March 2019 Newsletter




Greetings ICHAD and SMART Africa Friends and Colleagues,

We are pleased to share with you our March 2019 newsletter. In this newsletter, you will find our latest news and highlights, new opportunities, and upcoming conferences.  In March, good things happened in ԴwosԠas we welcomed two visitors from Uganda (SMART Africa-Uganda Study Coordinator Phionah Namatovu and Suubi4Cancer collaborator Nixon Niyonzima), had two new publications come out, and presented at two conferences, all detailed below.

We hope that you find our newsletter informative and beneficial.

Please feel free to share any news or updates you would like included in our upcoming newsletter here.

We thank you for your continued support.

Best Regards,
ICHAD and SMART Africa Teams


SMART Africa-Uganda
The SMART Africa-Uganda team has completed the 6-month assessments in the 10 control arm schools, which included interviews with a total of 756 guardians and 747 children. In addition, 16-week assessments are underway in four treatment arm schools with 261 guardian and 259 children interviews. The team is currently in the process of identifying and contacting participants that have changed residencies since the last wave of data collection . In regards to MFG facilitator training, all the facilitators who were required to retake their Knowledge, Skills and Attitude Test have passed the exam.The SMART Africa-Uganda team is also working on disseminating the findings. The teamӳ paper titled “Prevalence of behavioral disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder among school going children in Southwestern Uganda” is currently in press in the BMC Psychiatry Journal (see ԎEW PUBLICATIONS AND CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONSԠfor more details). Additionally, Phionah traveled to Chicago to present the findings from this paper at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference. Much appreciation to the Uganda team for all the great work in the field and in the dissemination of the findings.

SMART Africa-Kenya
The Kenya Team has been hard at work preparing for their study implementation. The team has finalized their Memorandum of Understanding with their implementation partner, BasicNeeds-Kenya, and will start their training in MFG intervention in the next couple of weeks. The team has also identified the study research assistants and are in the process of training them in study procedures and administration of measures. The training will start on Monday, March 25.  As part of the training, the research team will also pre-test the measures with caregivers and children in the Child and Adolescent Clinic in Mathare Teaching and Referral Hospital, Nairobi. In addition, the team is preparing for recruitment of study participants and working closely with schools and the chairman of the community health workers in Lari Sub County, Kirenga Sub Location, to identify potential parent peers and CHWs who could be recruited in the study to deliver the intervention. The Kenya team is eager to begin participant recruitment, consenting and screening soon. Congratulations, Kenya team, on all the progress you have made!

SMART Africa-Ghana
ICHAD and SMART Africa research assistants from the U.S. and Uganda, Mr. William Byansi and Ms.  Betina Nabisere traveled to Tamale, Ghana to provide multiple family group training and research support for the Ghana team. The team reviewed all 16 sessions of the Dang-Malgu (family togetherness in Dagbani) manual and conducted role-plays in order to ensure that the team was prepared to train the facilitators in delivering the intervention. In addition, William provided some technical support for the research team. Dr. Emmanuel Asampong, Mr. Kingsley, the project coordinator, and the research assistants reviewed the study materials and data documentation with William, who also accompanied the research team to the field for the pre-testing of the caregiver measures. The Ghana team is consolidating all their documents for the upcoming IRB renewal. Finally, Dr. Abdallah Ibrahim represented the Ghana team at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference in Chicago as a panelist and shared the teamӳ formative work in preparation for the study implementation (see ԎEW PUBLICATIONS AND CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONSԠfor more details). Congratulations to the Ghana Team!

This month, the ICHAD team finalized the English versions of the Multiple Family Group (MFG) and the Financial Literacy Training (FLT) intervention manuals. The team is currently working on the Luganda version of the manuals, in preparation for the pretesting exercise next month. Additionally, the team continues to assist participants assigned to the treatment condition with filling out the appropriate paperwork necessary to open up child development accounts (CDAs). To date, a total of 639 CDAs have been opened.

The Kyaterekera team is in the final stage of translating all study intervention materials, including the HIV Risk Reduction (HIVRR) and the Financial Literacy Training (FLT) manuals. The team hopes to begin recruitment of 990 women engaged in sex work in early April. The team is also working to identify health-related resources, including health clinics and NGOs, that provide support to women engaged in sex work, as well as treatment options for STIs in the study area. This information will be provided to the women enrolled in the study. Next month, Drs. Witte and Ssewamala (MPIs), Nabunya (Co-Investigator) and Riedel (Consultant) will be in the field to train the ICHAD staff on HIVRR intervention delivery and review procedures related to data collection. During this time, the first Kyaterekera Project Community Collaborative Board will be convened to discuss study implementation and delivery.

