Friday Newsletter
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Dear Centre Leaders,
We hope you have had a good week.
We have the following items for your attention:
  • USAID urged to pay more attention to capacity building 
  • ‘Big Success Story’: Sri Lanka Is Declared Free of Malaria
  • A scholarship for African scientists
  • Visiting Fellowships 
  • SA research giants join forces
  • Nouna, partners organise workshop on M&E 
  • icddrb in a South-South Cooperation mission
1. USAID urged to pay more attention to capacity building 
Dr. Christine Mugasha of USAID (left) meeting the CMNHR team led by Associate Prof. Peter Waiswa (right).
USAID’s latest interest in implementation research is a welcome move but this needs to be complemented by strategic support to building the capacity of programme implementers.

The observation was made last week by Associate Professor Peter Waiswa during an interaction with the USAID Uganda’s Maternal and Child Health Programme Management Specialist Dr Christine Mugasha who had paid a courtesy visit to the Makerere University Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health Research. Prof. Waiswa also leads INDEPTH Maternal and Newborn Working Group.

“The new USAID thinking of documenting learning is very welcome and very critical especially after implementation because it gives chance to sharing the knowledge generated,” noted Prof. Waiswa who used the same meeting to urge the American Government to increase funding towards ensuring survival of mothers and newborns. Read more:

2.  ‘Big Success Story’: Sri Lanka Is Declared Free of Malaria
A worker in Colombo, Sri Lanka, fumigating buildings to control mosquitoes in 2011.
After a long struggle, Sri Lanka, the large island nation southeast of India, was declared free of malaria last week by the World Health Organization. It has been more than three years since the last case.

It is the second country in the region, after Maldives, to earn this distinction. Elimination of a major communicable disease is a remarkable achievement for both Sri Lanka and Maldives and for the developing world because just a handful of low and middle income countries have been able to reach this milestone.

“This is a big success story,” said Dr. Pedro L. Alonso, the director of the W.H.O.’s global malaria program. “And it’s an example for other countries.”

Sri Lanka almost succeeded in eliminating malaria 50 years ago, but its huge effort fell apart. The country became the example most frequently cited by malariologists to show how defeat could be pried from the jaws of victory. Details:

3. A scholarship for African scientists
Application deadline: 30 September 2016

The Africa London Nagasaki Scholarship Fund has been set up to support African scientists building a career in infectious disease research.

The scholarship will allow African researchers to undertake an MSc in a subject relevant to the control of infectious disease in the developing world at either the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Japan (NEKKEN) or at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK (LSHTM). Successful applicants will receive a maximum of US$50,000 each to cover tuition fees, travel and living expenses. The fund will support up to four scholarships per year.

 Applicants must be of African nationality and normally be resident in sub-Saharan Africa. They must have a first or upper second class BSc degree (or equivalent) in a relevant area and will usually have at least two years prior research experience. Candidates who apply to study in Japan must have a medical qualification and at least two years of clinical experience. 

More details about the nature of the scholarship fund, eligibility criteria and on how to apply can be found on  
4. Visiting Fellowships
The African Academy of Sciences has partnered with the Leading House Basel (University of Basel and Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute) to provide Visiting Fellowships to advanced PhD students and postdoctoral researchers working in global and environmental health and nanosciences. 

The fellowships cover stays in research groups, including field, laboratory and desk work for a period between 3 and 12 months. Researchers from East, Southern and West Africa are eligible to apply. 

Applicants from the three African regions must be submitted to the AAS by 30 September 2016.
Click HERE for full details of the call     
News from our member centres
1. SA research giants join forces
Capturing data in the field in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 
With effect from the 1st of October 2016, The Africa Centre for Population Health of the  University of KwaZulu‐Natal, an INDEPTH member, will merge with the KwaZulu‐Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K‐RITH) to  form the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI). The merged organisation will do business under the legal name of the  KwaZulu‐Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K‐RITH). 

The merger brings together the basic science research of K‐RITH and the population based surveillance and health  intervention of the Africa Centre into a new interdisciplinary research institute. Read more
2.  Nouna, partners organise workshop on M&E 
The 6th session of the regional workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation of programmes against malaria was held recently at Palm Beach Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The opening ceremony was officiated at by the country's Minister for Health, who in his speech commended the initiative. According to the minister, the workshop contributes to the enhancement of skills of professionals so they can effectively assess health projects.

The workshop was organised by the Nouna Health Research Centre, an INDEPTH member in Burkina Faso, and their partners including the Centre for International Health Research of the University of Ouagadougou and the MEASURE Evaluation of the United States.

The current session (sixth) was attended by 28 people from 10 countries.
3.  icddrb in a South-South Cooperation mission
Bangladeshi delegation in Myanmar.
A delegation of Bangladeshi health researchers, including Dr Iqbal Anwar, scientist and project director at icddr,b, along with senior representatives from the Bangladeshi government travelled to Myanmar in July to share experiences and discuss opportunities for increased bilateral cooperation in public health.

The visit highlighted the value of increased South-South collaboration and knowledge sharing to tackle emerging health problems in developing countries, particularly the rising incidence of chronic non-communicable lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Taking place in Yangon and Nay Tie Paw, Myanmar, it was part of the South-South Collaboration component of the EU-supported SHARE (Strengthening Health, Applying Research Evidence) initiative.

Attendants discussed a range of public health issues and opportunities for expanded cooperation between the two nations. Cost-effective interventions to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) came up as a major topic of conversation. Read more
Policy Engagement and Communications