First EDCTP and Africa CDC-supported Epidemiologists and Biostatisticians start their training

12 October 2021

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. The first eight of these “EPI-Biostat Fellows” have now enrolled in their Master’s training at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 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 that provide Master’s degree training in epidemiology and biostatistics as part of Africa CDC’s framework for public health workforce development.

The first eight EPI-Biostat fellows are:

  • Fredrick Cyprian Mwita

    National Institute for Medical Research, Tanzania

  • Akili Mwakabhana Mawazo

    Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania

  • Tseyon Tesfaye Tirfe

    Haramaya University, Ethiopia

  • Ilona Kakai

    Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University, Uganda

  • Veronica Moshokgo

    Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital, Botswana

  • George Kasera

    Ministry of Health, Kenya

  • Mary Wanja Njoroge

    Nairobi County Public Health Office, Kenya

  • Sarah Nyangu

    Center for Infectious Disease Research, Zambia

The next 142 EPI-Biostat fellows from the other nine consortia will be selected by the end of 2021.

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 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 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.

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