Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi appointed as Joep Lange Chair

The Joep Lange Chair and Fellows Program brings together experts from different backgrounds and geographies to collaborate on research that will help drive change in the field of global health. The Chair is established by the Joep Lange Institute and is hosted by the Department of Global Health of the Academic Medical Center (AMC) and the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD).

The newly appointed Joep Lange Chair Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi, managing director of APHRC, will focus on generating evidence and knowledge on issues related to the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in African countries. The burden of these diseases is rising disproportionately among lower income countries and populations and the current healthcare systems are not fully equipped to meet the needs for NCD prevention and treatment. Up to now, the focus has been mainly on mitigating the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Dr Kyobutungi aims to set up a research program on chronic disease management aimed at strengthening the responsiveness of health systems to both infectious and non-communicable diseases.

In addition, Dr Kyobutungi’s will explore the role of digital technology and innovative healthcare financing in bridging the gap between patients with NCDs and their families and the healthcare system. Ultimately, the objective is to engineer the healthcare system in a way that ensures access to healthcare is equitable across diseases, age, and socioeconomic class.

Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi is the Executive Director at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Kyobutungi is an accomplished researcher, and leader. She has been a principal investigator on more than 25 projects and has authored over 90 articles in peer-reviewed international journals. At the APHRC, she has spearheaded the development of a research program on addressing the leakages in the continuum of NCD risk reduction.

The Joep Lange Chair and Fellows programs was established in 2015 in commemoration of Joep Lange and Jacqueline van Tongeren, with the aim to promote collaborative research and achieve groundbreaking progress in health systems and service delivery in low- and middle-income countries. The multidisciplinary approach is echoed in the unique rotating character of the Chair, which will welcome up to five (partly concurrent) professors from different fields of expertise in five years. Besides Dr. Kyobutungi three other Chairs have been appointed: behavioral economist Dan Ariely, physician and medical researcher Mark Dybul and health economist Anna Vassall.

The Joep Lange Institute promotes innovations to make health markets work for the poor. The Institute believes innovations in (digital) technology and finance will help reach more people at lower cost, and offer new ways to address access and barriers to care.

For more information
For more information on the Chair, AIGHD and the Joep Lange Institute please contact Laurens Pels, on +31 6 19 206 238 or l.pels@joeplangeinstitute.org

About Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi
Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi is the Executive Director at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) in Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Makerere University (Uganda), a Master of Science in Community Health and Health Management and a Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology both from Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg (Germany). She has authored over 90 articles in peer-reviewed international journals. Most of her publications address issues related to non-communicable diseases (NCD) including risk factors and common conditions, specifically hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.  She has passion for evidence playing a role in decision making and her research over the last eight years, has contributed to decisions at different levels including: management of cardiovascular diseases in primary health care facilities in Nairobi, the use of community health volunteers (CHVs) in NCD management, the development of treatment guidelines for hypertension in Kenya, development of training modules for CHVs and the elevation of the policy debate about NCDs in Kenya.