Tuberculosis (TB) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) in Ghana. Despite the availability of effective treatment, TB is the leading cause of death in PLHIV. Over 50% of all HIV deaths in Ghana are attributed to TB. Consequently, TB in PLHIV is a key priority for both the National TB Control Programme (NTP) and National AIDS Control Programme (NACP). The gaps in TB and HIV research in Ghana cross several disciplines including epidemiology, basic, clinical, social, behavioral, and implementation sciences, as well public health including health systems and health services research. Thus, a multidisciplinary research program is necessary to address yet unanswered and emerging questions that could transform TB prevention and care programs. At a planning meeting in Ghana to develop this application, academics, program managers and community stakeholders identified limited human and institutional research capacity as key barriers to address challenges in areas such as: TB prevention, case detection (including multi-drug resistant TB), integration of TB and HIV services, programmatic rollout of new diagnostics and interventions, as well as health services strengthening including financing. This proposal builds on 10 years of collaborative research between Brown and University of Ghana that led to NIH and USAID grant funding, as well as important publications in the field. The long-term goal of this application is to strengthen institutional capacity at the University of Ghana for multidisciplinary research with a focus on addressing TB/HIV research priorities. This goal will be achieved through a mix of research training programs in key disciplines. The specific objectives of the program are: (1) To implement a long-term research training program that will lead to a critical mass of researchers in the focus area of TB/HIV coinfection. Degree and post-doctoral training depending on the needs of the trainee will be undertaken at University of Ghana, Brown or at selected Universities in South Africa. (2) To promote and implement mentored research in basic, clinical, social, and implementation sciences, as well as health services research with a focus on TB/HIV priorities in Ghana. (3) Implement medium-term training to gain key technical expertise, as well as in-country short-term research training workshops in partnership with NTP and NACP leading to enhanced care of persons with TB/HIV coinfection. At the end of the 5-year training period, we expect to train PhD and Masters Degree candidates, postdoctoral fellow and short-term trainees with complimentary expertise who will develop and implement independent high-quality research relevant to TB and HIV control in Ghana. Ultimately, the work of trainees and their research collaborators will establish a center of excellence for TB/HIV research at the University of Ghana.
Tuberculosis (TB) among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) is a major public health problem in Ghana. TB is the leading cause of death in PLHIV. The gaps in TB and HIV research needed to inform control programs cross several disciplines including epidemiology, basic, clinical, social, behavioral, and implementation sciences, as well as public health and health services research. This multidisciplinary research training program will train a cadre of scientists and researchers with complimentary expertise who will ultimately develop independent high-quality research to address yet unanswered and emerging questions that could transform TB prevention and care programs for PLHIV in Ghana.
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