News & updates
March 2 Issue 37
Happy new month! Welcome to another edition of the CARTA monthly updates. Read on to keep abreast with what is new at CARTA! What is more, you may learn of an opportunity that suits you!
CARTA Newsletter is Out!
In this issue, we celebrate ten years of CARTA’s contribution to the development of a vibrant African Academy. Who else to reflect on the decade better than a funder who has been with us all along? Besides, we delve into going virtual and local and how CARTA adapted to the ‘new normal’ even as we marked the #CARTA10 celebrations. Speaking of new, we introduce Cohort 10 fellows and the incoming Board Chairperson, Funke Fayehun, who promises to “do more and go further.” Also, check out Jude Igumbor’s in-depth take on health research in Africa and catch up with one of our latest graduates as she speaks to us on her captivating work on the intersection of design and health.

Happy reading!

In-Country Joint Advanced Seminar 3
The two-week Joint Advanced Seminar 3 (JAS3) residential training just came to its successful conclusion! Participating fellows from Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, and Malawi had been accommodated at a common facility from February 17 in their home countries to maximize protected time to advance their PhD dissertation and publications. During the two weeks, the fellows had scientific blitzes sessions, a blend of analysis and writing, work in progress sessions, and manuscript clubs. The highlight was a public lecture by Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor, Honourable Commissioner for Human Resources, Science, Technology, African Union Commission, on February 25, 2021.
Prof. Agbor Calls for More Investment in Science and Technology in Africa
The 8th Public Lecture of the Joint Advanced Seminar 3 was delivered by Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, the Honourable Commissioner for Human Resources, Science, Technology, African Union Commission on February 25, 2021. The theme of the lecture was Science, Technology and Innovation: The Catalyst for Development of the Africa We Want.
In her lecture, Prof Agbor spoke of the need to invest more in innovation for development. “As a continent, we should invest more in Science, Technology, & Innovation and put in place the needed infrastructure & human resource. Further, we must invest in education, making it top of the list if we are to deliver world-class graduates," she said.

Read more here and watch the recording of the event here.
Update: Virtual Supervisors Workshop and Joint Advanced Seminar 2
A supervisors workshop for Cohort 10 fellows and one Cohort 9 Fellow who are now in JAS 2 is planned for March 25, 2021. This will be a one-day virtual workshop facilitated by the University of the Witwatersrand. 
Besides, the face-to-face Joint Advanced Seminar 2 (JAS2) that was to be held in South Africa in March 2021 will also take place virtually due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The online clinics will seek to help fellows develop their PhD protocol to move to the next stage of their research process.

Adetutu Presents at the Inaugural Population Association of America virtual Applied Demography Conference
Adetutu Olufemi Mayowa (Cohort Seven Graduate, Obafemi Awolowo University), presented two papers entitled ‘Age Differentials in Maternal Morbidity in Nigeria’ and ‘Under-Five Mortality in Nigeria: Do Brass' and Trussell' Indirect Techniques Differ’? at the Inaugural Population Association of America Virtual Applied Demography Conference on February 2 - 4, 2021.  

Adetutu had this to say about the presentations: “The conference provided an opportunity to join fellow applied demographers to share my research findings, receive feedback on my research papers from trusted and revered peers, and strengthen the research network within the entire applied demography community. It was an opportunity to connect with the applied demography community and get critical inputs on my papers.”
Ojo Presents at the International Sociological Association Forum
Melvin Ojo Agunbiade (Cohort Three Graduate, Obafemi Awolowo University) presented two papers at the International Sociological Association under two Research Committees. He presented ‘Talking about Sexual Health Concerns in Old Age: Implications for Post-Reproductive Sexual Health Promotion’ to the Sociology of Health research committee and Unmet Sexual Health Communication Need and Perceived Barriers to Open Communication between Older Adults’ to the Sociology of Ageing research committee.
 “The virtual space provided a rare opportunity for me to share findings from the CARTA re-entry grant. There was no need for travel plans and the headache of securing a visa to attend the conference. I also participated in different sessions, including some topics under Professional Development.” Melvin said.

Viva! Mukara and Justine Defend their PhD
Mukara Batamuliza Kaitesi (Cohort Four Fellow, University of Rwanda) and Justine Bukenya, (Cohort Five Fellow, Makerere University), successfully defended their PhD Thesis in February 2021. Mukara’s thesis was on 'The burden and care-seeking practices for ear infections in children under five in a district of Kigali city, Rwanda' while Justine’s looked into 'Pregnancy planning and utilization of maternal health services by female sex workers In Uganda.' 

Congratulations to both fellows!
Macellina Secures Extra Grant
Macellina Yinyinade (Cohort Six Fellow, Obafemi Awolowo University) led a team that secured a grant from the COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund. The team’s project is on "Socio-Cultural Dynamics in the Transmission of COVID-19 and Experience of Intimate Partner Violence amongst Women in Urban and Rural Communities in southwest Nigeria." It aims to identify the social-cultural factors that may drive COVID-19 transmission in Nigeria. Furthermore, it seeks to determine the prevalence of IPV, compare the forms of IPV among women before and during the lockdown, explore the women’s experiences of IPV due to the pandemic's influence, and design an intervention for victims’ counseling support and treatment.
Virtual Joint Advanced Seminar 3: A fellow’s Experience
Lindiwe Farlane (Cohort Eight Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand) shares her experience of the just concluded Joint Advanced Seminar 3 (JAS3).

