In Phase 2 of the LEAD Global Training Program, trainees will travel for field-based research experiences to take advantage of the opportunities offered by three NIMH funded U19 level global research hubs across eight sub-Saharan African countries. 


1) SMART Africa hub (Uganda, Ghana, Kenya)

Study objectives:

  1. To examine short- and long-term outcomes associated with the multiple family group (MFG) family strengthening intervention.
  2. To examine how systematic variations in the delivery of an evidence-based MFG program impacts outcomes for children with behavioral difficulties and their caregivers in each country context.
  3. To compare the uptake and implementation of MFGs by trained existing family peers and community outreach health workers.
  4. To examine multi-level (state/government, NGOs, families, schools, communities) influences on the uptake, implementation, effectiveness and sustainability of evidence-based practices that address serious child disruptive behavioral challenges.

SMART Africa – Uganda

This longitudinal experimental study is conducted in the Greater Masaka region. 30 primary public schools are randomly assigned to one of three study conditions: 1) MFG (multiple family group) delivered by parent peers; 2) MFG delivered by CHWs (community health workers); or 3) comparison: usual care comprised of mental health materials, bolstered with school materials. The study has recruited a total of 2,758 children (ages 8 to 13 years) and their caregivers, 60 parent peers, and 60 CHWs.

Apollo Kivumbi, MBChB, MPH
SMART Africa-Uganda In-Country Principal Investigator

James Mugisha, PhD
Senior Lecturer
Kyambogo University


SMART Africa – Ghana

This longitudinal experimental pilot study is conducted in three primary public schools in the Northern Region in Ghana. Each school is randomly assigned to one of three study conditions: 1) MFG (multiple family group) delivered by parent peers; 2) MFG delivered by SHEP (school health education program) coordinators; or 3) comparison: usual care comprised of mental health materials, bolstered with school materials. The study will recruit a total of 180 children (ages 8 to 13 years) and their caregivers, four parent peers, and four SHEPs.

Emmanuel Asampong, PhD
SMART Africa Co-Principal Investigator
Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health, University of Ghana

Mavis Dako-Gyeke, PhD
Associate Professor, Head of Department, Department of Social Work, University of Ghana

Abdallah Ibrahim, DrPH
SMART Africa Co-Principal Investigator
Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health, University of Ghana

Alice Boateng, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Work, University of Ghana

Mr. Peter Yaro
Basic Needs-Ghana


SMART Africa – Kenya

This longitudinal experimental pilot study is conducted in three public primary schools located in Kiambu County, Kenya. Each school is randomly assigned to one of three study conditions: 1) MFG (multiple family group) delivered by parent peers; 2) MFG delivered by CHWs (community health workers); or 3) comparison: usual care comprised of mental health materials, bolstered with school materials. The study will recruit 180 children (ages 8 to 13 years) and their caregivers, four parent peers, and four CHWs.

Manasi Kumar, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi

Anne W. Mbwayo, PhD
SMART Africa In-Country Principal Investigator
Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi

Muthoni Mathai, PhD
SMART Africa Co-Investigator
Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi


SMART Africa – U.S. Research Team

Patricia Cavazos, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry
School of Medicine
Washington University

Kimberly Hoagwood, PhD
Vice Chair for Research, Professor
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, School of Medicine
New York University

Keng-Yen Huang, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Population Health
School of Medicine
New York University

Mary McKay, PhD
Neidorff Family & Centene Corp Dean
Brown School
Washington University in St. Louis

Ozge Sensoy Bahar, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Brown School
Washington University in St. Louis

Fred Ssewamala
William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor Director & Founder of ICHAD
Brown School
Washington University in St. Louis


2) Youth Forward hub (Sierra Leone, Liberia)

Youth FORWARD establishes partnerships that leverage the expertise and resources of the Boston College School of Public Health, University of Georgia College of Public Health, CARITAS, World Bank, the governments of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and a network of youth service providers and universities.

Sierra Leone & Liberia

This Scale-Up Study uses a hybrid implementation- effectiveness trial design across N=24 youth employment programs to evaluate an innovative approach to training and supervision—Interagency Collaborative Teams —and their influence on integration, fidelity, cost and sustainment of a quality mental health intervention—the Youth Readiness Intervention (YRI)—into a national youth employment program—the Youth Employment Scheme. The concurrent effectiveness trial will assess youth mental health, emotion regulation, functioning and economic self-sufficiency among N=960 Sierra Leonean male and female youth aged 15-24 over time to determine effects of the YRI when implemented under this new delivery platform. Guided by the EPIS implementation model, qualitative data on attitudes towards mental health and barriers and facilitators to the integration of mental health services into youth employment programs will be collected.

Youth Forward U.S. Principal Investigator

Theresa Betancourt, ScD
Salem Professor in Global Practice
Boston College School of Social Work
Director, Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA)

 


3) S-MHINT hub (South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania)

S-MhINT is a research and capacity building consortium in Southern Africa that aims to strengthen regional mental health integration into primary health, antenatal, and chronic care platforms using implementation science in under-resourced areas of eastern South Africa, central Mozambique, and southern Tanzania. S-MhINT has the following overall aims:

  1. To establish and engage a trans- disciplinary Research consortium of academics, government representatives, non-governmental organizations in South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania to address the burden of common mental disorders in primary Health care settings;
  2. To examine multi-level influences on the uptake, implementation, effectiveness and sustainability of an existing scale up of an integrated Mental health package for chronic disorders at primary Health care level in two different districts having different resource capacities in South Africa;
  3. To build implementation science and dissemination Research capacity in South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania, recruiting service providers, managers, and policy makers as trainees, providing real world opportunities, mentorship, and necessary knowledge to conduct optimal scale-up of evidence-based integrated Mental Health care.

S-MHINT – South Africa

Arvin Bhana, PhD
SMART Africa Co-Principal Investigator
Chief Specialist Scientist at the South African Medical Research Council
Honorary Associate Professor of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban

Inge Petersen, PhD
SMART Africa Co-Principal Investigator
Professor, School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban


S-MHINT – Mozambique

Details forthcoming


S-MHINT – Tanzania

Details forthcoming


S-MHINT – Tanzania

Details forthcoming

 


4. HIV Cure Research Infrastructure Study (H-CRIS) – Ghana

Objectives:

  1. To fully characterize a cohort of HIV patients and evaluate their knowledge and attitude towards participation in HIV cure research.
  2. To screen a panel of 150 epigenetic modifying compounds for ability to reactivate HIV from latency in a cell line and primary cell model of latency.
  3. To evaluate top 10 lead compounds in resting CD4 T cells isolated from patients suppressed on cART for more than 6 months
  4. To assemble a well-characterized HIV patient’s biobank to serve as a repository of samples for future research and student training.

Study Sites:

  1. University of Ghana’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
  2. Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital with over 2000 beds. The Fevers Unit in the Department of Medicine sees over 16,000 HIV clinic patients annually. Monthly, the Unit see about 1400 HIV patients out of which 70 are newly diagnosed.
  3. The University of Ghana Hospital
  4. LEKMA Hospital, a community hospital in Accra.

George B. Kyei, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine Washington University in St. Louis
Senior Research Fellow, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana

Angela Ofori-Atta, PhD
Clinical Pschologist
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
University of Ghana

Dzifa Attah; PhD
Clinical Psychologist
Lecturer in Psychiatry
University of Ghana

Peter Puplampu, MB, ChB (MD)
Fellow, West Africa College of Physicians
Lecturer in Medicine
University of Ghana