The uniqueness of this project is that it tackles hypertension which is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality associated with CVD in Africa and globally.
Through preventive efforts like dissemination, community awareness, and publication, the burden of this disease can be curtailed and prevented in Africa which can be duplicated in other LMICs.
Although various evidence-based effective interventions for control of hypertension in high-Income countries exist, implementation is challenging in Rwanda like other low-income countries (LICs), due to lack of capacity and infrastructure for late-phase (T4) translational research (TR).
Thus, developing competencies for a generation of highly skilled Rwandans in T4TR to identify facilities, resources, and capabilities to nurture dissemination and implementation research (D&IR) are critical to creating a context-specific research plan for HTN control in Rwanda.
This project will create a collaborative team of academics, clinicians, community healthcare providers, and public health experts to engage in T4TR by building the competencies required to enhance uptake of proven interventions for control of hypertension in Rwanda.
- To design training activities to build capacity for T4TR to improve prevention and control of hypertension in Rwanda.
- To conduct a needs assessment on facilities, resources, skills, and data to advance T4TR capacity for sustainable hypertension control in Rwanda.
- To develop a comprehensive context-specific hypertension research plan.
Through our collaborative network with Washington University in St Louis, we have developed a roadmap/milestones for implementation. We have put together a multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, and health care experts, and have undertaken major project implementation strategies.
We have convened stakeholders’ meetings to foster productive dialogue, partnerships and trained a team of scientists on dissemination and implementation research (D&IR).
We have also embarked on a plan to carry out a needs assessment of facilities, resources, and skills required for D&IR for control of hypertension in Rwanda. Our efforts include a continuous robust mentorship plan for trainees to support needs assessment to generate data, to provide evidence for dissemination.
Rwanda is a central African country commonly known as “The Land of a Thousand Hills”, with five volcanoes, 23 lakes and numerous rivers, one of them forming the source of the River Nile. The country lies 75 miles south of the equator in the Tropic of Capricorn, 880 miles as the crow flies west of the Indian Ocean and 1,250 miles east of the Atlantic Ocean — literally in the heart of Africa.
Rwanda is bordered by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west.
The Regional Alliance for Sustainable Development and the University of Rwanda College of Medicine and Health Sciences (UR- CMHS) have partnered with Washington University in St Louis, MO, USA, amalgamated resources and expertise for T4TR training efforts. The efforts are geared at implementing skills training through in-country workshops, distance learning/training, and mentorships to develop competencies for dissemination and implementation research (D&IR).
The program will implement T4TR curriculum on competencies retention and post-mentorship for junior Scholars and to train University of Rwanda faculty through the Continuous Medical Education (CME) Accreditation program.
Through this program, qualitative and quantitative tools will be developed and validated, desk reviews conducted on needs assessments for HTN chronic care, capacity, facilities, resources and capabilities for T4TR to support the implementation of evidence-based interventions to reduce HTN and overall cardiovascular disease morbidities. The goal is to foster and strengthen partnerships at the grassroots community level and to leverage resources with existing training programs for sustainable and independent T4TR capacity.
The programs will prioritize intervention areas to develop a research plan and disseminate findings through community networks, websites, healthcare forums, and resource-sharing databases to guide policy and practice. Through collaboration with steering committee members, the program will evaluate progress based on specific aims, milestones and outcome measures. The plan is to establish the required network and capacity to propose and conduct high impact T4TR on HTN control and substantially impact public health in Rwanda.
The project team will communicate the results of the needs assessment and skills development to all stakeholders and Rwandan communities and end users. The goal is to obtain feedback from stakeholders, and to develop a context-specific plan, and utilize well-validated data for control of hypertension (HTN).
This will be carried out through knowledge sharing and utilization by Rwandan communities at all levels, that would potentially be replicated in Africa and other low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The dissemination will target social and cultural Rwandan perspectives in terms of behavioral/habitual activities that strongly influence HTN/CVD related morbidities. The messages are designed to target a particular audience based on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, social classes and other factors.
Dissemination strategies will include: linkage and exchange events to share relevant HTN research syntheses; developing a user-driven dissemination strategy through various media engagements; developing researcher/knowledge user networks especially community health workers (CHW). This particular group will form intermediaries to facilitate knowledge utilization and form a strong bridge between researchers and other knowledge users. These are critical elements for HTN translation; public health awareness and control to support evidence to shape decisions interpret, and adapt evidence to the local Rwandan context.
We are pleased to partner with the following organisations: