11 Graduates Receive CARTA
Postdoctoral Awards

We celebrate our 11 outstanding fellows for receiving postdoctoral awards from CARTA after a competitive selection process. CARTA is awarding 7 re-entry grants and 4 fellowships in 2024 for a cumulative total of 84 awards since 2016.
The recipients of the 7 re-entry grants are Skye Nandi Adams, Christine Minoo Mbindyo, Priscille Musabirema, Oyeyemi Olajumoke Oyelade, Eniola Olubukola Cadmus, and Alex John Ntamatungiro. Meanwhile, the fellowship awards were granted to Nanfizat Abiket Alamukii, Adeyinka Olufolake Adefolarin, and Blessings Nyasilia Kaunda-Khangamwa.

Join us on a journey to explore the topics, significance, and uniqueness of each fellow’s research, deserving of this prestigious recognition.
There we go…


Affiliation: University of Ibadan

Host institution: University of Witwatersrand

What is your research topic? Promising and effective promotion, prevention, and treatment interventions on youth mental health for the Low and Middle-Income context: An evidence map.

Why is your research important?
My research will help guide the development and implementation of targeted programs and policies that address the unique mental health challenges youths in these regions face.

What is unique about your research? My research aims to provide knowledge by highlighting the adapted components of the effective interventions in the LMICs, identify effective indigenous interventions, and what works, and what does not work.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? We must support the mental well-being of young people in low- and middle-income countries by investing in researchers who focus on implementing effective interventions.

Affiliation: Makerere University, School of Public

Host institution: University, College of Health Sciences

What is your research topic? Leveraging differentiated service delivery models in Uganda to address the syndemics of HIV, hypertension, and diabetes

Why is your research important?
In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), we’re confronting a health crisis with rising non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like hypertension and diabetes, alongside ongoing challenges in HIV treatment. While diseases like HIV and malaria receive global support, NCDs like diabetes and hypertension often get overlooked. It’s frustrating, but we must bridge this gap to ensure care reaches those in need.

What is unique about your research? Since 2004, Uganda’s received $5B+ in donor aid for HIV, driving innovations in care and treatment access. Building on this success, my study leverages HIV care platforms to combat hypertension and diabetes epidemics. Exploring community-based drug distribution, I aim to extend medication access for HIV and NCDs in Uganda and beyond.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? Thanks to CARTA and Makerere University, I can conduct crucial research on rising noncommunicable diseases in Africa, contributing to vital solutions. Their commitment to empowering African-led research is pivotal in advancing agendas continent-wide. Grateful for this opportunity!

Affiliation: University of Malawi—Kamuzu University of Health Sciences

Host institution: University of Fort Hare

What is your research topic? Exploring Resilience and Youth Engagement in the WEF Nexus and Health in Peri-Urban Communities in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

Why is your research important?
In the 21st century, climate change, disease outbreaks, and challenges arising from resource scarcity have strengthened the value of resilience thinking for young people, including the relationship between Water-Energy-Food (WEF) and health. We collaborate with adolescents and young adults to identify real-life experiences and neglected realities in the community, explore the interplay between water-energy-food nexus and health issues, and foster resilience.

What is unique about your research? Our research engages health with the WEF nexus, reflecting the growing prominence of interlinkages across sectors for youth development.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? As a young researcher, I am honoured by your commitment to changing the lives and narratives of adolescents and young people in sub-Saharan Africa. I appreciate and am indebted to your unwavering support and investments in advancing our shared goals and research in Africa!

Affiliation: University of Ibadan

Host institution: Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg

What is your research topic? Characterizing the cytokines and microbiota landscape in the tumour microenvironment of breast cancer patients in Nigeria: a pathway to targeted therapeutic strategies.

Why is your research important?
The research aims to characterize the breast tumor microenvironment (TME) and its microorganisms, exploring how TME cytokines and tumour microbiota interact to influence tumor development and progression. It will identify potential immunotherapy targets within the TME and microbiota that drive tumor progression, with implications for using antimicrobial agents in breast cancer management.

