PhD Induction Module

Bioethics Leadership Program: PhD Induction Module

 The overall goal of this two-week module which was held in August 2017 was to introduce the trainees to the requirements and expectations of the ARESA Leadership program, to interact with faculty and potential mentors, and to develop skills relevant to conducting bioethics research at a doctoral level. Trainees were expected to prepare in advance for these induction sessions by submitting a letter to the program directors 2 weeks before the session outlining their strengths, developmental areas and training needs and indicating how they anticipate their journey will be over the next 3 years on the program including a timeline of goals.

The Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, Stellenbosch University, South Africa and the Center for Bioethics, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, United States have been awarded a D43 capacity development grant from the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a leadership program in Bioethics in Southern Africa from 2017-2022. Successful applicants have been awarded partial scholarships to obtain a PhD (Clinical & Research Ethics). The ARESA Bioethics Leadership Program was advertised with Research Ethics Committees, academic institutions and other health institutions in South Africa and Southern Africa earlier this year.

 Approximately 14 high quality applications were received and the Advisory Committee selected the ARESA Bioethics Leadership trainees for the 2017 academic year. For more information on the Doctoral program visit

Sadly, one of the selected candidates, Mr Nyanyukweni Tshifugula, passed away at the end of 2017. See below for more information on the selected PhD candidates and their focus areas.


PhD Intake 2020
Dr Victor Chalwe

is a Zambian medical doctor, Associate Professor of Health Sciences and Public Health Specialist. He has 19 years of health experience including more than 16 years of research experience serving as CoͲInvestigator or Principal Investigator on over 30 malaria and HIV/TB studies.

Victor has worked as the Head of the Clinical Sciences Department (2003Ͳ2011), at the Institute for Medical Research  and  Training. In 2011 – 2013 he was appointed as a Deputy Director in the Zambian Army and in 2014 he was appointed as an Acting Director – Public Health and Research at the Provincial Health Office in Luapula, Zambia. He was also a  Public Health Specialist (2015Ͳ2017). In August 2017, he was appointed  as  the  Deputy Director for the National Health Research Authority.

Dr Chalwe is currently an Associate Professor at Chreso University, Lusaka, Zambia.

The ethics of biological sample transfer in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ms Tiwonge Mtande

holds an MSocSc (Research Ethics) from the University of KwaZuluͲNatal and a BSc degree (Biology & Demography) from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. She has over a decade of working experience on various University of North Carolina (UNC) research ethics projects in Malawi. Tiwonge has worked as a quality control officer for a clinical trial on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). This work has been integral in guiding the World Health Organization recommendations on Option B+ strategy for PMTCT. Later she worked as a regulatory officer managing the ethical and regulatory aspects of drug and vaccine trials conducted by the Project. She developed her interest in bioethics while working as a regulatory officer.

Ms Tiwonge is currently employed as a study coordinator for a randomized trial in Lilongwe, which is evaluating male engagement strategies in HIV services

Mapping the ethical and regulatory considerations for responsible conduct of pragmatic randomized clinical trials in Malawi.

Dr Joseph Ochieng

is a medical doctor trained at Makerere University. He also has an MSc in Anatomy. He also has a Masters of Health Sciences in Bioethics from the University of Toronto, Canada. He is an Associate Professor and former Head of the Department of Anatomy, Makerere University at the College of Health Sciences. Joseph has more than 16 years’ experience in bioethics and research ethics implementation activities in Uganda. He was a member of the drafting committee that revised the Uganda national guidelines for conduct of research involving humans as participants in 2007 and 2014.

He is currently chairing the national task force that is revising the 2014 National Guidelines for conduct of research involving humans as research participants. He is also part of the team formulating the initial national guidelines for conducting research involving animal as research subjects as well as the national guidelines for biobanking.

Ethical, legal and social issues associated with return of results during genetics and genomics research in Uganda

Ms Boitumelo Mokgatla

is the Associate Global Director for Advocacy, Policy and Regulatory Affairs at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). Prior to joining IAVI, she was the Africa Programs Director

for the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) where she also coordinated the Mapping African Research Ethics and Medicines Regulatory Capacity (MARC Initiative). Prior to joining COHRED, Boitumelo served as an occupational therapist at Botswana’s main referral hospital. Through these positions, she has worked extensively with the governments of


twentyͲtwo Sub Saharan African countries, with national and international research institutions, in public private  partnerships, and civil society  organizations  providing policy advocacy and regulatory affairs leadership and advice on HIV,  TB,  Malaria  and neglected tropical diseases’ research including clinical trials.

Artificial     Intelligence     in     healthcare  and research in Africa: ethical challenges.

Mr N Pandeni Tshifugula, Dr Theresa Burgess, Dr Geremew Tsegaye, Prof K Moodley and Assoc Prof Stuart Rennie during the Induction module which took place in August 2017.