News & Updates

October 05 Issue 44


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


Joint Advanced Seminar 4 Comes to a Close

After a six-week long training, JAS4 concluded in September marking the end of an intensive virtual training coupled with an in-country residential stay. At the end of JAS4, CARTA hosted the participating fellows at a town hall meeting to discuss various aspects of the training in addition to getting their feedback in order to continue improving future JAS trainings. The town hall was chaired by CARTA Co-Director, Catherine Kyobutungi and attended by all the members of the organizing team at Makerere University and the CARTA secretariat staff.

"The JAS 4 experience was good; from the virtual to the residential sessions. I didn't know I could use google classroom for teaching! It is now a new tool for me to incorporate into my work. Reflections about teaching large classes were beneficial to me and the sessions on academic leadership were very interesting!" said Valens Mbarushimana (Cohort Five Fellow, University of Rwanda), during the town hall.

8th Annual Joint Advanced Seminar 4 Conference

The climax of the Joint Advanced Seminar 4 (JAS4) is a conference in which CARTA fellows attending the JAS4 present key scholarly achievements out of their PhD work. The purpose of this conference is to: showcase progress, achievements and innovations from CARTA PhD fellows, disseminate PhD research findings, provide mentorship and networking opportunities, and broaden and strengthen training and research. This year CARTA held its 8th annual conference in which 27 fellows presented abstracts from their PhD work. For the first time, the conference this year was held virtually due to travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 


"As a host institution, Makerere University is confident that this conference publicizes the rigor of the CARTA PhD fellowship as fellows combine skills acquired across the different JASes into a single dissemination package" Charles Kato (CARTA Graduate and organizing committee member of the JAS4.)

Read more about the conference here and find the book of abstracts here.

Policy Communication Training by the Population Reference Bureau

CARTA secured a small grant from the Population Reference Bureau to support the participation of a few CARTA graduates, focal persons, and facilitators in a Training-of-Trainers for Policy Communication by the Population Reference Bureau in September. The ToT aimed to train the next generation of leaders to bridge the gap between research findings and the policy development process. The beneficiaries participated in a one-week intensive hands-on training, and will now work towards adopting the policy communication curriculum to their local contexts and build on their institutions and local organization's experience and networks with policymakers.


Felicitations! Caroline Graduates from the University of Nairobi direct and compelling headline

Caroline Sawe (Cohort Four Graduate, Moi University) graduated from the University of Nairobi in September. Her thesis was titled ‘Impact of Community Health Workers on nutritional status and cognitive development of children aged less than two years in Kisumu County, Kenya.’

We congratulate her on this achievement! 

Tumaini Selected as a Young Africa Leaders Fellow

Tumaini Malenga (Cohort Four Graduate, University of Malawi) was selected to be a Young Africa Leaders Fellow at the School of Transnational Governance at the prestigious European University Institute in Florence, Italy. This is a Pilot program that enables policy professionals from Africa to enhance their leadership skills.

Read more

Nkosiyazi Presents Paper at the ISWC

Nkosiyazi Dube (Cohort Four Graduate, University of the Witwatersrand) presented a paper at the international social work conference organized by the Association of South African Social Work Education institutions, under the theme, 'Pandemics, Poverty and Inequality: Sociale Work in the 21st Century. The conference was held virtually from September 01 to 03, 2021.

Double Win! Chisati Presents Paper at WCSM and is Appointed to the Malawi Anti-doping Organization

Enock Chisati (Cohort Seven Graduate, University of Malawi) presented a paper titled ‘Effects of maximal strength training on bone mineral density in people living with HIV: A randomised control study,’ at the World Congress of Sports Medicine on 24th September 2021. In addition, he was also appointed as a board member of the Malawi Anti-Doping Organisation (MADO).

Alonge and Team Win Grant from TETFUND

A research team at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria that includes Ayodele John Alonge (Cohort Four Graduate, University of Ibadan) as a co-investigator, has won the 2020 Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) National Research Fund amounting to US$26,119.47.

The research that will be carried out for a period of one year is on the 'Use of Learning Platforms and Ethical Behaviour of Library and Information Science Undergraduates in Nigeria.'

