Charles Batte, MBChB, MPH
Nominated From: University of Washington
Research Site: Mulago Hospital
Research Area: Non-Communicable Diseases
Primary Mentor: Joseph Babigumira
Non-communicable diseases (NCD) comorbidities among people living with HIV/AIDS: A health outcomes and cost study.
As Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) has extended the lives of People Living with HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases (NCD) comorbidities have become a critical issue for this population. An increasing prevalence of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes mellitus among PLWHA has been reported in recent times. These NCD increase health care utilization costs and negatively impact HRQoL of PLWHA. Therefore, understanding the NCD burden among PLWHA and its impact on HRQoL is critical if we are to maintain the gains we have already made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The aim of this study is to determine health related outcomes and costs associated with NCD comorbidities among PLWHA.
Both the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 Fast-track targets by 2020 and the United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS by 2030 call for an integrated approach to the HIV/NCD dual burden. It is however, increasingly difficult for policy makers to justify the large investments needed to step up integrated HIV interventions from current health budgets when faced with many other urgent health priorities. HRQoL among HIV patients on ART with or without NCD is an immediate effect of integrated approaches that is receiving very little attention in policy debates especially in LMICs. Our study seeks to bridge this gap and generate quality of life and costing evidence that can be used to make a case for increasing funding required to achieve integrated HIV/NCD care for all
Advice for Potential Candidates
In Luganda we say, “Adingana amawolu, y’agajamu omukuto” literally encouraging people to “Keep going / trying” – This is a great fellowship program and it is very likely that you will not get in the first time. However, just keep pushing until something happens – it is the opportunity that will change your life, and its certainly worth all the effort and waiting!