SickleGenAfrica Collaborative Sites

Abuja

The Abuja Site operates within the Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Research and Training which is a Research Institute under the University of Abuja. The Site is also affiliated with the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria.

Rukayyat Morenike Ibrahim

Research Nurse

Rukayyat is the Research Nurse for SickleGenAfrica’s Abuja Site with 3 years working experience as a research associate with the Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease Research and Training (CESRTA) where she was privileged to do her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). She obtained a B.Sc in Nursing at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Oshogbo and has operated as a staff Nurse Midwife in various hospitals. These have helped develop her skills in patient/client care. Rukayyat has attended preliminary training in genetic counseling at the University of Cape Town and contributes to the organization’s goals through good teamwork.

Adewole Ameh Adeyefa

Research Coordinator

In the position of Research Coordinator for the Abuja Site is Adewole. He is a graduate of medicine and surgery, Bingham University Karu with National Youth service experience as a casualty officer at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja. He also holds the position of Medical Officer at the Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease Research and Training (CESRTA), University of Abuja. He is also involved in patient enrolment for SPARCO, in newborn screening for SCD in Gwagwalada and other projects and events organized by CESRTA.

Chimdindu Maryrose Anyikwa​

Laboratory Scientist

As Medical Laboratory Scientist; Uzoma who graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University with a Bachelors in Medical Laboratory Science in 2014. She trained as an Intern Medical Laboratory Scientist at the National Hospital Abuja in 2016. She then worked at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital(UATH), Gwagwalada while serving the nation as a Youth Corps Member. She currently works at the Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Research and Training, University of Abuja, (CESRTA). She is the Medical Laboratory Scientist for the Abuja Site. She is also a Research Assistant for the Interdisciplinary Research Network for Sickle Cell Studies in Nigeria and SPARCO. Uzoma is also a member of the Association of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigerian (AMLSCN).

Accra

Accra, the capital city of Ghana is home to the University of Ghana’s School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital which are the two institutions for the Accra Collaborative Site.  Recruitments at the Site take place at the adult sickle cell disease clinic and the paediatric sickle cell disease clinic. 

Catherine Segbefia​

Co-investigator - Paediatrics

Catherine is a Co-Investigator with the Accra Site. She is responsible for the overall enrolment of paediactric patients and assists with ensuring accurate and complete data collection and submission. Her medical degree is from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. She trained as a general paediatrician in the Department of Child Health, KBTH and did a subspecialty fellowship in Paediatric Haematology/Oncology (with specialization in Haemoglobinopathies, Haemostasis and Thrombosis) at the Hospital for Sick Children/University of Toronto, Canada. She is also the Medical Lead for Newborn Screening in Sickle Cell Disease at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. She also holds the position of Head of Paediatric Haematology and Sickle Cell Clinics at the same hospital. For Catherine, SickleGenAfrica is potentially revolutionary for all individuals affected by SCD in sub-Saharan Africa.

Amma Benneh-Akwasi Kuma​

Co-investigator - Adult

Amma is a co-investigator with the responsibility of overseeing the enrolment of adult patients with Sickle Cell Disease at the Centre of Clinical Genetics, Korle-Bu. She graduated from the University of Ghana Medical School and is a fellow of the West African College of Physicians and Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is a Haematologist with over fifteen years of experience in managing patients with sickle cell disease. She is passionate about enhancing their quality of life. She has participated in several public education programmes on sickle cell disease and has undertaken various research projects in that field in conjunction with researchers from Center for Translational and International Haematology at the University of Pittsburgh, among others.

Enoch Opoku Antoh​

Clinical Research Coordinator

Enoch is the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Accra Site. His main responsibility is to coordinate all aspects of enrolment of research subjects (sickle cell patients and control subjects without sickle cell disease) into the project. His other roles include the recruitment of participants, collection, processing, storage and shipment of research samples. He has a Laboratory Science background, holds an MPhil degree in Applied Epidemiology and Disease Control and Advanced course in the Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme from the University of Ghana. He has nine years of working experience in the Laboratory and Public Health practice. His research interest is infectious diseases. He has been part of several outbreak investigations in Ghana. Enoch joined this Project to acquire experience in research and to broaden his knowledge in genetics and genomics of Sickle Cell Disease.

