Fifteen “EPI-Biostat Fellows” start their Master’s training at the Kinshasa School of Public Health in the Democratic Republic of Congo

07 April 2022

The Kinshasa School of Public Health (KSPH) has enrolled 15 students into its Master’s training programme “MSc EpiBiostat” coordinated by Prof. Dr Mashinda Kulimba Désiré. The students are part of a group of 150 “EPI-Biostat Fellows” across Africa, supported by EDCTP and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). This highly anticipated new training programme will establish an African cohort of epidemiologists and biostatisticians through ten grants supporting institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. The Congolese Fellows recently started their training and are expected to significantly boost the country’s capacity to monitor and contain disease outbreaks on a provincial, national and regional level.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its neighbouring countries are faced with regular outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola, yellow fever, measles, cholera, poliomyelitis, monkey pox and, more recently, COVID-19. Serious funding and skills gaps place a high burden on its health systems, restricting capacity to monitor and contain these outbreaks. The training of the EPI-Biostat Fellows is therefore expected to have a high impact on DRC’s health systems at national and provincial levels. It is also expected to have a cross-border impact on outbreak management, considering the long border shared with several other countries in the region.

Boosting capacity in epidemiology and biostatistics

Africa has faced challenges in responding to public health emergencies over many decades. Epidemiological data are 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 and infrastructure and the 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 ten consortia, comprising 42 African and 9 European institutions, were supported. The three-year training programmes 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. All 150 EPI-Biostat fellows from the ten consortia will have started their training in the course of 2022.

The fellows

Fifteen students were selected from more than 100 applications for these prestigious Master’s fellowships. The students have knowledge and experience in disease surveillance and outbreak response from across the different regions of DRC, one of the largest countries in Africa. The knowledge generated by the programme is expected to benefit the research and policy community in the broader central African region and other francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Dr David Ntumba N'Kana

  • Dr Emmanuel Mapangu Bushabu

  • Dr Jacques Lomanga Lomboto

  • Dr Ebengo Betoko Yannick

  • Dr Kikwango Mamu Esther

  • Dr Abedi Maliro Papin

  • Dr Ndjeka Lohenda Marie-Helene

  • Dr Tresor Mabika

  • Dr Dende Tshonga Daniel

  • Dr James Ndoko Anzaka

  • Dr Blandine Kisangani Magayodre

  • Dr Bokpoy Benza Martin

  • Dr Rachel Bulakitadi Ngakiebe

  • Dr Luhembwe Mwana Ngongo Michel

  • Dr Iranga Barhabula Irene

Download this announcement in French (PDF)

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