October 2021 | ICHAD & SMART Africa Monthly Monitor


Greetings from the ICHAD and SMART Africa Teams!


World Mental Health Day was this month and in support of this important topic, the ICHAD and SMART Africa teams continue to push for evidence-based mental health programing. Our Researcher Resiliency Team (RRT) including Directors Mary McKay, Fred Ssewamala and Sean Joe, as well as RRT Alumni Leslie Adams and Proscovia Nabunya presented to the National Institute of Mental Health’s Global Mental Health Team about how the RRT training program helped build resilience in part due to supportive teams to help trainees succeed as researchers of color representing both the global north and global south.

You can also learn more about the important research the ICHAD team is conducting to address stigma amongst youth living with HIV through our Suubi4Stigma study below. 


The ICHAD and SMART Africa Teams


Research Spotlight


Adolescents participate in a Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session

Suubi4Stigma study examines the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary impact of two evidence-based interventions, Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (G-CBT) and Multiple Family Group (MFG), to address HIV/AIDS associated stigma among adolescents (aged 10-14 years) living with HIV in Uganda. 


In collaboration with nine health clinics located in four geopolitical districts in the greater Masaka region of Uganda, the team successfully recruited 99% (N= 89 child-caregiver dyads) out of the expected 90 dyads. All dyads recruited into the study completed baseline assessments. In addition, 17 selected dyads completed in-depth interviews to assess their experiences with HIV-related stigma and how it has impacted their wellbeing and family functioning, prior to the intervention. 


Earlier in June, the team embarked on delivering the two study interventions (G-CBT and MFG) to participants in the six health clinics randomized in the two treatment arms (n=3 clinics per arm). Sessions were delivered by community health care workers trained in the delivery of MFG, and trained counselors currently working with adolescents and young people living with HIV in the study region.  We are happy to report that delivery of intervention sessions was completed last month, with attendance rates of over 90% per clinic. The team is currently gearing up for post intervention assessments to begin early next month! Congratulations to our Suubi4Stigma team on these accomplishments -all in the middle of a pandemic!! 


You can read more about the study here.


Training Program Applications Open: November 1

ICHAD’s research training programs – CHILD-Global Research Fellowship, LEAD Global Training Program, and Researcher Resilience Training Program – support early career researchers in domestic and global mental health, health disparities, and HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa to become independent investigators and leaders of multidisciplinary teams in resource-limited settings. Applications for these programs open on November 1. Please visit each program’s website for program and application eligibility and information. The application deadline is January 10, 2022.


Recent Publications


“Pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancer in an HIV-infected rural sub-Saharan African population” AIDS Care. Johnson, K. J., Sensoy Bahar, O., Nattabi, J., Migadde, H., Ssentumbwe, V., Damulira, C., Kivumbi, A., Niyonzima, N., & Ssewamala, F. M.

Recent Poster Presentations 


“A multiple family group-based intervention (SMART-Africa) to promote child and adolescent mental health in Uganda: A costing study” APHA's 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo, October 24-27, 2021, Denver Colorado

Upcoming Poster Presentations


“Engaging vulnerable women engaged in commercial sex in the implementation of an HIV risk reduction intervention in Southern Uganda” The 16th International Conference on HIV Treatment and Prevention Adherence, November 7-9, 2021, Orlando, Florida


“Self-reported adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among women engaged in commercial sex work in Southern Uganda” The 16th International Conference on HIV Treatment and Prevention Adherence, November 7-9, 2021, Orlando, Florida



Social Corner

Congratulations and a big thank you to ICHAD's Associate Director, Betsy Abente and Study Coordinator Wilberforce Tumwesige who are both moving on to new positions at Washington University's Medical School! You will both be missed!

Research Studies


ANZANSI Family Program

SMART Africa Studies

Kyaterekera Project

mHealth Pilot


Say No to Stigma







Training Programs


CHILD Global Research Fellowship

LEAD Global Training Program

Researcher Resilience Training



Upcoming Events


November 10, 2021 | 8:00 CST

CHILD GRF Info Session II for the 2022 Application Cycle

Register here


November 10, 2021 | 12:30 CST

ICHAD/SMART Africa Speaker Series

Keng-Yen Huang, PhD and Janet Nakigudde, PhD

Advancing Scalability and Impacts of a Teacher Training Program for Promoting Child Mental Health in Ugandan Primary Schools

Register here



Other Events, Funding & Training Opportunities


Capacity Building Connection



Call for Papers


Global Social Welfare

IJERPH Special Issue



Quick Links


Our Team


SMART Africa News

SMART Africa/ICHAD Conference Videos

2020 Annual Report









Congratulations to the following trainees for their recent accomplishments!


Robert Kasumba (ICHAD RA) was accepted into the Computational and Data Sciences PhD program at Washington University Congrats Robert!


Lojine Kamel, (LEAD 2020) is lead author on Nitrous Oxide: An Old Compound with Emerging Psychotropic Properties in New Rapid-acting Antidepressants; as well as co-author on Enhancing Cognition in Older Persons with Depression or Anxiety with a Combination of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS): Results of a Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial in Mindfulness. 


Massy Mutumba (LEAD 2020) is first author on Correlates and effects of alcohol use expectancies among persons living with HIV in Uganda in AIDS and Behavior.


Racheal Alinaitwe (CHILD-GRF First Cohort) collaborated with Dr. Noeline Nakasujja, CHILD-GRF Co-director, and is first author on Prevalence and factors associated with depressive illness in patients with tuberculosis in Mulago hospital, Kampala- Uganda: A cross sectional study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.


Lindsey Filiatreau (LEAD Postdoctoral Associate) was awarded the HIV Implementation Science Fellowship through the Inter-CFAR Fellowship Program in Implementation Science at the Center for AIDS Research at Johns Hopkins University.


Congratulations to Leslie Adams (RRT 2020) on her American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 2021 Young Investigator Award!



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SMART Africa Center

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International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD)

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