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Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene grant awards 2021

Congratulations to PhD students Dr Keneth Kasozi and Husein Bagulo, from Prof Sue Welburn's lab, on their grant awards from the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (RSTMH).

This small-grant programme offers early career researchers and global health professionals based anywhere in the world the opportunity to apply for funding in a topic related to tropical medicine and global health.

Keneth Kasozi will investigate institutional policy strengths and challenges in two developing countries for his project and Husein Bagulo's project aims to determine the public health burden of Hepatitis E and the role zoonotic and water-borne pathways play in infection transmission in humans and pigs in Ghana

‘Impact of COVID-19 on One Health Strategies towards Neglected Zoonotic Diseases in Uganda and Tanzania’

The emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has shown the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations for the management of the current and future pandemics. The World Health Organization (WHO) Director General stressed the need for an international coordinated responses to help prepare and respond adequately to future pandemics, although this remains to be implemented.

In developing countries, neglected zoonotic diseases (NZDs) such as Anthrax, Brucellosis, Bovine Tuberculosis, zoonotic human African trypanosomiasis, zoonotic schistosomiasis, and Rabies continue to demand effective leadership for their elimination, therefore the emergence of COVID-19 has exposed technical weaknesses which need to addressed.

In addition, the high incidence of epidemics such as Ebola, SARS, MERS, HIV, Lyme disease, Rift Valley fever (RVF), and Lassa fever has continued to present a conflict of priorities on resources allocation. The international community has made attempts to help developing countries as observed through the Stamp Out Sleeping sickness campaigns in the previous decades, however political instability, insecurity and limited investment for new therapies are major challenges to the WHO 2030 target.

In this study, we investigate institutional policy strengths and challenges in two developing countries using Uganda as the control (country that followed WHO guidelines on COVID-19) and Tanzania as the experimental group (didn’t follow the guidelines until recently) in the East African Community context.

Global health weaknesses in responding to NZDs is associated with the emergence of the current pandemic, demonstrating the need to strengthen healthcare services in preparation for next pandemic by promoting One Health disease control initiatives. This we believe could make the world a safer place than it currently is under the current pandemic.

‘Contribution of Zoonotic and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene-Related Transmission Routes to the Burden of Hepatitis E in Ghana.’

Hepatitis E is a neglected tropical disease and an emerging zoonotic disease with a huge burden on deprived people in developing countries. In Ghana, risk factors for transmission of the disease are widespread, but the burden and the contribution of these risk factors to infection are not well known.

This research aims to determine the public health burden of Hepatitis E and the role zoonotic and water-borne pathways play in infection transmission in humans and pigs in Ghana. The outcome will improve our understanding of the epidemiology of the disease which is necessary for control.

 

Further information

Dr Keneth Kasozi profile

Husein Bagulo profile

Grant information on the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene website

Prof Sue Welburn staff profile

Infection Medicine website

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