"Initially, I was worried about the online experience due to the different time zones, internet connectivity issues, too much screen time, and family/child care issues. To my surprise the glitches were minimal, and I enjoyed the entire JAS 3 seminar, both online and the residential sessions. The group allocations have been well thought, and it is helpful to work with people working on similar topics and getting additional advice from other fellows."~Lindiwe

Institutional Projects Concluded at Partner Institutions
Two of our partner institutions; Makerere University and Obafemi Awolowo University, have completed their institutionalization projects. Makerere University’s project was on strengthening the capacity for doctoral training and supervision at the university: a multidisciplinary doctoral students and supervisors’ mentorship approach. Obafemi Awolowo University on the other hand was working on an intervention toward Strengthening Research Training in the University.  
This is part of CARTA’s approach to strengthen the human resources and university-wide systems resources critical to the success and sustainability of its programs.

Catherine Kafu (Cohort Eight Fellow, Moi University) Published Exploring media framing of abortion content on Kenyan television: a qualitative study protocol in BMC Reproductive Health. The study seeks to investigate the framing of abortion in TV news items on three leading Kenyan TV outlets over a period of 3 years.

Mpho Molete (Cohort Six Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand) published Perceptions of provincial and district level managers’ on the policy implementation of school oral health in South Africa in BMC Health Services Research. The study sought to describe provincial and district level managers’ perceptions of school oral health policy and to identify gaps and conditions needed for successful policy implementation.

Adams Skye (Cohort Nine Fellow, University of the Witwatersrand) published ‘We are in this together’ voices of speech-language pathologists working in South African healthcare contexts during level 4 and level 5 lockdown of COVID-19 in the South African Journal of Communication Disorders. The study aimed to better understand how the workspace of SLPs in hospitals was impacted by COVID-19, how they experienced this process and the implications for them as healthcare professionals in both the private and public sector throughout South Africa. 
Florence Basiimwa (Cohort Eight Fellow, Makerere University) published “Mine did not breastfeed”, mothers’ experiences in breastfeeding children aged 0 to 24 months with oral clefts in Uganda in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. This study explored maternal perceptions, experiences with breastfeeding and support received for their children 0 to 24 months with a cleft attending Comprehensive Rehabilitative Services of Uganda (CoRSU) Hospital.

Sunday Adedini (Cohort One Graduate, Obafemi Awolowo University) published the following two articles:
  • Approaches, achievements, challenges, and lessons learned in setting up an urban-based Health and Demographic Surveillance System in South Africa in Global Health Action. This paper describes the approaches, achievements, challenges and lessons learned in setting up the urban health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) site in a low-middle-income setting in Soweto and Thembelihle and its surrounding informal settlements in Johannesburg South, Gauteng Province, South Africa.

  • Changes in contraceptive and sexual behaviours among unmarried young people in Nigeria: Evidence from nationally representative surveys in PLOS ONE. This study assessed changes in SRH behaviours of unmarried young people aged 15–24 and associated factors over a ten-year period in Nigeria.
Creating the Healthiest Nation: Strengthening Social Connectedness
The American Public Health Association is now accepting abstract submissions for oral and poster presentations for the APHA 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo. 

Application deadline: March 21, 2021

Wellcome Open Research Fund
This funding supports researchers to develop and test incentives for making health research more open, accessible and reusable.

Concept note deadline: March 12, 2021.

Wellcome Innovator Awards: May 2021 Round
These awards support researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health.

Application deadline: May 24, 2020

Victor Rabinowitch Memorial Award for Young Leaders in International Scientific Cooperation
This award will recognize and support research, analysis, or organizational work of young leaders in international scientific cooperation. Additionally, the award aims to encourage a younger generation's pursuit of opportunities to affect policy in these areas.

Application deadline: May 31, 2021

McGill Summer Institute Online Courses Now Open

The McGill courses on infectious diseases and global health are now open.

For additional questions, please contact

Public Engagement Masterclass (Virtual)

The Public Engagement Masterclass supports researchers from all disciplines who want to embed public engagement as a leadership quality in their career portfolio. The programme will help delegates consider their own context for public engagement with research, encouraging reflection, building knowledge and sharing tools for making tangible interventions in public and institutional settings.

Application and bursary deadline: 18 May 2021

Our Reads this Month
" We must be deliberate in the narratives we create about health equity, starting with our language (such as “achieve,” “disparities,” and “at-risk”)" ~ Ryan J. Petteway

Opinion: 3 Ways of Creating Impactful Research
"Any money spent without critically diagnosing the root causes of the development problem and without drawing on evidence of effectiveness is potentially a missed opportunity to do so."~Marie Gaarder & Emmanuel Jimenez .

This blog post looked at the breadth of the work performed by African researchers and institutions supported by (CARTA) in a blog series that explored the DELTAS Africa-funded consortia and how they were able to support an Africa-wide response to COVID-19, influencing research and policy across the continent and beyond.
Useful YouTube Channels and Videos for Post-graduate Students

In this article find recommendations for useful YouTube channels and videos for post-graduate students.
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.

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