There is an increase in the occurrence of epidemics and outbreaks globally, many of which are emerging such as COVID 19. These may have no known treatment or vaccines and thus present a great threat and challenge to the global public health. Research is key to finding interventions such as treatments and vaccines for such emerging global health emergencies. However, conducting research during such epidemics is very challenging due to the very nature of the outbreak.

This workshop aims to equip participants with knowledge and skills to conduct research during outbreaks and epidemics. The workshop will cover areas such as navigating the ethical landscape for research in epidemics, rapidly developing proposals that can be adapted and implemented during epidemics, as well as areas of safety during data collections.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Generate research topics/areas that can be conducted during epidemics and outbreaks
  • Understand and work through the processes of obtaining ethical approval for research during epidemics
  • Appreciate and navigate the ethical challenges associated with research conducted in epidemics
  • Ensure safety of the participants and research team before, during and after research in epidemics
  • Disseminate and publish research findings during epidemics



Dr Bernard Kikaire (Chair)
A medical doctor with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, and a master’s degree in Epidemiology.  I have been actively involved in clinical and epidemiological research in the fields of infectious diseases for the past 17 years. My professional interests include clinical and epidemiological studies evaluating of chemotherapeutic interventions to guide health policy, evaluation of health-related impact of interventions and operational health systems research.  I have been actively involved in clinical trials evaluating HIV treatment options. I also have interest in capacity building for research and currently lecturing graduate students of the school of medicine at the college of health sciences in Makerere University. I also give a once a year lecture about global health to first year medical students at Trinity College in Dublin. I am the scientific liaison officer of the EACCR2, where I also lead the HIV node. Our work entails building capacity for internationally recognized research in Eastern Africa.

Julian Sheather (Chair)
Dr Julian Sheather (PhD FRSA) is special adviser in ethics and human rights to the British Medical Association and an ethics adviser to Médecins Sans Frontières and Save the Children. His particular interests lie in health and human rights, medical ethics in times of conflict, humanitarian ethics, public health ethics and mental health and mental capacity. He is the author of Is Medicine Still Good For Us (Thames & Hudson) and writes widely on issues in ethics and health. He is a co-author of Medical Ethics Today, the BMA's handbook on medical ethics and medical law, Assessment of Mental Capacity (with the Law Society) and is a regular contributor to the British Medical Journal and The Journal of Medical Ethics. He sits on the British Medical Journal’s ethics committee and was until recently a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics’ working group on ethical aspects of research in global health emergencies. He lectures widely both nationally and internationally on a range of topics in medical ethics.

Dr. Julius J. Lutwama
Dr. Julius J. Lutwama is an Assistant Director of Research with the Ministry of Health, Uganda. He is the Deputy Director and Head of the Department of Arbovirology, Emerging and Re-Emerging Viral Infectious Diseases at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), Entebbe, Uganda.  He Heads, the Uganda NIC and the Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers Diagnostic Laboratories in Uganda. He coordinates the zoonotic diseases surveillance and the Influenza surveillance programs. With over 35 years of research, he has worked on many viral diseases including Ebola, Marburg, Influenza, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Chikungunya, O’nyong-nyong, Rift Valley Fever, Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, etc. His research interest is in field and laboratory research and epidemic aid investigations of vector-borne viral infections and other emerging viral infections; defining disease etiologies, ecology, surveillance, prevention and control. He is Associate Professor of Medical Microbiology at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University. He has received several grants from International funding bodies and has over 120 publications in international Refereed Journals, book chapters, and numerous presentations at international conferences. 

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Dr. Tom Lutalo
Position Title: Assistant Director, Research Department of Epidemiology, Data and Statistics, Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI)
Chairperson: UVRI Research Ethics Committee
Senior Investigator: Rakai Health Sciences Program
Masters in Medical Statistics (Leicester Univ., UK) and PhD in Epidemiology (Makerere University)
I have long-term interests in the field of epidemiology (infectious diseases, field epidemiology and reproductive health). My major has been the prevention of HIV, STIs and unwanted pregnancies; especially in the demographic consequences of HIV including effects of HIV on fertility, family planning use and mortality at the individual and population levels.

