PhD defense as part of INTERACT

Ugandan PhD students successfully defend their theses in Europe as part of the INTERACT program. The PhD students contribute to the mission to strengthen research and develop capacity to fight diseases.


Two Ugandan PhD students successfully defended their theses. Dr. Pauline Byakika-Kibwika defended her thesis ‘Pharmacokinetics of selected antiretroviral and antimalarial drugs in Ugandan adults’ at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, on 16th January 2012. Dr. William Worodria defended his thesis ‘The Challenges of management of TB/HIV co-infection in resource-limited countries’ at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, on 24th February 2012. The PhD students are both from Uganda and did their research under the Infectious Diseases Network for Treatment and Research in Africa (INTERACT) program.


The INTERACT-program is an international research capacity building program whose mission is to strengthen research and develop capacity to fight tuberculosis, malaria and HIV by strengthening the infrastructure to conduct clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of the above mentioned infectious diseases. The program is a partnership of Rwandan, Ugandan, Dutch, Belgian and Irish researchers and institutions and started in 2005. AIGHD Amsterdam manages the INTERACT program together with its two branch offices in Uganda and Rwanda. AIGHD Uganda closely collaborates with Makerere University in Kampala in the management and execution of the INTERACT program.


The INTERACT program has three components:
1. Capacity building for clinical trials (including training, implementation of Good clinical Practice)
2. PhD research projects and epidemiological baseline studies
3. Improving the standard of care at participating research clinics

Program funding is covered by the Netherlands-African partnership for capacity development and clinical interventions against poverty-related diseases (NACCAP) and the European Union. The program runs through our country offices in Rwanda and Uganda. The program was funded for five years, and is currently in a non-cost extension period to complete among others the PhD programs. The 3rd PhD student in Uganda is Dr. Ibrahim Sendagire and his thesis defense is expected in June 2012.


AIGHD Uganda, in Kampala, held a small celebration on February 29th to congratulate the two students upon their achievements.