Eugenia Oppong​

Research Nurse

Eugenia is the research nurse for the Accra Collaborative Site. She had her nursing training at Central University, Miotso (Ghana), where she obtained her first degree in BSc Nursing. Her responsibilities include the introduction of the project to sickle cell disease (SCD) patients, recruitment of interested persons, track and record care of acutely ill SCD patients, and compile clinical data.

Before joining this project, she only concerned herself with the basics when it came to sickle cell disease. So, she reckoned that joining this project would help in broadening her knowledge in SCD.

Eugenia has three (3) years of working experience in the ward.

Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is home for Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and MUHAS Academic Medical Centre where the SickleGenAfrica operates in Tanzania. The Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion sits within the School of Medicine which serves as a center for healthcare, research, education and training in Haematology and blood transfusion (H&BT) in Tanzania. The Dar site collaborates with the Sickle Cell Programme within the Department which is responsible for conducting sickle cell related biomedical research, support health care, advocacy and training.

Daniel Kandonga​

Data Coordinator

Daniel Kandonga is a Data Manager at the Dar es Salaam Site, where he assists the Site with data collection and data coordination activities. He has a desire to assist and perfect systematic data collection methods and this drove him to join the team. He got his BSc in Computer Science at St. Augustine University, Ruaha University College. Daniel has worked in the Computer Science field for five years and went on to obtain an MSc in Health Informatics from the University of Dar es Salaam. As part of his Master’s training, he was involved in a one-year training at the University of Dar es Salaam Health Centre in Health Informatics. His skillset includes Computer Programming, Networking, System Analysis and Design as well as Databases. His is currently focused on learning new technologies relating to Data Visualization.

Siana Nkya​

Investigator

Siana is the Investigator at the Dar es Salaam Site. Her duties are primarily to assist the site coordinator in the supervision of study activities. She pioneered Sickle Cell Disease genomic research in Tanzania as part of her PhD and conducted the first Genome-wide Association study analysis in an African population. One year of her PhD study was dedicated to the Molecular Haematology Department at King’s College London, UK as part of the Commonwealth Split-Site Fellow (2013). Siana has a research interest in Sickle Cell Disease Genomics, ergo, working with the Site provides her with an opportunity to continue to work and grow in this field. At the Dar es Salaam University College of Education, she is a lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences. Siana is also a Fogarty Global Health Fellow (2016/2017) and an African Academy of Science Affiliate (2018-2022) for Easter African Region.

Julius Maleto​

Clinical Research Fellow

Julius is Dar es Salaam’s Clinical Research Fellow with a specific focus on enrolling patients unto the study. He is a medical doctor and scientist who completed medical school at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences. He worked as an intern doctor at Haydom Lutheran Hospital, in the Manyara, Tanzania. In 2012, as part of his undergraduate training he was involved in Nutrition project in under five years at Tanga, Tanzania. SickleGenAfrica is not Julius’ first engagement in a Sickle Cell study. In 2015 he was involved in a research study focusing on the burden and the cause of admission among admitted paediatric patients at Muhimbili National Hospital.

Kano

Kano is the state capital of Kano State in North West, Nigeria. It is situated in the Sahelian geographic region, south of the Sahara. The Kano Sites operates through the Bayero University.

Baba Maiyaki Musa​

Research Coordinator

Baba is the research coordinator of the Africa Center of Excellence in Population Health and Policy, and site PI, NIH: Optimal Management of HIV Infected Adults at Risk for Kidney Complications in Nigeria. He is an assistant professor with the Department of Medicine Bayero University Kano. He was born in Lokoja Nigeria and attended Rumfa College Kano concluding in 1989. He graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1998 with a bachelor of medicine and surgery (MBBS), and was board certified by the West African College of Physicians in 2007. He graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2013 with a Master in Public Health (Distinction). He became a visiting scholar to the Department of Pediatrics Vanderbilt University in 2015.

