Dr. Hadii Mamudu, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services Management and Policy and Dr. Robert Pack, Professor and Associate Dean in the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health, have been awarded a Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) grant by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Academy of Sciences, a private non-profit organization of the country’s leading researchers.
Dr. Elizeus Rutebemberwa, an Associate Professor at Makerere University School of Public Health in Uganda, is principal investigator of the project, mHealth for Tuberculosis-Tobacco: An approach to reduce tobacco use among Tuberculosis patients. The other collaborators include the Center for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA) and the World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland, and Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo).
Tuberculosis and tobacco use are two formidable public health concerns and independently pose considerable threats to global health. Beyond health implications, tuberculosis and tobacco use impose severe economic and social costs on families and communities, particularly for low- and middle-income countries.
The World Health Organization Global Tuberculosis Program calls for an integrated approach toward tuberculosis-tobacco prevention and treatment, including using mHealth (an abbreviation for mobile health), a term used for the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices.
This project will provide policy and program recommendations to the tuberculosis control programs and tobacco control programs in Uganda. Integrating tobacco cessation education in treatment programs for tuberculosis patients improves knowledge and increases health-seeking behavior, issues relevant to Uganda’s development objectives. It also improves organization and management of tuberculosis programs by giving patients access to tobacco cessation education and support when seeking treatment.
This integration will include training of health workers and should result in improving the quality of health services. The project will recommend the use of the mCessation tool, which uses text messaging as a solution to providing information, following up with patients, and supporting them to quit tobacco use.
Administered by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, PEER is a competitive grants program supported by the USAID that invites scientists in low- and middle-income countries, partnered with United States Government-supported collaborators, to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities on topics with strong potential development impacts. This innovative program is designed to leverage the investments other agencies have made in scientific research and training while supporting the initiatives of scientists in low- and middle-income country scientists. For a list of funded projects, click here.