What is unique about your research? My research is unique because it delves into the interplay of cytokines and tumour microbiota within the breast cancer tumour microenvironment (TME) in Nigerian patients. It’s pioneering in uncovering how these factors influence breast cancer development and progression.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? I’m grateful to CARTA for providing exceptional opportunities for emerging researchers, fostering critical analysis of public health issues, and enhancing pedagogy. With ongoing support for graduates, including postdoctoral fellowships and grant writing workshops, CARTA ensures seamless career progression, driving research advancement in Africa. I’m grateful to the University of Ibadan for paving my CARTA journey.

Re-entry Grants

Affiliation: University of Ibadan

What is your research topic? Development and testing of a capacity-building programme for informal caregivers of community-dwelling older persons aging in place.

Why is your research important?
My research aims to develop, and pilot test a capacity-building programme for informal caregivers of community-dwelling older persons aging in place. I don’t know of any research endeavours currently underway that focus on developing a training curriculum to impart caregiving skills and techniques in a typical low-resource setting like Nigeria.

What is unique about your research? My research will impact society by contributing to ongoing global efforts to improve the well-being of older persons. Additionally, the co-creation design involving end-users and identified key stakeholders in the process would assist in developing a culture- and context-specific training programme.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? I am grateful to CARTA and the University of Ibadan for the opportunity and thrilled at the prospects and look forward to the process.

Affiliation: Ifakara Health Institute

What is your research topic? Identifying, tracking, and characterising the major source of transmitted HIV-1 drug resistance in the Kilombero and Ulanga antiretroviral cohort in Tanzania.

Why is your research important?
This research aims to monitor the emergence of drug-resistant HIV infections, particularly in under-sampled regions like rural Tanzania, to prevent potential failures of newer antiretroviral medications such as dolutegravir. We can gain insights into the dynamics of drug-resistant HIV transmission, identify key epidemiological risk factors, and guide real-time prevention efforts for more effective strategies.

What is unique about your research? My research employs HIV transmission network analysis, integrating viral genetic data with demographic, clinical, geographic, and behavioral traits to study the spread of new HIV infections, including drug-resistant strains. It aims to inform targeted prevention strategies, especially in rural Tanzania.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? My gratitude to CARTA for empowering young scientists to pursue their research interests and fostering their development as independent investigators. A big thank you to Ifakara Health Institute for providing a supportive research environment.

Affiliation: University of Rwanda

What is your research topic? Understanding forgotten exposures towards achieving maternal and child health: a mixed-method study on herbal medicine use during pregnancy in Muhanga District, Rwanda.

Why is your research important?
My research delves into the poorly understood prevalence of herbal medicine (HM) use among pregnant women in Rwanda, particularly in the Muhanga district. By investigating the motivating factors behind this usage, my study aims to fill critical gaps in knowledge, offering empirical insights that can refine our understanding of HM use during pregnancy. This understanding is vital for informing policy changes in maternal and child healthcare, ensuring that intervention programs address overlooked factors like HM use, especially in regions with high prevalence.

What is unique about your research? What sets my research apart is its focus on the herbal medicines administered to pregnant mothers. These remedies, while widely used, lack scientific validation and could profoundly affect both the mother and her newborn. My study delves deep into understanding the specific types of herbal medicines used during pregnancy and the factors that influence their usage. It aims to provide valuable insights into a topic that directly impacts maternal and infant health.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? I’m grateful to CARTA for this incredible opportunity. I am dedicated to ensuring that my work is not only completed on time but also adds value to both the University of Rwanda and the CARTA community. Thank you for believing in me and providing me with the chance to make a meaningful contribution.

Affiliation: Department of Veterinary Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Nairobi.

What is your research topic? Epidemiology of Zoonotic foodborne bacteria and associated Antimicrobial Resistance: A One Health study of Murang’a County, Kenya.

