Fifteen “EPI-Biostat Fellows” start their Master’s training at Busitema University in Uganda

30 August 2022

EDCTP and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) are partnering to train 150 epidemiologists and biostatisticians across Africa. 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. Fifteen of these “EPI-Biostat Fellows” have now enrolled in their Master’s training at Busitema University in Uganda. The Busitema University Fellowship Programme in Infectious Disease Field Epidemiology and Biostatistics (IDEA) is led by Busitema University, has eight partners, and is cofunded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) with UK Overseas Development Assistance.

The open call for the Busitema University Fellowship Programme in Infectious Disease Field Epidemiology and Biostatistics (IDEA) was advertised in national media (New Vision Newspaper, 25 April 2022 and several internet fora). It highlighted an overview of the programme, funding, eligibility for prospective applicants, application procedure and timelines for submission.

The call attracted applications from 36 mid-career professionals, including the Uganda Ministry of Health, District Local Government health departments, universities, in-country international organisations as well as non-governmental organisations working in health-related fields.

The IDEA Fellowship Selection Committee was constituted, with specific terms of reference, including a requirement for declaration of conflict of interest. The committee comprised members from the consortium institutions including the coordinator and representatives from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Mbale Clinical Research Institute and Busitema University. The Selection Committee applied a transparent and highly competitive process for inviting candidates with regard to qualification suitability, optimisation of gender equity and fair geographical representation.

Fifteen candidates were successful – six females and nine males. The candidates who will start their Master’s training in Infectious Disease Field Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Busitema University are:

The Fellows

  • Jimmy Patrick Alunyo

  • Deborah Aujo

  • Joseph Baluku

  • Patience Birungi

  • Mathias Ngobi Bogere

  • Micheal Mandeje

  • Grace Nabaggala Ssanyu

  • Allen Namala

  • Edity Namyalo

  • Marble Nasasira

  • Charles Benard Okalebo

  • William Okiror

  • Godfrey Opolot

  • Joseph Oposhia

  • George Paasi

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. All consortia have completed recruitment. A special launch event for all consortia and their fellows is expected to take place at the end of 2022.

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 this call, funding received from the European Union and United Kingdom Official Development Assistance from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is gratefully acknowledged. For more information, visit the EDCTP website