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!
Interviewee name: Faith Tumuhairwe
Role in RESPOND-AFRICA: Study Coordinator
Projects involved within RESPOND-AFRICA: INTE-AFRICA
Where they are based: Mbarara city in South Western Uganda
Past role/job: Clinician
Who are you?
I am a public health specialist specialised in chronic diseases prevention and management and have more than 10 years of experience in the management and prevention of HIV/AIDS interventions.
How has your journey helped you lead to this point in your career?
With more than 10 years of experience in the management and prevention of HIV/AIDS care, I have seen patients stabilise on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) but develop complications related to long ART use, ageing and multimorbidity —diabetes and hypertension being the most occurring.
How did you initially get involved in research?
I have been particularly passionate about research. During my practice as a clinician, I participated in several operational research projects, led the centre’s research committee, and submitted multiple abstracts to local, national and international conferences to share best practices and innovations. This helped me gain experience and I became more interested in participating in research.
I have seen patients stabilise on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) but develop complications related to long ART use, ageing and multimorbidity
How has the field of integrated care, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, been changing?
There has been a gradual change in implementing integrated care services, particularly in Uganda. It has been embraced in the management of other communicable diseases like malaria, and tuberculosis but less in the management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
What areas of HIV and NCD research and/or project management do you think are being neglected?
First, early detection of NCDs among the young population (children and adolescents) with the aim of primary prevention. Second, exploring the potential barriers in the implementation of integrated management of NCD care, with a focus on service providers, drugs, equipment and supplies.
What do you hope to do in your role and as a member of the RESPOND-AFRICA consortium?
I hope to contribute to the existing knowledge in the management of NCDs, HIV and other emerging health conditions of public health concern in sub-Saharan Africa and globally.
Besides research and randomised control trials, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy charity work, working with children and young people, listening to soft music/gospel, reading and writing.