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Dr Jane Achan
A medical doctor with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, a master’s degree in Pediatrics and Child health and master’s training in Clinical Trials. I have been actively involved in clinical and operational research in the fields of infectious diseases, maternal and child health and health systems for the past 18 years. My professional interests include evaluation of chemotherapeutic interventions to guide health policy, evaluation of health-related impact of interventions and operational health systems research. I am an experienced provider of technical support for clinical research, public health and epidemiological strategies to health organizations focused on operational and clinical research activities. I have been actively involved in epidemiological surveillance for malaria morbidity and mortality and have provided of technical support to national malaria control agencies. Advisory role and provision of technical support on case management policy issues to national programmes. I am also a practicing pediatrician and am actively involved in health worker training for malaria case management in both East and West Africa.

I am currently the Senior Research Advisor at Malaria Consortium where I oversee and drive the research agenda and programmes across 11 countries in Africa and South East Asia. Prior to this I was the Malaria Research Coordinator at the Medical Research Council Unit in The Gambia where I was responsible for the coordination and oversight for all malaria research activities at the Unit. She is currently evaluating potential interactions between COVID-19 and malaria.

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Katharine Wright 
Katharine Wright is the Assistant Director of the UK-based Nuffield Council on Bioethics, an independent body that informs policy and public debate about the ethical questions raised by biological and medical research. She was responsible for the Council’s inquiry, Research in global health emergencies: ethical issues, conducted with the support of an international working group, and which published its detailed report and recommendations in January 2020. Her previous work with the Council includes exploration of the ethical issues associated with research with children, in the care and support of people with dementia, and in ethical approaches to the donation of bodily materials for treatment or research. Before joining the Council in 2007, Katharine worked in health law, ethics and policy in the UK House of Commons, in the English Department of Health and in the National Health Service. 

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Dr. Joseph Bonney
Dr Bonney is a locally trained Emergency Medicine Specialist under the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons where he is pursuing his Fellowship in Emergency Medicine. He holds a Master’s in Public Health, specialized in Health Service Planning and Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Masters in Disaster Medicine MSc DM from the University of Eastern Piedmont, where he is currently enrolled in the International Doctoral Program in Global Health, Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Medicine. Currently, he works as an Emergency Medicine Specialist/Attending at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital’s Emergency Medicine Directorate and heads The Research and Innovations’ Office in the same Directorate. Joe is a founding member of the Emergency Medicine Society of Ghana (EMSOG) and the current Vice President of the African Federation for Emergency Medicine. He is a member of the African coaLition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training (ALERRT) and the 2020 fellow for the ISARIC Career Development Fellowship Scheme. Dr Bonney is a research fellow with the Global Health and Infectious Diseases Research Group at the Kumasi Collaborative Centre for Research in Tropical Medicine where he works with Dr John Amuasi and has been instrumental in the implementation of the Clinical Characterization Protocol of COVID-19 in Ghana and Health Care worker survey on perceptions of healthcare workers regarding local infection prevention and control procedures for COVID-19. His keen interest in Research, Emergency and Disaster Medicine has propelled him to work with major players in the health industry and he is always ready to engage for more collaborations to improve healthcare and research in the sub-region.

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Dr. Bruce Kirenga
Chief research scientist and director Makerere university lung institute, senior lecturer department of medicine makerere university.
Bruce graduated with an MBChB degree in 2002 from Makerere University and obtained an MMed in Internal Medicine at the same university in 2009. He a 3-year registrar rotation in Pulmonology in the Department of Medicine in 2012 at Mulago Hospital. He underwent an additional year of clinical and research training in Pulmonary and Critical Medicine Section at Yale University, USA completing in 2014. Bruce completed a 2-year mentored clinical research fellowship with the Royal Tropical Institute University of Amsterdam. He completed a PhD in Medical Sciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands in 2019.

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