CDAE: Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiologists in Eastern Africa Region

Project at a glance

Coordinator: Dr Hesborn Wao, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Kenya
Consortium partners: African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Amref International University (AMIU), Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) in Kenya and Lund University, Sweden
Country of Fellow: Kenya, Malawi, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
Grant number:

The Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiology (CDAE) project seeks to establish a networked cohort of highly skilled epidemiologists and biostatisticians able to work with National Public Health Institutes and National Ministry of Health departments to improve their level of preparedness, field surveillance, and response to disease outbreaks within the Eastern Africa region.

The EPI fellows from the Eastern African Region will acquire strong master’s degrees in epidemiology and biostatistics from the two universities in Kenya (AMIU and JOOUST), who will collaborate with each other and with APHRC. The fellows will be supported by seasoned epidemiologists, biostatisticians and researchers, drawn from a pool established by APHRC, AMIU and JOOUST, who will either be the fellows’ lecturers or supervisors.

The EPI fellows’ academic and professional experience will be further enhanced through mandatory professional and research capacity strengthening activities, named Joint Seminars (JS), which will consist of four modules convened in six-month intervals within the fellowship period. These activities will also form the basis for the joint development of a professional course in epidemiology and biostatistics that will be implemented by the two Kenyan universities.

The Fellows

Atusaye Joaquim Simbeye (Malawi)

Joaquim is currently working with Malawi Government, Ministry of Health under the Environmental Health Section as an Environmental Health Officer for Nsanje District Health Office. As an Environmental Health Officer, Atusaye is involved in almost all areas of Environmental Health mainly disease surveillance and contact tracing for Covid 19, health education and promotion, water, sanitation and hygiene and general communicable and non-communicable diseases control. Before joining Malawi Government, Ministry of Health Atusaye worked with Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Malaria Alert Centre for four years as a Research Assistant. While there he was mainly coordinating the implementation of entomological studies in various districts and learned a lot about malaria epidemiology. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Health (2016) from the University of Malawi, and is currently an EPI fellow at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST). He says, “The Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiologists in Eastern Africa (CDAE) Fellowship, has so far equipped me with academic knowledge as well as an opportunity to network with peers from different countries. My experience so far matches my expectations. JOOUST is the best place to study Master of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Thank you APHRC.”


Nantale Prossy Nabatte (Uganda)

Nantale is currently a laboratory technologist (hub coordinator and deputy quality manager) at Makerere University Walter Reed Project and is attached to Mukono General Hospital. She is thrilled to be part of Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiologists in Eastern Africa (CDAE) Fellowship and considers herself blessed. The support given is appropriate and greatly appreciated as it enhances her smooth learning at AMREF International University. She says, “AMIU is so good with competent lecturers who are so good and enthusiastic enabling us to understand, appreciate and apply the course units to our professions, enabling us to serve the patients and clients better thus improving health.”


Emily Abuonji (Kenya)

Emily is a postgraduate student pursuing a Master of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics through the EDCTP-Africa CDC EPI-fellowship grant at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. She is also a research assistant in paediatrics research and working with the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) based in Eldoret, Kenya. She says, “As an awardee of Epi-fellowship, I am keen to do research on the policy gaps in the context of prevention and control of infections. My studies will enable me to gain skills that can improve community participation in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. Additionally, I got the opportunity to experience regional interactions with fellows, in particular, expanding my scientific perspective that is critical to my skills and knowledge of developing research questions. The environment is necessary for my career growth and goals.”


Jane Wanjiku Kanyi (Kenya)

Jane graduated with BSc Environmental Health degree from Kenyatta University in July 2015. She’s currently working as a Public Health Officer at Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral, and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) Nairobi, Kenya. Jane is grateful for the APHRC master’s fellowship opportunity. She firmly believes that the EPI fellowship programme will complement her previous academic, work experience, and serve as a foundation for her future career. She says, “The learning experience at AMREF International University has been great. The virtual learning is a new concept for me and I love the way AMIU has made use of this platform. It’s amazing how new technologies have dramatically multiplied and diversified the ways in which students can learn and interact with educators through the use of software applications.”


Stephen Ochieng Ombija (Kenya)

Stephen is a Research Scientist at the Expanded Program on Immunization, Center for Virus Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute. He is also an EPI-Fellow at Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiologists in Eastern African Region (CDAE) studying MSc. in Public Health (Applied Epidemiology) at AMREF International University. His work as a researcher at the Kenya Medical Research Institute is on polio eradication and accelerated disease control through surveillance for Acute Flaccid Paralysis, Environmental Sampling as well as Measle/Rubella monitoring. He endeavors to apply skills and knowledge learned in the MSc. Public Health (Applied Epidemiology) in promoting health and enabling communities to access all health services they need without financial hardship. He says, “My experience with the fellowship thus far has been exciting and exhilarating with guidance from the APHRC, AMREF International university administration, lecturers, and the university library. It has been an eyepiece to the world of promoting health and health equity, appreciating the concept of healthcare promotion, implications of social determinants of health on systems around the globe, disparities in healthcare financing, and everything else under the public health umbrella. I can never be grateful enough for the providence of such an inspiring opportunity!”


