary hospital in Nigeria

This study by Adesola Olumide (Cohort Three Graduate, University of Ibadan) published in the BMJ Open estimated the economic cost of selected NCDs—lung cancer, liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. These diseases are known to be associated with key modifiable health risk behaviours (smoking and alcohol use), which are prevalent in Nigeria and often commence during the adolescent years.
Factors associated with adverse nutritional status of children in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from the Demographic and Health Surveys from 31 countries

Using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) of 31 countries, which involved 189,195 children under age five, Sulaimon Adedokun (Cohort One Graduate, Obafemi Awolowo University), examined the factors that influence the adverse nutritional status of children in sub-Saharan Africa. The study published in Maternal and Child Nutrition has shown that efforts at improving the nutritional status of children should include poverty alleviation initiatives at individual and household levels, an increase in women's educational level and improvement in living conditions in rural areas.
Exposure to diverse Plasmodium falciparum genotypes shapes the risk of symptomatic malaria in incident and persistent infections: A longitudinal molecular epidemiologic study in Kenya

In this study published in Europe PMC, Judith Mangeni (Cohort Three Graduate, Moi University) investigated how new, recurrent, and persistent Plasmodium falciparum infections were associated with the odds of developing symptomatic compared to asymptomatic malaria. Will repeated exposure to malaria infections protect against symptomatic progression, as people develop adaptive immunity to infections acquired over time? Read more to find out what the study concluded.

Food Environment in and around Primary School Children’s Schools and Neighborhoods in Two Urban Settings in Kenya

The findings in this study by Rose Opiyo (Cohort One Graduate, University of Nairobi) in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health highlight differences in availability of healthy foods and unhealthy foods across types of food places and neighborhood income levels and inform public health interventions aimed at promoting healthy food environments in Kenya. The study provides an overview of primary school children's food environment in two urban settings in Kenya.
Digital health information technology utilization for enhanced health services delivery in Africa: Unravelling barriers to adoption among Primary healthcare providers
In this special volume of SEEJPH, Chinenyenwa Ohia (Cohort Ten Fellow, University of Ibadan) seeks to understand the landscapes, issues and barriers to utilization of digital health at the Primary Health Care levels.  There is a critical need to determine the current levels of knowledge, skills, attitude, practice and readiness to adopt digital health in service delivery by healthcare workers at the Primary Health Care levels across the continent.
The role of ICT in Supporting students experiencing barriers to learning in the ODeL
Skye Adams (Cohort Nine Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand) contributed a chapter to the book Empowering Students and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality Through IC. (Vol. 49). Brill Sense. The chapter emphasizes the importance of instructors being innovative and putting in the work that is required to make sure learning via ICT in ODeL is accessible and inclusive of all students. They further argue that instructors need to have the necessary skills and knowledge to mitigate the unintended barriers to learning when using ICT in ODeL. These barriers to learning if not addressed serve to exclude and prevent epistemological access to the marginalised students ODeL serves. 
International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC) Nomination call for the Therapies Scientific Committee
To best represent the worldwide rare diseases community in its full width and complement the current membership, the TSC has two openings for new members who are from the following regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, or South America.

Deadline: June 15, 2021

The AGNES-BAYER Science Foundation Research Grant for Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainable Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa is open to junior researchers (PhD students) from sub-Saharan African countries and aims to strengthen their scientific capacities in research fields of biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture. Benefits include a grant of up to EUR 7000.

Deadline: June 30, 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

Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science
Nature Research Awards for Inspiring Women in Science are now open for applications. Applicants must hold a PhD degree or a medical degree, or other type of doctorate by dissertation obtained after 31st December 2011.

Deadline: June 20, 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 Seed Grant for New African Principal Investigators (SG-NAPI)
Under this scheme, grants are awarded to promising high-level research projects in Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Information Computer Technology, Mathematics, Medical Sciences and Physics carried out in African countries lagging in science and technology identified by TWAS.

 Deadline: July 27, 2021


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
Medical statisticians disentangle factors contributing to deadly childhood diarrhea
This article quotes our Cohort Two Graduate Adeniyi Francis from the University of Ibadan. The article is based on a study that found that diarrhea not only is influenced by individual demographic factors but also associated with less-tangible factors, such as access to education and mass media.

Hearing loss is a neglected hazard for miners in South Africa

Read more from this article in The Conversation by Nomfundo Moroe (Cohort Six Graduate, University of the Witwatersrand).

African countries must muscle up their support and fill massive R&D gap

This second letter calls on African political and research leaders to take greater responsibility to streamline research programmes and funding.

Career resources for PhD students

This collection of articles and resources from across Nature Research looks at the PhD from a range of different perspectives.

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 June 18, 2021, to be included in the next CARTA news & updates, by sending an email to