This month, the study team visited District Health Officers (DHO) in Lyantonde, Kalungu, Kyotera, Rakai, Masaka, and Bukomansimbi districts to brief them about ICHADӳ work, our current studies, and more specifically the Suubi4Cancer study. The DHOs appreciated ICHADӳ work, and the DHO of Kalungu, Dr. Reagan Mutebi called  the study ԴimelyԠsince pediatric cancer cases are currently being caught too late, leading to unfavorable outcomes for children that could have been prevented. Suubi4Cancer will create a regional database of medical records for over 3,000 youth living with HIV that can be used for epidemiological purposes.  The team is currently working on obtaining local IRB approval to conduct this important work. Moreover, Dr. Nixon Niyonzima from Uganda Cancer Institute visited the Washington University in St. Louis between March 25 and 27 to explore new collaboration opportunities with the Brown School and the Medical School. During his visit, he also presented at the ICHAD and SMART Africa Speaker Series.

ICHAD and SMART Africa Monthly Team Meeting
At this monthӳ interactive team building activity, led by MSW student Wilberforce Tumwesige, team members in St. Louis self-identified as either ԡrchitectsԠ(structure focused) or ԡrtistsԠ(outcome oriented).  Each group worked together to both design an art project and play a highly competitive game of Jenga. While we did learn that there are some true artists amongst us, the real lesson was that everyone brings unique skills to the table, and productive and effective teams find a way to utilize everyoneӳ skills (whether it is big picture or detail oriented) and build upon each otherӳ strengths.  We will continue to draw on this lesson as we move forward with our work. Thanks Wilberforce for leading such fun and important activity!

Congratulations to our New Child Behavioral Research Fellows!
Congratulations to ICHAD Co-Director Dr. Proscovia Nabunya, Doctoral student William Byansi, and SMART Africa Global Fellow Dr. Latoya Small, who have been selected to be part of the new NIMH-funded Ԓesearcher Resilience TrainingԠprogram. The program is  designed to train the next generation of child and adolescent behavioral health researchers.  The three will join six other fellows from across the United States for a 12-day training program in both St. Louis, MO and Masaka, Uganda. Co-led by Brown School Dean Mary McKay, ICHAD and SMART Africa Director Fred Ssewamala, and Associate Dean for Faculty and Research Sean Joe, the program will combine didactic coursework with hands-on trainings as well as targeted mentorship. 


Sensitivity Training Workshop
On March 4, the USA ICHAD team took part in a Sensitivity Training Workshop led by Dr. Susan Witte from Columbia University. The objective of this training was to provide the ICHAD team with the tools and knowledge needed to better serve vulnerable populations with an emphasis on women who engage in sex work. The training included several activities that were designed to demonstrate the numerous complexities involved for women who engage in sex work, challenge the stereotypes held towards women engaged in sex work, and recognize internal and external stigma. The training also emphasized what can be done to improve facilities and services for these vulnerable populations.   

New Publication: Examining Poverty, Economic Strengthening, and Mental Health among AIDS-orphaned Children in Uganda 
Dr. Leyla Karimli (ICHAD Faculty Affiliate), together with Dr. Fred Ssewamala and SMART Africa Global Fellow Laura Gauer Bermudez among others, co-published an article in the Social Science & Medicine. The article, entitled, “Poverty, economic strengthening, and mental health among AIDS orphaned children in Uganda: Mediation model in a randomized clinical trial” examines the findings from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded ICHAD Bridges study, which was based on a cluster-randomized experimental design. The article seeks to examine the reason why and how asset accumulation programs have such a positive impact on mental health of orphaned children with AIDS living in low-resource settings. The article focused on determining the strength of three mediators: 1) household wealth, 2) child poverty and 3) child work. The findings found that anti-poverty programs that aim to solely improve household income may be less advantageous to children’s mental health compared to programs that are specifically targeting the impact of poverty on children. You can find it here.
New Publication: Assessing a Family-based Economic Strengthening Intervention to Improve Mental Health Wellbeing among Female Adolescent Orphans in Uganda
SMART Africa and ICHAD are thrilled to announce that our colleagues Drs. Apollo Kivumbi, Fred Ssewamala, Proscovia Nabunya, along with Mr. William Byansi, Mr. Christopher Damulira, and Ms. Phionah Namatovu have co-published an article entitled, “Utilizing a family-based economic strengthening intervention to improve mental health wellbeing among female adolescent orphans in Uganda” in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health. The authors used the ICHAD Bridges to the Future study data, a randomized controlled trial that measured the impact of an economic empowerment intervention on the health outcomes of orphaned adolescent girls impacted by HIV and AIDS. The intervention comprised of child savings accounts, a peer mentorship program, as well as workshops on financial management and microenterprise development. The authors found that the intervention led to improved mental health functioning over time (2 years). Congratulations, colleagues, for contributing to the field of economic empowerment and mental health among youth!
You can find it here.

