Wednesday, 18 March 2015

2nd Conference for Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa Fellows held in Nairobi, Kenya



Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) today held a conference for its Cohort 2 Fellows for them to present papers from research that they have been conducting during the fellowship program. 

CARTA Fellows conference provides an opportunity for the Fellows to present their research findings to a wide audience drawn from different academic fields. This helps fulfil the vision of CARTA of building a vibrant African academy that is able to lead world-class multidisciplinary research that makes a positive impact on public and population health. 

Held at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya, alongside the ongoing Joint Advanced Seminars (JAS) trainings for Fellows, this year’s conference was the second one since the inception of the program. This conference was attended by an audience drawn from different faculties in different institutions, with different research interest as regards research on health. Researchers from the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) and other partner institutions implementing the CARTA program were also part of the conference attendees.

The papers presented at the conference were on different areas of health ranging from non-communicable to communicable diseases; others on HIV, Family Planning, Food Security, malaria, health of the aging, environmental health related issues and knowledge, attitudes and practices as concerns health. 

Longwe Herbert Hudson Thulasoni Cohort 2 CARTA Fellow gives a presentation on his research he has been conducting in Malawi

“The wide variety of issues being addressed by the Fellows as was witnessed through their presentations is a true reflection of the depth and breadth of the program,” said Chima Izugbara, Director of Research and Capacity Strengthening Division at APHRC.

Some of the findings coming from the conference included;
  • Risk reduction interventions are required to minimize unplanned pregnancies, STIs and HIV transmission by HIV+ adolescents.
  • The fact that communities perceive Post Abortion Care (PAC) positively suggests the possibility of its acceptance and increased uptake in settings where abortion victims are stigmatized like in Tanzania thus recommending for its availability at all levels of health facility.
  • Gender differentials exist in self-reported ill health among older persons in Uganda.
  • Brucellosis is a significant and neglected public health problem among human population living in livestock keeping and the risk is being aggravated by consumption of unpasteurized milk products. There is a need to initiate screening and early treatment of infected humans. Also, awareness of the public about brucellosis needs to be established especially on risk factors.
  • Rate of uptake of Modern Contraceptive (MC) is generally low. Both never and ever married women should be encouraged to uptake modern contraceptives.
  • There is a need for programs aimed at reducing food insecurity among the urban poor and investment in the education of the slum households may, in the long term, contribute to reduction in the prevalence of food insecurity.
This breadth is a confirmation of CARTA’s aims to foster vibrant and viable multidisciplinary research hubs at African universities and creating locally-trained internationally- recognized researchers on areas of health and population in Africa.
University of Nairobi, Moi University, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, United States International University and Daystar University are some of the institutions from which a section of the conference participants were drawn. 


Conference participants following proceedings
“The conference was very informative. I loved so much the medical related presentations. They were well researched and used current data and information. The presentations are generally well researched. I would not mind being part of such a conference anytime it is held,” remarked Judith Otele Karimi at the end of the conference. Judith is an epidemiologist coming from Daystar University and is the Quality Assurance and Benefits officer with the National Hospital and Insurance Fund in Kenya.

Cohort 5 CARTA Fellows and facilitators of the training sessions at the ongoing JAS sessions were also in attendance.

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