Prof. Kaleebu: The disparity among men and women in science affects Clinical Research

Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) director, Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu has revealed that the existing disparity amongst men and women in science hampers progress in clinical research.

Kaleebu revealed that women are underrepresented in the academic science fields in Africa compared to the their male counterparts.

Kaleebu made the remarks while awarding scholarships worth US$570,000 to five female scientists from under-represented countries in the Eastern Africa region, to pursue PhD programmes in the areas of infectious diseases,bioethics, research methodology, and biostatistics.

“Less women win research grants;
they tend to have fewer publications than their male counterparts and fewer women are appointed to senior academic positions.” explained Prof. Kaleebu who is also the coordinator for the East African Consortium for Clinical Research (EACCR) programme.

“Following the current challenges of increased epidemics and of reemerging diseases such as Ebola and COVID-19 among others, there is demand for high quality scientists and researchers to be equipped with skills and knowledge in the preparedness of epidemic response as well as the required high quality clinical research,” said Kaleebu

The project dubbed Capacity-building for Female Scientists in East Africa (CAFE-SEA), is funded by the United Kingdom through the national institute for health science. The participants who qualified for the scholarship include Agnes Gatarayiha from Rwanda, William Bukwan from South Sudan, Senait Tadesse of Ethiopia, Miza Silima from Zanzibar and Belyse Munezero from Burundi.

The PhD fellowship will last for a period of three years with a possibility of having an extension of six months, for female candidates who may happen to have given birth during the due course of their study.

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