Post-doctoral position available at AHRI

This eighteen-months Post-doc position will support the work of the research vision and objectives, data and methodology, and omics workstreams of the CE-APCC. The work will happen in several phases with the first phase a landscape review of population cohorts in Africa with regards to their research visions and aims, scope for data and methodological harmonization, and opportunities for omics approaches. During the second phase, the candidate will organize and facilitate a series of thematic workshops with stakeholders in Africa to discuss and enhance the landscape review. This information will be summarized in a participatory pathway impact analysis. The third phase will build a consensus on the research vision and objectives for the APCC and opportunities for omics, data, and methodological advances. In the final phase the candidate will participate in the writing of the final APCC blueprint. The candidate will work with three other postdoctoral fellows on this project who are based in Malawi and Kenya.

This is an exciting opportunity for a postdoctoral candidate to work directly with leading scientists in Africa in the fields of population, public health, data, and omics sciences. The candidate will work under the direct supervision of Dr Kobus Herbst, the co-lead of the CE-APCC; Drs. Anjali Sharma, Jacques Emina and Mercy Wanjala, conveners of the Research Vision and Objectives workstream; Drs. Agnes Kiragga and Sikhulile Moyo, co-leads of the Data & Methodology workstreams; and Prof Michele Ramsay, lead of the Omics workstream.

It is an unprecedented opportunity to explore the research landscape of the most important population cohorts, including the more than 30 health and demographic surveillance systems in Africa and build an invaluable network of scientists in Africa as a resource for a scientific career that will positively impact of the health and wellbeing of the African population. This work will result in several publications documenting the landscape review and the process of establishing the APCC.

Qualifications and experience:

PhD in a relevant subject
Strong systematic review skills
Ability to prepare results for publication and draft own manuscripts
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Self-motivated, able to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team
Good interpersonal skills and team orientated
Please click here to apply. Closing date is Friday, 21 October 2022.

The salary for this position depends on previous experience and brackets are according to AHRI’s official scheme and NRF grades, which will be without tax deduction due to tax exemption status for postdoctoral fellows.

Long covid—an update for primary care

#LongCOVID (prolonged symptoms following covid-19 infection) is common.
The mainstay of management is supportive, holistic care, symptom control, and detection of treatable complications.
Many patients can be supported effectively in #primaryhealthcare by a GP with a special interest…more

WHO: More than half of child deaths are due to conditions that could be easily prevented or treated given access to health care and improvements to their quality of life

Background Evidence has been accumulating that community health workers (CHWs) providing evidence–based interventions as part of community–based primary health care (CBPHC) can lead to reductions in maternal, neonatal and child mortality. However, investments to strengthen and scale–up CHW programs still remain modest.

Methods We used the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) to estimate the number of maternal, neonatal and child deaths and stillbirths that could be prevented if 73 countries effectively scaled up the population coverage of 30 evidence–based interventions that CHWs can deliver in these high–burden countries. We set population coverage targets at 50%, 70%, and 90% and summed the country–level results by region and by all high–burden countries combined. We also estimated which specific interventions would save the most lives.

Findings LiST estimates that a total of 3.0 (sensitivity bounds 1.8–4.0), 4.9 (3.1–6.3) and 6.9 (3.7–8.7) million deaths would be prevented between 2016 and 2020 if CBPHC is gradually scaled up during this period and if coverage of key interventions reaches 50%, 70%, and 90% respectively. There would be 14%, 23%, and 32% fewer deaths in the final year compared to a scenario assuming no intervention coverage scale up. The Africa Region would receive the most benefit by far: 58% of the lives saved at 90% coverage would be in this region. The interventions contributing the greatest impact are nutritional interventions during pregnancy, treatment of malaria with artemisinin compounds, oral rehydration solution for childhood diarrhea, hand washing with soap, and oral antibiotics for pneumonia.

Conclusions Scaling up CHW programming to increase population–level coverage of life–saving interventions represents a very promising strategy to achieve universal health coverage and end preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030. Numerous practical challenges must be overcome, but there is no better alternative at present. Expanding the coverage of key interventions for maternal nutrition and treatment of childhood illnesses, in particular, may produce the greatest gains. Recognizing the millions of lives of mothers and their young offspring that could

be achieved by expanding coverage of evidence–based interventions provided by CHWs and strengthening the CBPHC systems that support them underscores the pressing need for commitment from governments and donors over the next 15 years to prioritize funding, so that robust CHW platforms can be refined, strengthened, and expanded... more

Role of Local Evidence in Transferring Evidence-Based Interventions to Low- and Middle-Income Country Settings: Application to Global Cancer Prevention and Control.

PURPOSE: Although the global burden of cancer falls increasingly on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), much of the evidence for cancer prevention and control comes from high-income countries and may not be directly applicable to LMIC settings. In this paper, we focus on the following question: When the majority of the evidence supporting an evidence-based intervention or implementation strategy comes from high-income countries, what local, contextual evidence is needed when transferring and adapting an intervention or strategy to a specific LMIC setting?

METHODS: We draw on an existing framework (the Population, Intervention, Environment, Transfer-T process model) for assessing transferability of interventions between distinct settings and apply the model to two case studies as learning examples involving implementation of tobacco use treatment guidelines and self sampling for human papillomavirus DNA in cervical cancer screening.

RESULTS: These two case studies illustrate how researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and consumers may approach the need for local evidence from different perspectives and with different priorities. As uses and expectations around local evidence may be different for different groups, aligning these priorities through multistakeholder engagement in which all parties participate in defining the questions and cocreating the solutions is critical, along with promoting standardized reporting of contextual factors.

CONCLUSION: Local, contextual evidence can be important for both researchers and practitioners, and its absence may hinder translation of research and implementation efforts across different settings. However, it is essential for researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders to be able to clearly articulate the type of data needed and why it is important. In particular, where resources are limited, evidence generation should be prioritized to address real needs and gaps in knowledge…more

Call for applications: Seed Pilot Project opportunities