Africa Medical and Behavioural Sciences Organization (Uganda)


The Covid-19 pandemic has been described as the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two (UNDP, 2020), with detrimental effects on global healthcare systems and human life. This has resulted in several effects including high morbidity, gender-based violence, and limited access to basic social services, requiring urgent multisectoral efforts through established social structures that are available. This project will investigate religious beliefs and current practices and identify opportunities to use their influence to help prevent Covid-19. Using the Population Health Surveillance (PHS) of the African Medical and Behavioral Sciences Organization (AMBSO), we will identify existing religious beliefs associated with Covid-19 infection and find out its related community practices arising from religious influence. We will also identify potential opportunities within religious structures that could support the control of the pandemic. Phone-based interview data will be collected from 330 previously surveyed participants to measure level of knowledge, attitudes, and opinions on Covid-19. In-depth Interviews will be conducted with 32 community and religious leaders to explore beliefs, practices, and impact related to the pandemic. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis will be done using STATA 16 and NVINVO 10, respectively. Information from this study will be used for strategic discussions with the National Covid-19 task force, Ministry of Health, and the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda about Covid-19 prevention strategies through the religious structure.

Principal Investigator

Fred Nalugoda

Dr., Research, Africa Medical and Behavioural Sciences Organization

Nalugoda holds a doctor of philosophy in epidemiology and public health from Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda, and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, United States. He completed a master of health sciences (MHS) degree at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a bachelor of statistics degree from Makerere University. Dr. Nalugoda has worked with Rakai Health Sciences Program (RHSP) as program director, which involved providing oversight to all research and service activities and ensuring that protocols are properly implemented in a timely and cost-effective manner and that ethical guidelines are adhered to. He supervised and provided oversight for numerous research studies. He has continued to provide leadership and oversight for collaborations. He has been PI and co-PI on several proposals and studies. He currently heads the Department of Grants, Science and Training at RHSP. He is one of the directors of Africa Medical and Behavioral Sciences Organization (AMBSO) and provides critical support in acquisition of research and training grants. He ensures that data is analyzed and utilized through working with other scientists, researchers, partners and faculty, as well as through mentoring national and international students/fellows and staff.