Panel Presentation at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) 
Earlier this month, Dean Mary McKay, Dr. Fred Ssewamala, Dr. Ozge Sensoy Bahar, SMART Africa Study Coordinator Phionah Namatovu, and SMART Africa-Ghana Co-Investigator Dr. Abdallah Ibrahim participated in a panel discussion on ԁddressing gaps in child behavioral health services and research in Sub-Saharan Africaաt the 10th Annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) conference in Chicago, Illinois. The objectives of the panel were to: 1) Estimate the prevalence rate of behavioral challenges among school-going children, utilizing a school-based sample in Southwest Uganda; 2) Examine the multi-stage collaborative process by which an evidence-based practice, namely the 4Rs and 2Ss Family Strengthening intervention, has been revised and adapted to fit to local contexts in Uganda and Ghana with intervention fidelity; and 3) Describe the interrelated strategies to ensure the scale-up, uptake, and sustainability of EBPs focused on child behavioral health challenges.
Presentations at the 2019 Global Health & Infectious Disease Conference (WUSTL)
ICHAD and Uganda were well represented at the 7th Annual Global Health and Infectious Disease Conference ԈIV 2019: Recent Advances and Emerging TrendsԠthat was held in St. Louis on March 22. First, ICHAD Faculty Affiliate Dr. John Santelli discussed HIV risk factors and the importance of education, based on his work over the last 25 years in the Rakai district of Uganda. Later in the morning,  ICHAD Co-Director Dr. Proscovia Nabunya addressed the impacts and lessons learned from ICHADӳ innovative child development accounts, over the past 15 years. Both presentations were well-received and generated much discussion amongst the packed house.


Dr. Maji Hailemariam
SMART Africa Global Fellow Dr. Maji Hailemariam has been hard at work over the last couple of months. She submitted an R34 grant to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which if funded, will develop and test a pilot mentor mother intervention for women experiencing Intimate Partner Violence during their perinatal period in an effort to reduce symptoms of depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and prevent subsequent IPV. In addition, Dr. Maji has co-authored a journal article which has been accepted for publication in the Psychotherapy Research entitled, “Preliminary efficacy and mediators of interpersonal psychotherapy for reducing Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in an incarcerated population.” Finally, she co-authored a systematic review entitled, “Evidence-based interventions sustainability strategies: A systematic review.” Dr. Maji has recently learned that with minor revisions, the systematic review will be accepted for publication in Implementation Science. Congratulations, Dr. Maji, on your contribution to the field of mental health among vulnerable populations and implementation science!

Dr. Lora Iannotti
On February 26, Dr. Lora Iannotti, the Associate Dean for the MPH program at the Brown School, presented at the ICHAD and SMART Africa speaker series. She discussed sustainable animal source food solutions to child hidden hunger in different communities. This captivating talk shone light upon the relationship between different diets and child nutritional requirements as well as the importance of context and environment when planning interventions aimed at alleviating hunger.

Dr. Nixon Niyonzima
On March 28, Dr. Nixon Niyonzima, from the Uganda Cancer Institute presented at the ICHAD and SMART Africa speaker series. Dr. Niyonzima presentation was titled, ԏverview of Cancer Burden and Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of UgandaԮ His talk provided the attendees with valuable insights concerning the epidemiology of cancer on the African continent, the distribution of infection-related cancers, patient demographics, current treatment coverage, and some of the barriers that prevent access to care in the Sub-Saharan context, specifically in the Ugandan setting. 


4th Annual Conference on Child Behavioral Health in Sub-Saharan Africa
SMART Africa and ICHADӳ 4th Annual Conference on Child Behavioral Health in Sub-Saharan Africa will be held on July 29, 2019 in Masaka, Uganda. The theme of this conference is Ԃridging the Gap between Research, Implementation, and Policy.ԠYou can learn more here.

