From 21st to 23rd February 2017, Uganda hosted the first international symposium on Community Health Workers (CHWs). The three-day event brought together more than 450 participants from 22 countries with the theme “contribution of CHWs in attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” Attendees included researchers, academics, practitioners, policy makers, donors and students.

With major funding support from the UK Department for International Development through the Tropical Health and Education Trust – and organized by the Makerere University School of Public Health (Uganda) and Nottingham Trent University (UK) in collaboration with Uganda’s Ministry of Health – the symposium provided a platform for various stakeholders interested in CHWs to learn, share and network.

In the build-up to the symposium, there were several online discussions on CHWs, including a thematic discussion on CHWs organized by Healthcare Information for All (HIFA). This discussion included voices of CHWs from around the world, including accredited social health activists from India and village health teams from Uganda. World Vision also held an essay competition related to the symposium theme as well as a blog series entitled, Visions of the future: Building Tomorrow's Community Health Workforce. In addition, there were robust conversations about the event on Twitter and Facebook.

 

In all, the symposium featured three keynote addresses, more than 140 oral and poster presentations, 13 panel discussions, and 2 workshops – as well as 15 local and international exhibitors. A highlight included sessions in which CHWs themselves talked about their work, including the benefits and challenges they face.

Several sub-themes regarding CHWs were presented and discussed at the symposium, including:

  • History and current state of CHW programs;
  • Community level innovations;
  • Mobile health;
  • Gender and ethics;
  • Training models;
  • Human resources for health;
  • Performance, motivation and satisfaction;
  • Leadership, governance and accountability;
  • Multi-sectoral collaboration;
  • Financing;
  • Sustainability;
  • Challenges and lessons learned; and
  • Research priorities.      

 In addition, delivery of services among CHWs was discussed, including specific areas such as: maternal, newborn and child health; HIV/AIDS and TB; malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia; and nutrition.  

From the deliberations of the symposium, several issues emerged that touch on multiple SDGs: CHWs not only contribute to health and wellbeing (SDG 3), but also ending poverty (SDG 1) and hunger (SDG 2), reducing inequalities (SDG 10), and improving water and sanitation (SDG 6) and global health partnerships (SDG 17). Indeed, it became clear that CHWs should be appreciated by all stakeholders – at the community level, health professionals, and policy makers – and their voices should be heard more often. Moreover, structures are needed to ensure the needs and concerns of CHWs reach the necessary authorities.

Discussions revealed that incentives are crucial to motivating CHWs, but may vary according to culture and contexts across countries. The need to manage CHW roles and responsibilities also emerged as a way to avoid work overload and exhaustion. With this in mind, particular attention should be given to voluntary CHW programs.

CHWs perform better if they are part of the formal health system and recognized for their work, and programs should be regularly evaluated for areas of improvement. And while countries can learn from each other’s successes and challenges, it was evident that local context must always be considered when considering CHW programs. To further improve worker performance, systemic health system challenges that have affected CHW programs for years must be addressed, particularly before new CHW programs are introduced.

 

The symposium attracted several local and international partners including USAID, UNICEF, Pathfinder International, Healthcare Information For All, CHW Central, REACHOUT Consortium, Health Systems Global, World Vision, AMREF Health Africa, Malaria Consortium, Living Goods, Advancing Partners and Communities, Makerere University Centre of Excellence for Maternal Newborn Health Research, Healthy Child Uganda, FHI 360, and The AIDS Support Organization.

 

The highlights of the symposium were presented at the Institutionalizing Community Health Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa in March 2017. And with more than 90% of symposium participants expressing a desire to have such an event every two years, the Makerere University School of Public Health and partners (including the Health Systems Global Thematic Working Group on Supporting and Strengthening the Role of Community Health Workers in Health System Development) are already beginning to plan the next event! 

Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) Hub for Research and Training in Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda) is a research and training platform established with grant support from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The project focuses on air pollution and health, occupational safety and health and climate change research. The Makerere University School of Public Health wants to hire, on contract basis, professionals in the following job positions. 

