Outside the biomedical box of integrated care research. Meet some of our new RESPOND-AFRICA staff

The RESPOND-AFRICA consortium is made up of a range of diverse professionals from Europe and Africa. They are working on several different projects all aimed at improving health outcomes for people living with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and HIV in Africa. They are experts in unique activities that range from infectious disease care, non-communicable diseases care, project management, implementation, social science, or health economics. Have you ever wondered what it takes to be involved in a large global health program including multi-country randomised control trials? We have interviewed some of our new RESPOND-AFRICA members who are both on the ground and behind the scenes to give you an idea. Follow along in our series documenting some of our RESPOND-AFRICA consortium members!


Esther NkiinziInterviewee name: Esther Nkiinzi

Role in RESPOND-AFRICA: Research Administrator


Where they are based: Entebbe at MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Unit, Entebbe




Who are you?

I am a hard-working person who is passionate about health promotion and willing to learn and improve my career when given an opportunity. I have participated in research for over 5 years. I previously served as a Health Promotion Officer at Kampala City Council Authority, Field Mobiliser for Health Systems Strengthening, and supported prevention strategies among women involved in high-risk sexual behaviour in Kampala before joining the NCD theme as the research administrator.

My research thesis for the master’s degree introduced me to the world of research — I investigated the barriers to accessing diabetic services in the South Asian Community

How has your journey helped you lead to this point in your career?

I work with a group of researchers who have dedicated their time to making sure that we all grow and be able to understand the importance of research and how it can improve health in our community. The support from our collaborative team from Liverpool, the University of Exeter, and LSHTM has greatly identified my learning gaps and these were addressed timely and appropriately through the capacity development programs.

How did you initially get involved in research?

My research thesis for the master’s degree introduced me to the world of research. I investigated the barriers to accessing diabetic services in the South Asian Community. I got attached to the work and this is how I picked an interest in research.

How has the field of integrated care, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, been changing?

The integrated care research has extended and improved the quality of care in the pilot sites. However, there is a need for more studies to generate information that can be used as evidence to support the concept of integrated care and its benefits.

What areas of HIV and NCD research and/or global health project management do you think are being neglected?

Capacity building and sensitization at all levels about HIV and NCDs.

What do you hope to do in your role and as a member of the RESPOND-AFRICA consortium?

Offering administrative support to all projects under the RESPOND-AFRICA Consortium to ensure timely start-up and delivery of these research projects and also strengthen relationships with all other international collaborators.

Besides research and randomised control trials, what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy farming, especially growing fruits and vegetables, and as head of the Mothers Union group in my church, I spend time on Sunday evenings teaching and mentoring our young mothers on the importance of stable marriages, family life, and children’s protection.