Working group objective
Support and promote the conduct of descriptive and predictive epidemiological studies using individual or aggregated data, and studies that assess the impact of COVID-19 on other diseases and on health systems, as well as health economics studies.
Working group members
Chirag Bavishi, MD, MPH is an Interventional Cardiologist with expertise in coronary and structural heart interventions at the Rhode Island and Miriam Hospitals, Brown University, Providence, United States. Having an epidemiology and biostatistics background, he is actively involved in clinical research and has numerous publications in reputed journals. He is currently working on several research projects focusing on the cardiovascular aspects of COVID-19 infection.
Agustín Ciapponi is a Magister of Clinical Effectiveness and a Doctor of Public Health at the University of Buenos Aires. After several systematic reviews, he became coordinator of the local Cochrane Center and, subsequently, as Director of Cochrane Argentina. He is also editor of Clinical Cochrane Answers and Independent investigator of CONICET. He carries out teaching activities as Assistant Professor of Public Health at the School of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and is Director of postgraduate courses for ‘Systematic Review & Meta-analysis’ and ‘Evidence Based Medicine’. He is Editor of the journal ‘Archivos de Medicina Familiar y General,’ and is a member of the Editorial Board ‘EVIDENCIA en la práctica ambulatoria’ (a bi-monthly Spanish EBM journal). His major expertise is in the field of the Systematic Review & Meta-analysis. Agustín has authored over 90 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals and books, including four Cochrane systematic reviews.
Anna Mia Ekström holds a Clinical Professorship in Global Infectious Disease Epidemiology and has 20 years of leadership, networking and international project management. She leads the research group Global & Sexual health (GloSH) <https://ki.se/en/gph/global-and-sexual-health-glosh at KI)> in Stockholm. With over 40 multi-disciplinary researchers, this group is also home to Prof. Hans Rosling’s teaching legacy. Her research focuses on HIV, infectious disease outbreaks (COVID-19, Zika, Ebola), harm reduction, Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) research, gender-based violence, social norms, and program evaluation. Ongoing studies related to COVID-19 include: Health, social and poverty effects of restrictions on vulnerable populations’ access to prevention and treatment of HIV, NCDs, mental health, harm reduction and SRHR services, prevalence of GBV, alcohol & drug use, and food insecurity in Uganda, Myanmar and South Africa. Population survey of the COVID-19 effects on gender norms and young women’s economic empowerment in India, in collaboration with World Values Survey, UCSD and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. COVID-19 disease spread among family members on non-hospitalized patients in Sweden.
Shai Linn – Full Professor, University of Haifa, Israel.Physician and epidemiologist. Two medical specialties: Public Health and Health Management. Received an M.D. degree from Hebrew University, MPH, and Dr PH both from Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.Deputy Medical Director of the Rambam Hospital (1982-1985), head of the medical record committee at the Rambam Medical Center (1982-1989, 1992-1998), head of the Unit of Epidemiology (1993-2010) at the Rambam Medical Center and head of medical informatics at the Faculty of Medicine of the Technion in various capacities. Served as a Visiting Scientist at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland (USA). Received a grant from the well known MacArthur Foundation, Social Science Research Council for studying the human cost of war injuries (1990-1992). Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina, USA (1986) and the University of British Columbia, Canada (1990-1992). Consultant at the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics in Maryland, USA (1985-1986) and to the World Bank (1998) and the AIDS Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2000). Epidemiologist of the Israel Transplant Center (1999). Was a member of several Israel National Medical Councils. Founder and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Technion (1992-1999). Founder and Chair of the Department of Public Health at the University of Haifa (2003-2007). Dean of the Faculty for Social Welfare and Health Sciences at the University of Haifa (2010-2016). Published extensively in leading journals, an instructor of 67 students for higher degrees.
David Maman MD, PhD, is a French medical epidemiologist, based in Brussels, Belgium. David has been working in the field of HIV and Hepatitis for 15 years mostly with Médecins Sans Frontières and Epicentre, its epidemiology research center. He held different positions in resource-limited settings (clinician, medical coordinator, and epidemiologist), mostly in sub-Saharan Africa (Burkina Faso, Malawi, DRC, and South Africa) and in Paris, at Epicentre headquarters. His main research interests are in clinical epidemiology of HIV and HCV and he supervised numerous research projects in Africa and Asia on the population impact of HIV and HCV programs, long term mortality and morbidity, ART resistance, diagnostic evaluation, and advanced HIV. He currently supports SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence surveys in sub-Saharan Africa and works on the impact of the pandemic and HIV services, in particular, testing and ART initiation.
