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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5U2RTW010125-08 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Berhane, Kiros
Organization: Columbia University Health Sciences
Project Title: Geohealth Hub for Research and Training in Eastern Africa - U.S.
Fiscal Year: 2023


PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT This application requests renewal of a progressive and tiered training program that equips researchers and research teams with the skills to advance the occupational and environmental health research and translational agenda in the linked U01 application (1/2: GEOHealth Hub for Research and Training in Eastern Africa – Ethiopia). The trainees will be equipped to become regional research and training leaders and knowledgeable in guiding policy. Building on successes and lessons from the current program, the proposed training and research will advance translation of locally relevant scientific evidence around pressing issues in environmental and occupational health, including climate change, into impactful actions. The training program will be implemented in collaboration with Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Ethiopia, the Hub institution for the linked application; the Spoke institutions are in Kenya (University of Nairobi) and Uganda (Makerere University). Additional training partners will be in Rwanda, Ghana, and Cameroon further expanding the Hub's reach beyond Eastern Africa, and longer-term plans will move toward more targeted expansion across sub-Saharan Africa. The training program will build the competencies needed to address critical research themes emerging from comprehensive Situational Analysis and Needs Assessments for these low- and middle-income countries: indoor and outdoor air pollution, with a focus on children's and women's health; occupational health, specifically heat exposure and worker productivity; and climate change. The U2R team includes experienced researchers and educators from Columbia University, Colorado School of Public Health, Colorado State University, and the University of Southern California who have records of collaboration with AAU and other partner institutions. Tiered training activities will promote enhanced research capacity—creating national scientific leaders who can advance research that addresses issues in occupational and environmental health—and skills in policy translation, for national and regional contexts. In line with these goals and to ensure sustainability, the Hub and Spoke institutions will assume leadership for locally developed training. The Hub Scholar program will continue to use a flexible, cost-effective array of training modalities, including limited-length stays at Columbia University and other US partner institutions; in-country MS- and PhD-level training with co-advising by US-based and Eastern African mentors; in-country workshops and short courses; and synchronous and asynchronous distance- based approaches. We also will continue to use innovative approaches to facilitate policy translation through real-world engagement with stakeholders. Evaluation will track participants' success in meeting their development goals in the short term and, in the longer term, in completing the proposed research, contributing scientific presentations and papers, and attaining grant funding. Through careful case studies, we will continue to examine the impact of trainees on policy indicators, such as implementation of new national air quality standards and guidelines, regulations, and changes in practices.



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