 

1. Job title: Field Researcher 1 (1position)

Job description

·       Conduct outdoor air pollution monitoring/exposure assessment field research

·       Use of Tablet/smartphones for data collection using REDCap

·       Manage study’s monitoring sites

·       Coordinating hospital data collection with assigned hospital staff

·       Participating in development of research objectives, design, and data collection for environmental health exposure and other related projects.

·       Work closely with research administrator and other GEOHealth team members

·       Collaborate and work harmoniously with GEOHealth Hub and MakSPH/CHS academic and admin support staff

·       Compile field research report periodically and provide timely report to the Project PI

·       Respond to grant calls related to this project

·       Communicate with partners effectively through pertinent modes of communication such as email and regular Skype calls as appropriate.

·       Carry out any other GEOHealth project related tasks as allocated by the supervisor

 

Qualification & required skills

·       BSc in Environmental Health, Environmental engineering or related Health Science fields is preferred

·       At least 2 years of field research experience

·       Experience with environmental health research, specifically monitoring sites/stations

·       Experience with hospital HMIS morbidity and mortality data collection

·       Excellent communication skills and fluency in English and Luganda

·       Computer skills required and familiarity with exposure equipment

·       Statistical software skills and knowledge

·       Female candidates are encouraged to apply

·       Possession of a certificate in protection of human subjects will be a key added advantage. A free course is available online at https://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php

 

2. Job Title: Field Researcher 2 (1position)

Job description

·       Field data collection for a school and community-based Children’s Health Study (CHS)

·       Use of Tablet/smartphones for data collection with REDCap,

·       Conduct lung-function tests for sampled children.

·       Use REDCap software for data management

·       Coordinate data collection with school sites

·       Coordinate data transfer to data manager/research team

·       Participate in research concept development, design, data collection of children’s health study and related projects

·       Respond to grant calls related to this project

·       Work closely with research administrator and other field researchers for effective implementation

·       Collaborate and work harmoniously with GEOHealth Hub and MakSPH/CHS academic and admin support staff

·       Compile field research report periodically and provide timely report to the project PI

·       Communicate with partners effectively through pertinent modes of communication such as email and regular Skype calls as appropriate

·       Carry any other GEOHealth Hub project related tasks as allocated by the supervisor

 

Qualification & required skills:

·       BSc Nursing is preferred, possession of Master of Health Services Research or other post graduate degree in Public Health will be added advantage

·       At least 2 years of field research experience

·       Experience with questionnaire administration (mobile/electronic and manual and use of REDCap an added advantage)

·       Physiological measurement/ lung function test field experience is an asset

·       Excellent communication skills and fluency in English

·       Computer and mobile technology skills as well as electronic medical data records preferred required

·       Female candidates are encouraged to apply.

·       Possession of a certificate in protection of human subjects will be a key added advantage. A free course is available online at https://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php

 

 

3. Job Title: Programmer/ Analyst (1 position)

Job Description

·       Data analysis and manage the data software for all research projects (OAP/time series, IAP, CHS)

·       Work closely with data manager, research administrator, hub manager/administrator and investigators

·       Compile performance periodically and report it to the data manager timely

·       Work in any related assignment pertaining to GEOHealth research activities

·       Communicate with partners effectively through pertinent media of communication such as Email and regular Skype calls as appropriate

 

Qualification & required skills:

·       Msc. in Biostatistics/statistics, information science or in related fields, PhD will be added advantage

·       Experience in Data Analysis of multi-site data and expertise in major data analysis software

·       Extensive experience with multi-country and multi-site research projects, experience with various types of quantitative analysis, strong proficiency in data management and analysis software.  

·       Health research experience

 

The following information applies for all positions

Screening process: Candidates for all positions are expected to go through rigorous recruitment processes based on document review and interview as appropriate.

Duration and condition of Employment: One Year with possibility of extension to another year based on GEOHealth Project need and performance.