Irine Okanda (Kenya)

Irene is currently a Research Officer at KEMRI CGHR under a Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program Evaluation (MVIPE). The study focuses on evaluating the impact of malaria vaccine and all-cause mortality of under-five children. She is admitted at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) pursuing Masters in Epidemiology and Biostatistics supported through Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiologists in Eastern Africa (CDAE) fellowship. She has Bachelor’s degree in Community Health and Development. She says, “The Epi fellowship award is the best award I ever received in my career development, this has given me a good morel and speed towards achieving my career goal of being an Epidemiologist with a background in Biostatistics. The quality lectures and interaction among peers is giving me a lot of knowledge and exposure in my academic and research field. I am very grateful and always thank God for this award, I am doing my level best to be up to the standards that the award demands.”


Micah June (Kenya)

Micah, is an aspiring epidemiologist (working at KEMRI-CGHR). He says, “I got lucky to be in the first cohort of EDCTP CDAE epidemiology fellow at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST). The reception into the university was excellent and the teaching staff are of high caliber. My class is a great mix of individuals coming from diverse professional backgrounds, with the experience and skillset they possess I believe we will be able to build networks that will last a lifetime.”


Thomas Stuart Mughogho (Malawi)

Thomas is a Laboratory Scientist at the Ministry of Health in Malawi. He is an EPI fellow admitted at the AMREF International University (AMIU), pursuing MPH in applied epidemiology. He says,” The Fellowship is so well organized and everything has been delivered in a smooth and timely manner. AMIU has offered me the best learning experience with the school’s richness in intellect, professionalism, and diversity.”


Angucia Bridget Sharon (Uganda)

Bridget is a Study Biostatistician at the Uganda Cancer Institute. She says, “I am glad to be one of the Epidemiology fellows being sponsored by EDCTP and APHRC under CDAE. The MSc. Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Jaramogi Odinga Oginga University offers course content that is in line with my work and I believe that I will create an impact with the knowledge am gaining out of it. Thank you!”


Yohana Anosisye Mwalugelo (Tanzania)

Yohana is a Research Officer at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Statistics from Mzumbe University, Tanzania. He says, “It was my very dream to be a qualified Biostatistician who will apply statistical techniques, skills, and knowledge in epidemiological studies in order to solve health-related problems in our country. I really appreciate the contribution of ECDPT-CDAE Fellowship, APHRC together with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) to play an important role in the fulfillment of my dreams. So far, my experience has been good here at JOOUST and I hope that MSc in Epidemiology and Biostatistics will adequately meet my expectations. Thank you!”


Doris Richard Ngassa (Tanzania)

Doris is a Veterinary Research Officer at Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency. She has a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania. She says, “It’s two months already of an amazing experience as an EPI fellow, and am very proud to be one. The full-time cooperation and positive efforts from staff and fellow students make everything go well at the university. My sincere gratitude to EDCTP-CDAE Fellowship, APHRC, and AMIU, for making my wish of becoming an Epidemiologist a reality and I cannot wait to apply and share the knowledge and skills I am getting with my colleagues and the community for health advancement and betterment of peoples’ lives. Thank you!”


Margaret Mburu (Kenya)

Margaret is a public health enthusiast with over 6 years of progressive experience in various organizations in Kenya. She is currently a lecturer and examinations coordinator in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), Karen Campus. Previously, she worked in three public hospitals in two counties and a not-for-profit organization. She has authored four peer-reviewed publications. She has a BSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Moi University in Kenya. She says, “The experience at AMREF International University (AMIU) has been eye-opening and exciting with the guidance of experienced mentors in public health. In addition, it has provided an opportunity to learn and network not only with other public health enthusiasts in other disciplines but also those from other countries within Sub-Saharan Africa. I cannot wait to find out what the next 18 months hold for me. I will be eternally grateful to the Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiologists in Eastern African Region (CDAE) Selection Committee for the Epi-Fellowship award.”


Abdullahi Ahmed Ali (Somalia)

Abdullahi is currently working with the Ministry of health Puntland state of Somalia, Department of Primary Health Care. He has a medical degree in general Medicine and Surgery at Benadir University. He is taking a master’s degree in applied epidemiology and biostatistics at Amref International University, under the Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiologists in Eastern African Region (CDAE) Fellowship. Abdullahi is an accomplished medical practitioner with four years of experience. He specialized in monitoring and evaluation, community health care mobilization, food hygiene and safety, sanitation, health education, maternal and child care, immunization, and health service management. He says “I Joined Amref international university on 17 January 2022, it was my first time in Kenya. I visited the AMIU main Campus and I was welcomes well. I would like to say Thank you to Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiology in Eastern Africa Regions (CDAE) and Africa Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) for the Opportunity.


Mwila Loveday (Zambia)

Loveday works as a medical doctor for the Ministry of Health in Zambia. He coordinates infectious disease in the rural part of the country and heads the Mongu District Hospital, in Western province, a peri-urban town. He is a graduate of the University of Zambia, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery (MBChB) in 2018. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology (BScHB) from the same university. He was awarded the Capacity Development of Applied Epidemiologist in East and Southern Africa (CDAE) to study Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Amref International University Nairobi, Kenya. He says. “Being at the center of infectious disease in my town I have seen data generated every day from my district and province, and subsequently submitted to the national level every

day as raw data. With the experience am obtaining now, I am ready to put up research papers on all the data generated for policy change and building scientific data. So far, the lectures on ethics have moved me to start pushing for setting up an ethics committee at the hospital I work at. I am now facing daily challenges in the most effective and ethical way.”


John Orimbo (Kenya)

John is an EPI- Fellow admitted at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST). He says, “Two months into the epi fellowship program and it has been wonderful and full of learning, thanks to APHRC and EDCTP for the opportunity and facilitation to my committed teachers and seniors at JOOUST that has become a second home for me and to my new found classmates from across East Africa. I say thank you!”