Why is your research important?
My research adopts a One Health approach to investigate zoonotic foodborne bacteria and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) among selected reservoirs in rural Kenya. Its findings will inform targeted control measures to reduce the burden of foodborne illnesses and AMR. Establishing resistance patterns will guide interventions promoting prudent antimicrobial use to curb the further spread of resistant strains.

What is unique about your research? Unsafe food, tainted by zoonotic bacteria and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), poses a major global health risk, particularly in Africa where studies on food safety and AMR in rural areas, including Kenya, are limited. My research addresses this gap by employing a One Health approach to investigate the epidemiology of foodborne zoonotic bacteria and AMR in a rural county in Kenya.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? I am grateful to CARTA for this invaluable opportunity for career growth and mentorship. The experiences gained in this postdoc program will enhance my professional development and enable me to empower students at my university in their research. I am honored to be part of the University of Nairobi. Your investment in my career inspires me to strive for excellence and contribute meaningfully to the university’s vision and mission.

Affiliation: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun-State, Nigeria.

What is your research topic? Psycho-social rehabilitation of sexual violence victims among women with mental illness in Nigeria: A pilot intervention in Southwest Nigeria.

Why is your research important?
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt at psychosocial rehabilitation and empowerment for victims of sexual violence among women with mental illness. This study aims to enhance the quality of life for women with mental illness who have experienced sexual violence.

What is unique about your research? My study is unique because it involves the psychosocial rehabilitation of women with mental illnesses who are experiencing or have experienced sexual violence in Southwest Nigeria. It promotes the sexual rights of mentally ill women, enrolling victims of sexual violence in rehabilitation schemes and NGOs for ongoing support.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? Dreams of scholars die in the absence of adequate support. Thank you, CARTA, for helping scholars to achieve their dreams and your positive impact on the community through support. I also appreciate Obafemi Awolowo University for supporting scholars and allowing me to disseminate my research findings locally and internationally.

What is your research topic? Eating and mealtime intervention for autistic children and their Families: An implementation study.

Why is your research important?
Here’s the deal: We’re developing a feeding management plan specifically for children with ASD in South Africa. And guess what? We’re using a mobile app designed to suit the culture and context of the region. Teaming up with some brilliant minds from Carnegie Melon University (CMU) over in Rwanda, our goal is to offer a helping hand to autistic children and their families, not just in South Africa, but also to make sure it’s something that can be tweaked and taken to other parts of Africa and similar lowmiddle income settings.

What is unique about your research? of the proposed research is that there is currently no published research on a feeding management protocol for children with ASD in Africa. The gap lies in the practical implementation of evidencebased feeding interventions for children with ASD within LMICs’ educational and clinical environments, particularly focusing on South and East Africa. While the literature provides foundational knowledge, there is a scarcity of research that addresses how these interventions can be feasibly integrated, adapted, and sustained in real-world contexts. The lack of culturally sensitive and contextually relevant approaches hinders successful intervention implementation.

Affiliation: The University of Nairobi, Department of Psychiatry

What is your research topic? Community-Based Mhealth-Delivered intervention to provide On- Demand alcohol and other drug use prevention and improve mental health literacy among youths in Kenya.

Why is your research important?
Alcohol and drug abuse rates are rising in Sub- Saharan Africa, including Kenya, leading to poor health outcomes and risky behaviors. My research aims to enhance youth mental health literacy and equip them with life skills to prevent substance use and related mental health issues.

What is unique about your research? My research is unique because it targets 15-24-yearolds, aiming to tackle substance misuse and mental health disorders. Through culturally sensitive mHealth interventions, it equips youth with knowledge to make informed choices regarding alcohol and drugs while enhancing mental health literacy. By emphasizing prevention and education, the initiative aims to alleviate depression, anxiety, and stress among this at-risk population.

What can you tell CARTA and your affiliation? I appreciate my university for the invaluable support and opportunity to enhance my research capabilities. I am committed to leveraging this training to become an independent researcher dedicated to providing evidence-based solutions to the mental health challenges confronting our nation. Additionally, I am indebted to CARTA for their unwavering support and guidance throughout my doctoral and post-doctoral training journey.

We'd love your feedback!