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Harnessing Digital Technologies to Support Treatment Adherence and Completion in Patients with Tuberculosis Disease in Uganda
SPONSOR: Emory-Georgia TRAC
Juliet N. Sekandi, MD, MS, DrPH, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics in the Global Health Institute at the UGA College of Public Health, will be the guest speaker for a seminar hosted by Emory-Georgia TRAC on Friday, November 4 from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM.
Join in person at Emory University in the Grace Crum Rollins Building, Rita Anne Rollins Room #860 (breakfast is provided); or join via Zoom (Meeting ID: 935 3025 7477).
About the guest speaker: As a physician-scientist trained in epidemiology, health services research, and global health, Dr. Juliet Sekandi is an Assistant Professor at UGA’s College of Public Health with a research focus on Tuberculosis (TB). Specifically, her interests are using digital technologies (mHealth) to improve TB treatment adherence, the application of artificial intelligence to enhance implementation of digital technologies, and examining ethical issues related to the use of digital technologies in public health research.
TB is an infectious disease that is both largely treatable and curable. Complete TB cure depends on proper adherence to the prescribed standard treatment for 6-8 months, and it is estimated that over 30% of patients do not complete their treatment as prescribed for various reasons. The World Health Organization recommends that patients should be directly observed by health care workers when swallowing their daily medications for the duration of treatment to ensure adequate adherence. However, this intervention is less feasible to implement due to the limited capacity and shortage of human resources in health systems, especially in Africa. Digital technologies offer the potential to bridge health systems gaps in treatment monitoring and patients’ support to improve treatment outcomes. Dr. Sekandi’s study uses mixed methods to evaluate the acceptability and effectiveness of using video observed treatment among TB patients in Uganda. Her overarching goal is to improve treatment outcomes and prevent emergence of drug-resistant TB.