CAPACITY STRENGTHENING & BUILDING
Capacity strengthening is a key part of the ERASE-TB work plan. Within the consortium the main area of capacity strengthening is through the training of PhD students, with at least one PhD student recruited in each of the African countries: Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. These students will have joint supervision by scientists from across the consortium, and the experience of being part of a large international multi-centre consortium. This will increase scientific and research capacity through the training of these local students.
In addition junior and middle grade researchers across all sites will be invited to online seminars organised at the different institutions. This will include PhD meetings, upgrading and pre-viva PhD seminars and other research meetings. Also regular online teaching seminars will be organised focused on data management, statistics, study design, quantitative and qualitative data collection. These seminars will be open to all researchers, study staff and students.
TB laboratory capacities are well established at all three African sites. Standard operating procedures will be exchanged between the three sites. Each site will offer an internship to biomedical scientists in their last year of their studies or to recently graduated biomedical scientists (one per site – 6 months per internship).
Experience in field studies, household contact tracing, and in the use and implementation of diagnostic tests will also be available to consortium members through the research being conducted. All members of the partner teams will also gain both additional experience in conducting field trials of diagnostic tests, but in collaborating within a consortium, a key skill for successful national and international research.
Our ERASE-TB Team is committed to fostering new talent and to working in partnership with talented PhD and MSc students. Throughout their studies, our students will further develop their critical thinking, research, analytical and communication skills which are globally valued and incredibly beneficial both individually and to society at large by contributing to policy and decision making processes. Research is crucial to social and economic development, and is essential to discover which diagnostics and treatments work best and discovering new approaches to disease management and improving quality of life.
Denise is a Medical Doctor currently working for Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS), Mozambique, as a researcher in the field of TB and infectious diseases. For the past three years, she has focused on improving TB diagnostics and treatment outcomes for children and adolescents locally. As of 2021 she has been accepted as a PhD candidate at LMU’s PhD in Medical Research – International Health program. Her main research interests involve Paediatrics, Immunology and Lung Health.
Research: Pulmonary Function Outcomes in Children with Presumptive TB
In adults, several studies reported a decline in lung function following a clinical or microbiological TB diagnosis. While spirometry has been used to understand lung function in children with HIV, few spirometry data exists in children following respiratory acute respiratory infection, let alone Pulmonary TB. The proposed research aims to describe the impact of TB and other respiratory diseases on lung function, including changes in lung function during and after treatment and characterize residual lung impairment as well as the associated risk factors.
Supervisor: Dr. Celso Khosa, MD PhD. Instituto Nacional de Saúde, Mozambique.
Start date: October 2021
Claire is a Respiratory registrar and Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD fellow in Global Health Research at LSHTM. Her research interests are in tuberculosis and chronic diseases, particularly chronic respiratory disease including post-TB lung disease in resource-limited settings.
Research: An evaluation of multimorbidity among TB-affected households (working title).
Claire's PhD, funded through a Wellcome Clinical PhD Fellowship in Global Health Research, will be based in Zimbabwe at the Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI) as part of the Zim-LSHTM Research Partnership. The project is embedded in ERASE-TB and will evaluate multimorbidity among TB-affected households, including exploring the potential gains from integrating chronic disease screening with that for TB among TB household contacts. Through the research, we will seek to develop an integrated multi-disease health check for TB-affected households in Zimbabwe.
Supervisors: Professor Katharina Kranzer (LSHTM), Professor Katherine Fielding (LSHTM) and Dr. Justin Dixon (LSHTM).
Start date: October 2021
Alfred was born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. He is a medical Doctor and holds a Bachelor degree in Medicine from the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). He worked as a certified medical practitioner at the Marie Stopes International Hospital, Dar-Es-Salaam before joining the National Institute for Medical Research in 2019. Since then he is working under the Department of Tuberculosis and Emerging Diseases as an Investigator and Clinical Research Coordinator of ongoing studies at the Mbeya Medical Research Centre (NIMR-MMRC) and oversees activities related to coordination of projects at the site.
His main area of research interest is on infectious diseases in particular TB, primarily centered on the diagnostics field.
Research: Novel biomarkers for detection of Tb disease and treatment response monitoring in adolescents and adults in Tanzania.
The proposed PhD project will be nested within the EDCTP-funded ERASE-TB study and the affiliated institution is CIHLMU Center for International Health at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
Supervisors: Dr. Norbert Heinrich, Division of infectious diseases, Medical Centre of the University of Munich; Dr Nyanda Elias Ntinginya, NIMR-MMRC.
Start date: October 2021
Tinotenda is a TRENT COVID-19 fellow with a public health background and experience of over 13 years in governmental and NGOs. He has a Master of Public Health (MPH) International Development from the University of Sheffield where he was awarded a public health and international development prize for excellence.
Research: Understanding the direct and indirect effects of the SARS CoV 2 pandemic on the health care usage and service in Zimbabwe
The research originally intended to consider the impact of COVID-19 on TB affected households but the unforeseeable (and unavoidable) effects of the pandemic in delaying the start of ERASE-TB, necessitated a slightly adjusted focus in order to utilise the expertise of a talented student in conducting a valuable piece of research.
The mixed method study seeks to understand the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic on health care service provision in Zimbabwe, using maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) services as a case study. In responding to COVID-19, rapidly devised polices aimed at preventing transmission (as opposed to ensuring continuity of service) have been implemented differently and differentially. Understanding how these have gone on to impact the health care services will be key to crafting future policies of similar nature both in the context of COVID 19 and future emergencies.
Supervisors: Professor Katharina Kranzer (LSHTM), Dr Justin Dixon (LSHTM) and Professor David MacCoy (QMUL).
Start date: September 2020
I am a medical laboratory scientist registered with the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientists Council of Zimbabwe (MLCSCZ). My expertise is in clinical laboratory testing and sampling for research and experimental studies. I am currently involved in the ERASE-TB project where I perform routine diagnostic testing of specimens for early tuberculosis detection.
I am also registered for a MSc Infectious Diseases at LSHTM. I am looking forward to developing my analytical skills in clinical research with the goal of pursuing a career as a researcher.