Fifteen “EPI-Biostat Fellows” start their Master’s training at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya

07 April 2022

The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) are partnering to train 150 epidemiologists and biostatisticians across Africa. Fifteen of these “EPI-Biostat Fellows” have now enrolled in their Master’s training at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). This highly anticipated new training programme will establish an African cohort of epidemiologists and biostatisticians through 10 grants supporting institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe that provide Master’s degree training in epidemiology and biostatistics as part of Africa CDC’s framework for public health workforce development.

Following a competitive recruitment process, the Strengthening Capacity for Epidemics Preparedness and Response in sub-Saharan Africa Project (SCEPRESSA) project selected 15 EPI-Biostat Fellows from a total of 351 applications. The Fellows are from seven sub-Saharan African countries: Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Speaking during the orientation ceremony, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua, urged the students to take full advantage of the scholarship programme and use the opportunity to be agents of change in their respective countries: “Take this scholarship opportunity seriously and make use of your skills to be the change that your organisation needs.”.

Boosting capacity in epidemiology and biostatistics

For decades, Africa has faced challenges in responding to public health emergencies. Epidemiological data is often unavailable or severely limited and there is a shortage of skilled personnel and systems to collect and analyse available data and efficiently translate them into policy and practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the severe shortages in the public health workforce, infrastructure and inadequate capacity for public health research and emergency response across Africa.

To address this capacity gap, EDCTP and Africa CDC partnered in a €7.5 million initiative to support institutions in Africa and Europe to train a cadre of public health workforce that will boost epidemiological and biostatistical capacity on the African continent through Master’s degree programmes in epidemiology and biostatistics.

Following a competitive call for proposals, 10 consortia, comprising 42 African and 9 European institutions, were supported. The three year training programmes started in September 2021. They aim to boost the capacity of National Public Health Institutes, Ministries of Health and other health institutions in Africa to collectively conduct public health research and effectively respond to disease emergencies across the continent.

The Fellows

The candidates who will start their Master of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics training at JKUAT are:

  • Abdulla Said Mohamed

  • Bosire Marren Moraa

  • Chematia Hazel

  • Cheptoyek Levi

  • Chilombe Timothy Justus

  • Jeomba Mwakodja Alisa

  • Kananura Jean Louis

  • Miatu Anne Nduta

  • Mutie Onesmus Muti

  • Nyibil Nyawela Simon

  • Nyoni Kenneth Thokozani

  • Ocheing Marlyn Atieno

  • Phiri Nomsa

  • Waqo Boru Huqa

  • Zammit Marthaclaire Kerubo

Africa CDC

Africa CDC is a specialised technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes. For more information, visit the Africa CDC website


The mission of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) is to reduce the social and economic burden of poverty-related diseases in developing countries, in particular sub-Saharan Africa, by accelerating the clinical development of effective, safe, accessible, suitable, and affordable medical interventions for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected infectious diseases. EDCTP is supported by the European Union under Horizon 2020, its Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. For more information, visit the EDCTP website