How to apply: Qualified applicants should submit their applications with a cover letter specifying position being applied for, Cover letter, CV and credentials (Degree, Transcript, other relevant documents). These should be addressed/submitted to The Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health, Mulago National Referral Hospital Complex.

NB: Please not only successful candidates will be contacted.

Application deadline: 1600Hrs, Tuesday, 11th April, 2017.

The Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Innovation Exhibition Round 2 is scheduled to take place on Thursday April 6, 2017 in the  Makerere University Main Hall and Gardens adjacent to St. Augustine Catholic Chapel starting 8:30 am EAT to 4:00 pm EAT. From a pool of over 100 applications, RAN has shortlisted 29 potentially transformative innovative solutions with a working prototype to be exhibited to the public and a Panel of experienced and multidisciplinary Judges.

RAN's Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab) will use this opportunity to identify potentially impactful innovations that can be accelerated through its Resilience Innovation Acceleration Program (RIAP). RAN is keen to further identify and support local solutions that can help strengthen the resilience of African communities. These will later be transformed to address community challenges elsewhere beyond Africa.

RAN will recognize and support potentially impactful, promising and creative ideas from students, faculty and general community in the following fields:

  1.     Agriculture
  2.     Water
  3.     Entrepreneurship
  4.     Financial Inclusion
  5.     Livelihood Diversification
  6.     Health
  7.     Psychosocial
  8.     Governance
  9.     Gender Based Violence  

The best projects from the exhibition will receive grants ranging from US $7,500 – $15,000 to engage stakeholders to bring their ideas to scale and transform communities affected by effects of climate change and chronic conflict.

Additionally, every participant at the exhibition will be given an opportunity to vote for his or her BEST innovation for “Best Exhibitor Award”. We will recognize this Exhibitor too.

Faculty, students, local innovators, community, development partners and the general public are all invited to this Exhibition.

For more details please visit: www.ranlab.org.

 

 

PhD TRAINING OPPORTUNITY WITHIN THE HORZON 2020 SPICES CONSORTIUM FRAMEWORK AT MakSPH

 

Application deadline 15TH April 2017

 

SPICES Project: SPICES is an acronym that stands for Scaling-up Packages of Interventions for Cardiovascular disease prevention in selected sites in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is an implementation science project funded by the European Commission through the Horizon2020 research and innovation action. The project aim is to implement and evaluate a comprehensive cardiovascular disease prevention 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). The SPICES Consortium comprise of 6 Universities: University of Antwerp in Belgium (Coordinator), Makerere University in Uganda, University of Manchester and the Nottingham Trent University in the UK, Brest University in France and University of Limpopo in South Africa.

 

PhD opportunity: The SPICES project at Makerere University School of Public Health is seeking a suitably qualified, competent and motivated candidate for a doctoral position to join the study team. The aim of the PhD position is to enhance research training in the growing field of non-communicable diseases prevention and healthy life style promotion focusing on cardiovascular disease.  The PhD student will have the opportunity to contribute to the overall aim of the project. Reciprocally, the student will develop a career path in the growing field of cardiovascular disease prevention and health promotion. The student will be supported with a monthly stipend, tuition at Makerere University, and research costs will be supported.

 

Pre-requisite: The scholarship is open to candidates with a minimum of a master’s degree in medicine, social science, Environmental Health, Public Health, or any health-related degree.

 

Application package:

1.       A comprehensive curriculum vitae including relevant research and work experience

2.       Letter of motivation

3.       Copies of academic transcripts and degree certificates

4.       A concept note, 2-3 pages on improving access to CVD prevention, care and management services.

5.       Reference letter (2).

6.       Publication in a peer review journal would be an added advantage

 

Preference for this PhD opportunity will be given to a candidate who is more likely to demonstrate ability to contribute to the overall project aim.

 

Submission: Complete application package should be submitted to the Office of the Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health, P. O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda.  The application deadline is 15th April 2017

 

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