I am an Associate Professor and physician scientist at the University of Virginia. My research is focused on critical illness and sepsis in resource-limited settings. I am particularly interested in the identification and management of sepsis in people living with HIV. The majority of my work is done in partnership with colleagues at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Mbarara, Uganda where I am also a Professor in the Department of Medicine. My research has led to inclusion in a sepsis working group at the World Health Organization which created guidelines and a research protocol for the treatment of sepsis in resource-limited settings across the world. I am interested in contributing to the knowledge of the clinical epidemiology of COVID-19 in resource-limited settings including sub-Saharan Africa.
Richard Ssekitoleko is a physician and epidemiologist with over ten years’ experience in research and lecturing internal medicine and four years’ experience in managing public health emergencies, disease outbreak preparedness, response and recovery. Richard has been at the forefront of averting and controlling different epidemics in various African countries including the largest Ebola outbreak in world history (2014-2015 in West Africa), Meningitis and Cholera outbreaks in Imatong state, South Sudan in 2016, the 2019 Ebola outbreak in Kasese district, Uganda and now the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda.He has worked in various capacities and in different organisations including; the African Union, USAID, WHO, and IGAD and has participated in designing Uganda’s current Viral Haemorrhagic fever (VHF) national guidelines and standards. He has conducted emergency preparedness and readiness assessments for many districts across Uganda. Presently he is conducting Ebola preparedness and COVID-19 response activities in the South-Western Uganda districts for Surveillance, Case Management, Infection Prevention, and Control Pillars. As an experienced researcher and lecturer of epidemiology, his research work has resulted in publications in a number of peer reviewed journals Passionate about mentoring and sharing knowledge with health workers and communities, researching and training on infectious diseases, general medicine, and epidemiology, he also enjoys meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.
I am a physician and public health specialist. My clinical practice and research work has focused on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). As a researcher for an evidence-based medicine and NCDs project, I currently work on evidence synthesis for decision making around the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Co-Founder, CEO & Director of the IHCAI (Institute International Health Central American Institute Foundation), since 1988 (affiliated to Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA and University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, USA)
• Director of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre (Central America and Spanish Caribbean)
• IDB-DIME Collaborative Network for decision-making of high financial impact medicines in Latin America since 2017
• Senior Consultant PAHO-WHO, Washington, D.C.
• Public Health Journal, Editorial committee member since 2017
• HL7 (Health Level Seven) – FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources)
• COKA (COVID Knowledge Accelerator), USA, since 2019
• Scientific Committee Member University of Connecticut School of Medicine, since 2002
• Adjunct associate professor, community health and research, Harvard Medical School
• Off-Campus Adjunct associate professor, Harvard Medical School. (ME 518 Rural Medicine and Nutrition in Latin America), since 1999
Juan Carlos Villar, MD, PhD is a Colombian internist with training in preventive cardiology and clinical epidemiology at McMaster University in Canada. He is currently professor of medicine at Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga (his home town), where he teaches evidence based medicine and leads a masters program in health research methods to produce or use knowledge (two different paths). He is also head of the Research Center at Fundación Cardioinfantil, Instituto de Cardiología, Bogotá (the nation´s capital). This is a 300-bed university hospital and referral center for cardiovascular disease. He has served as the leading investigator for Colombia in a number of international trials. He has also authored or co-authored a number of systematic reviews and was the leader of the national guideline for hypertension in Colombia. He has a long standing interest for Chagas disease and is currently conducting a number of clinical trials in this field. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he has been editor of “Recados”, a series of rapid reviews/evidence-based recommendations for a network of hospitals that are building a patient registry in order to conduct collaborative studies.
Dr Paul Yonga is the Chair and Clinical Epidemiologist at Fountain Projects and Research Office (FOPRO), as well as a Consultant Infectiologist and Tropical/Travel Medicine Specialist at Fountain Health Care Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya. He received his MBChB in 2012 from Kampala International University in Uganda, then undertook his Internal Medicine training under the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (MRCP) in the United Kingdom. He then specialized in Infectious Diseases under various units in Europe (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden; and Research Centre Borstel-Leibniz Lung Centre, Borstel, Germany) and Canada (British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Vancouver) with additional training in high-resolution anoscopy (HRA) at the Amsterdam University Medical Centre-AMC, the Netherlands, and travel medicine from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He also holds a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) with a focus on Tropical Medicine and International Health from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium, with additional training in qualitative research from the Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway; and clinical epidemiology from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. His clinical and research interests are in general and emerging infectious diseases, HIV co-infections and co-morbidities, and travel medicine.
- IECS Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy [in Spanish]
- Evidence synthesis on COVID-19 (Recados) Research department– Fundación Cardioinfantil- Instituto de Cardiología [in Spanish]
Challenges in conducting clinical research in resource-limited settings: Experiences during COVID-19
15 April 2021