"The skills and knowledge I acquired from the CARTA PhD fellowship have positioned me with the capacity to add value to the team which emerged winner out of the many others that applied for this highly competitive grant, " Alonge said.

Godwin Presents Paper at the 69th International Congress of the GA

Godwin Anywar (Cohort Six Fellow, Makerere University) presented a paper titled 'Anti-HIV-1 activity of selected medicinal plant species used by traditional medicine practitioners in treating people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda,' at the 69th International Congress and annual meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant & Natural Product Research (GA). The event was held virtually and hosted from Bonn, Germany in September.

Besides, he also presented a paper at the Society for Economic Botany Summer Symposium titled 'Medicinal plants used by traditional medicine practitioners to boost the immune system in patients living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.'

"Presenting at or attending such meetings opens up great networking opportunities with experts in one's research area. It brings opportunities for research collaboration. By attending such meetings, one gets to know the latest research trends and innovations, as well as getting to meet the research leaders in one's field. Most importantly, such meetings offer a platform for one to disseminate their research findings to the international scientific community and get feedback on their work. This can help in improving the quality of the work," Godwin said.

Joint Advanced Seminar 4: An intriguing Digital Experience

This year's Joint Advanced Seminar 4 just came to a close and one of the participating fellows, Christine Mbindyo, shared this blog about her experience. Click on the link to read more.

"The whole JAS 4 experience was a very intriguing one for me. During the seven weeks, I was privileged to get exposed to various sessions such as being an educator, policy influencer, academic leadership, being a researcher, among others. These courses equipped me with critical skills and knowledge that will be useful for my doctoral journey and career in academia. My most memorable experience was working together online to develop a multidisciplinary proposal with a team put together within a very short time under challenging circumstances. The residential training was also quite exciting. It offered a protected time away from work and home to focus on the JAS activities. In addition, I enjoyed in-person interaction and discussion with other fellows in my country, something I had greatly missed during the online remote training."

Read more


CARTA Partners Annual Forum

CARTA hosted its partners at a two-day forum held virtually on September 27 and 28, 2021. The annual forum gives the CARTA partners an opportunity to be informed on the program’s progress. In this year’s forum, the partners deliberated on how to strengthen ownership and distributed leadership in the program. They also reflected on internationally competitive research, the knowledge management platform for increased societal impact (accessible at, CARTA priority areas amidst the pandemic and the research hubs, among others.

BOM and Funders Forum

CARTA hosted a board of management and funders forum on Sep 29, 2021, to deliberate and reflect on the strategic priority areas of the program. This followed the partners' forum that was held on September 27 & 28. 

Launch of the CARTA-Evidence Project

CARTA supported the development of the CARTA evidence website whose key functionalities include the bibliometric dashboard, which shows fellows’ productivity and contribution to science, and the publications, research design and data page, which has a searchable database of fellows’ published work listed on Scopus. The bibliometric dashboard was designed to demonstrate and support the impact of CARTA and similar public and population health networks in the region. The website’s creation was led by our focal person, Jude Igumbor from University of the Witwatersrand. It is still under review and can be accessed via this link:


Prevalence and factors associated with catastrophic health expenditure among slum and non-slum dwellers undergoing emergency surgery in a metropolitan area of South Western Nigeria

Out of Pocket (OOP) payment continues to persist as the major mode of payment for healthcare in Nigeria despite the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Although the burden of health expenditure has been examined in some populations, the impact of OOP among slum dwellers in Nigeria when undergoing emergencies is under-researched. In this study published in Plos One, Taiwo A Obembe (Cohort Five Fellow, University of Ibadan) and Sharon Fonn (CARTA Co-Director) sought to examine the prevalence, factors, and predictors of catastrophic health expenditure amongst selected slum and non-slum communities undergoing emergency surgery in Southwestern Nigeria.

Read more

The conceptualization of patient-centered care: A case study of diabetes management in public facilities in Southern Malawi

Martha Makwero's research at both the University of the Witwatersrand and KUHES: - Kamuzu University of Health Sciences Patient-centred care (PCC) is one of the pillars of Malawi’s quality of care policy initiatives. The role of PCC in facilitating quality service delivery is well documented, and its importance may heighten in chronic disease management. Yet, PCC conceptualization is known to be context-specific. Martha Makwero (Cohort Seven Fellow, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences), Adamson Muula and Jude Igumbor (CARTA Focal persons) aimed to understand the conceptualization of PCC amongst patients, healthcare providers (HCP) and policymakers in Diabetes Mellitus (DM) management study was conducted in DM clinics in Southern Malawi.

Read more

African and Asian Medicinal Plants as a repository for prospective antiviral metabolites against HIV-1 and SARS CoV-2: A mini-review

The worldwide burden of viral infections has triggered a resurgence in the search for new and more efficient antiviral drugs. Scientists are also repurposing existing natural compounds such as the antimalarial drug artemisinin from Artemesia annua L. as potential drug candidates for some of the emerging and re-emerging viral infections such as covid-19. Godwin Anywar (Cohort Six Fellow, Makerere University) in this paper published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, carried out a review to analyze the existing literature to explore the actual or potential natural antiviral compounds from African and Asian medicinal plants as lead compounds in the drug discovery process.

Read more

Familiar but neglected: Identification of gaps and recommendations to close them on exclusive breastfeeding support in health facilities in Malawi

Exclusive breastfeeding is widely accepted as a key intervention with proven efficacy for improving newborn survival. Despite international commitments and targets to support and promote breastfeeding, there are still gaps in meeting and maintaining coverage in many sub-Saharan African countries. Alinane Linda, (Cohort Two Graduate, University of Malawi) in this paper published in the International Breastfeeding Journal, aimed to triangulate the perspectives of health workers, mothers and their family members with facility assessments to identify gaps to improve breastfeeding support in Malawi.

Read more


Graduate Women in Science: National Fellowship Program

The Graduate Women In Science (GWIS) National Fellowship Program promotes knowledge in the natural and social sciences and encourages women’s academic and professional careers in the sciences. Awards will be made to women who hold a degree from a recognized institution of higher learning, who demonstrate outstanding ability and promise in research, and who are performing hypothesis-driven research at any institution in the U.S. or abroad.


Deadline: January 2022


More Details

Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie: Individual Fellowships

The Postdoctoral Fellowships action targets researchers holding a PhD who wish to carry out their research activities abroad, acquire new skills and develop their careers. 

Deadline: October 12, 2021.

More details

EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowships

All applications must involve movement between countries (detailed information about mobility requirements is listed in the EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowships guidelines).


Applications accepted throughout the year

More details

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: October 18, 2021 (for travel after 29 November 2021)

More details

Find more opportunities on our website here.

Disclaimer: The opportunities we share are mostly from external funders. Linking to an external site does not constitute an endorsement by CARTA.

Our Reads this Month

Viral Loads, Anthropologies of urgency in the time of COVID-19

Lenore Manderson (CARTA Facilitator) co-edited a book on COVID-19, Viral Loads, Anthropologies of urgency in the time of COVID-19, with UCL Press. The book focuses on how Covid-19 exploited, exposed and amplified inequality, structural violence, and racism worldwide. It is available free to download (and 99p for the kindle version).

Download it here

Want to know about vaccine rollouts in Africa? Click on a country here and find out

"At a time when the vaccine supply to Africa has increased, partly due to donations from high-income countries and partly due to access to more vaccine options such as Sinopharm and J&J, it is important to understand how that translates to vaccines into people’s arms. And to be able to track whether existing inequalities among African countries persists"- our Co-director, Catherine Kyobutungi writes in The Conversation.

Read it here

Challenges for young African scientists

Young scientists are crucial for Africa’s advancement and a necessity for the continent’s economic development. Yet, they face persistent barriers to success that cause them to leave their home countries or abandon a research career.

Read it here


30 Online Resources for PhD Students in 2021

You might find this range of online resources and tools useful.

Find out more.


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 October 22, 2021, to be included in the next CARTA news & updates, by sending an email to

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