Research capacity strengthening in the era of UHC & SDGs

Session Virtual Link:


Session title


Digital Session, Meeting ID: 963 4798 8580

Research capacity strengthening in the era of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Coordinator Edward Mberu Kamau, RCS (e-mail
Hosts Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR)
Session objectives
  1. To illustrate the importance of strengthening capacity for research on infectious diseases of poverty in contribution towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  2. To highlight the role of TDR in supporting researchers and institutions with opportunities to strengthen capacity for research and establish collaborations and networks.
  3. To illustrate the TDR CRDF programme supported by the BMGF as a model of partnership between private sector (pharmaceutical companies), non-profit research institutions (PDPs) and research institutions in LMICs


Session Abstract
While all countries stand to benefit from research, there is considerable variation among countries in their capacity to undertake research. National capacity for research is particularly important for the sorts of research which provide context-specific solutions in addressing local problems.  Closing the health research capacity gap in sub-Saharan Africa requires considerable and sustainable efforts to strengthen capacity at individual and institutional levels, in contribution to building robust national systems of health research.

While the region faces a wide range of changing health problems, the continuing burden of infectious diseases necessitates ongoing and expanded efforts for the control of endemic and epidemic infectious diseases. The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) plays a catalytic and galvanizing role for effective and sustainable global health research, aimed at improving access to interventions that reduce the burden of infectious diseases in the most vulnerable populations. TDR supports research and training activities that strengthen the capacity of individuals and institutions to generate and utilize research evidence to reduce the burden of infectious diseases of poverty in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The panel brings together researchers from different regions and countries in sub-Saharan Africa who TDR has supported, to share their diverse experiences of capacity strengthening and career development in research on infectious diseases of poverty. This will provide encouragement, through awareness of opportunities and through networking, for more researchers to pursue careers in research on infectious diseases of poverty. Strengthening capacity for this research will help narrow the gaps and contribute towards achievement of UHC and the SDGs.

Session Format
Panel Discussion
Chairs Chair: Freddy Eric Kitutu, Acting Dean, School of Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. E-mail

Co-Chair: Brenda Okech, UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccines Program, Entebbe, Uganda. E-mail

Speakers Title Status
Speaker 1
(Policy)Paul Kazyoba
Strengthening national capacity for implementation research: the role of the Access and Delivery Partnership. Director of Research Coordination and Promotion,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Speaker 2
(Academia)Adam Silumbwe
Research career development: externally supported postgraduate training in sub-Saharan Africa Department of Health Policy and Management,School of Public Health,
University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Speaker 3
(Civil Society)(Networking)Teresa Eduarda Machai
Organizational challenges for the development and dissemination of training tools for implementation research. Head of Training Unit, Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM), Mozambique – satellite Regional Training Centre supported by TDR Confirmed
The example of the TDR Clinical Research and Development fellowship (CDRF) supported by the BMGF to achieve SDGs
Speaker 4
Dermot Maher
The TDR CRDF programme Coordinator
Speaker 5
(Private sector)Opokua Ofori
Public-private partnership in clinical research training Director Clinical Development, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Belgium Confirmed
Speaker 6
(Non-profit research and development organization)Wilfried Mutombo
Sustainable capacity for research in disease-endemic countries Project Coordinator for Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), DR Congo. Confirmed
Speaker 7
(Academia)Ewurama Owusu or
Career development in clinical research Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana Confirmed

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