Upcoming Speaker Series: Kimberly Johnson
Dr. Kimberly Johnson will be presenting at the next ICHAD and SMART Africa speaker series which will be held on April 30, from 12-1 pm in the Brown Lounge. Her presentation ԁddressing pediatric cancer survival disparities in low and high income countriesԠwill highlight her work on ICHADӳ Suubi4Cancer grant. You can RSVP here.

NIMH 10th Anniversary Conference
NNIMH will be hosting its 10th Anniversary Conference ԇlobal Mental Health Research without BordersԠon April 8-9, 2019 in Bethesda, Maryland. This conference will be co-hosted by the NIMH Center for Global Mental Health Research and Grand Challenges Canada to showcase findings from cutting-edge science and identify opportunities for groundbreaking research to address the grand challenges in global mental health. You can learn more here.

European Conference for Social Work Research 2019
The European Social Work Research Association will be holding a conference on April 10-12, 2019 in Leuven, Belgium. This conference focuses on the ways social work research and practice can operate in the context of changing welfare state paradigms, and in particular how core values of human rights and social justice can be embodied and realized. You can learn more here.

21st Biennial International Conference of International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD)
ICSD aspires to end poverty and create economic, social and environmental sustainability.  ICSDӳ conference will be held from July 16-19 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This international conference, which is open to practitioners, academics and students,  will be themed ԓtrengthening Social Development to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)Ԡand aims to accelerate the impact of the 17 SDGs and 169 targets at the national and global level. You can learn more here.

2019 APPAM International Conference
The 2019 APPAM International Conference in Barcelona, Spain will be held on July 29 ֠30, 2019. The Johns Hopkins University – University Pompeu Fabra (JHU-UPF) Public Policy Center will co-host the conference. The conference will host over 50 sessions and three plenaries. Attendees can also enjoy receptions and generous lunch schedules for optimal networking opportunities. You can learn more here.

SSWR 2020 Conference Abstract Applications
SSWR is excited to welcome abstract submissions for the 2020 Annual Conference, Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality, Washington, DC, January 15-19, 2020.Abstracts are invited in these formats: (1) oral paper presentation; (2) ePoster presentation; (3) symposium of three or more papers on the same topic to be presented in the same session; (4) roundtable, and (5) workshop.

You can learn more here.

Mental Health Conferences in 2019 
A number of global conferences on mental health are held annually in different international venues. These conferences bring together expert clinicians, researchers and leaders of stakeholder organizations in the field of mental health, psychiatry and psychology. To access the full list of conferences, please click here.


Spring Break Celebration
Some people may go to the beach for Spring Break, but the ICHAD and SMART Africa team brought the beach to them, enjoying a delicious Jamaican meal at De Palm Tree restaurant earlier this month. The team was celebrating all of our many accomplishments, but also wanted to welcome SMART Africa-Uganda Study Coordinator Phionah Namatov to St. Louis. Welcome to Phionah and despite the cold weather, we hope you enjoy your time in St. Louis!


Mixed Methods Research Hub
The University of Michigan, is building a new hub for mixed methods research led by mixed methodologists Dr. Michael D. Fetters, Dr. Timothy C. Guetterman, and Dr. John W. Creswell.  The mixed methods program is an interdisciplinary program bringing together scholars within and outside of the University of Michigan with national/international expertise in mixed methods. Their mission is to promote mixed methods research and scholarship across academic disciplines through education, training, consulting and mentoring with the support of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan.If interested in getting involved with this program,

you can learn more here

AWID Job Opportunities
The Association for Womenӳ Rights in Development (AWID) is an international, feminist, membership organization committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development, and womenӳ human rights. They currently have several job listings available for positions in different organizations around the world. Job opportunities can be found here.

Job Openings at the International Center for Research on Women
ICRW is made up of a diverse staff that is committed to alleviating global poverty by helping women and girls in developing countries improve their lives. The organization values a collegial and stimulating work environment in which employees feel valued, challenged and respected. ICRW offers a variety of job opportunities in research, administration, finance, and communications. In addition, they offer post-doctoral fellowships and internships. You can learn more here

Women in Global Health
Women in Global Health (WGH) is an international network aiming to achieve gender equality in global health leadership through advocating for gender transformative leadership. With support from Provost Holden Thorp and William G. Powderly, MD the Larry J. Shapiro Director of the Institute for Public Health and Director of its Global Health Center at Washington University in St. Louis, the Midwest Chapter of WGH was launched in December 2018 and is accepting membership applications. You can learn more here.