Aisha Kuliya-Gwarzo​

Co-Researcher

Aisha is a Professor of Haematology and Blood Transfusion in Bayero University and a consultant haematologist to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.

She is a fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (FMCPath – Haematology and Blood Transfusion), she has MBBS degree from University of Maiduguri, Nigeria and MSc in Transfusion and Transplant from University of Bristol, UK. She is an active member of some research groups on inherited anaemias like the ASFA Sickle Cell research group, SPARCO and the SKINNconsortium for prevention of kernicterus from G6PD deficiency in Nigeria.

Her current research interests include the use of red cell exchange in Sickle cell anaemia, blood transfusion, and pregnancy-related haematological disorders.

Yusuf Danasabe Jobbi​

Laboratory Scientist

Yusuf Danasabe Jobbi is a medical laboratory scientist at the Department of Haematology / Transfusion Science, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano Nigeria. a graduate of Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto (UDUS) in 2013 (BMLS) presently doing his Masters in Biotechnology/Molecular Biology at Bayero University Kano (BUK) working on; Insilico analysis of HBB/HBG globin genes and analysis of High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) patterns, to know the prevalence of other haemoglobin variants associated with Sickle Cell Disease in children (SCD). His supporting skills include Bioinformatics / Biorepository which gives him the ability to use different molecular biology tools in manipulating gene sequences like CLC tool, NCBI, BIO-Edit, Ensembl, Primer stat, UCSC, Expasy for proteomics, etc. At the Site he is the medical laboratory scientist that takes care of receiving all samples of the research participants, maintaining their identification numbers given during enrolment, perform Full Blood Count (FBC) of each sample received, extract their Buffy coat, plasma/serum and finally transfer it to 2ml cryovials, the urine sample of each participant is also centrifuged and the deposit is transferred in to clean containers and all the samples are finally stored at -80 Co before shipping.

Awwal Inuwa Gambo​

Co-Researcher

Awwal has over 14 years in international research coordination and training on research ethics and implementation. He holds a Masters in Development studies, Managerial Sciences, and certificates in health economics, research ethics and statistical method in epidemiology from John Hopkins University and Univerity of Maryland Baltimore.

Bilya Sani Musa​

Research Administrator

Bilya is a Research Administrator for the SickleGenAfrica Project. Currently a Chief Administrative Officer with Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography (1998) and Masters in Public Policy and Administration (2005) from Bayero University Kano. He is a Research Manager for NIH funded Phase III clinical trials on primary and Secondary stroke prevention in children with SCD in Sub-Saharan Africa SPRING and SPRINT. He also attended the Vanderbilt Institute in Research Development and Ethics (VIRDE), a one-month course on grant writing and research ethics in 2017. He is a registered member of the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA).

Kumasi

Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti Region of Ghana, and hosts the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), which are the two collaborating institutions for SickleGenAfrica in Kumasi. KATH has been running the Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease Programme since 1995 and has a comprehensive Sickle Cell Clinic, the Kumasi Centre for Sickle Cell Disease.

Ezekiel Bonwin Ackah ​

Laboratory Scientist

Ezekiel is the Biomedical Scientist of at the Kumasi site. He ensures that samples are taken, processed and stored according to study designed standard protocols. Further, he is responsible for DNA extraction, certain investigations and shipment of all samples from Kumasi to the hub. He earned his degree in Medical Laboratory Technology at KNUST. He has a 4-year working experience: 1 year in training at KATH and the remaining as a research laboratory scientist on ORDISS at KCCR. Joining this study is a strong force to enhance his understanding of the genetics and genomics of sickle cell disease, while keeping up-to-date with advancements in the management of the disease, and to help translate these into patient care.

Caleb Sarfo Osei-Wusu​

Data Manager

Caleb is the Data Manager at the Kumasi site. His responsibilities include planning and implementing efficient and secure procedures for data collection, handling and analysis. Also, he will assist with reports and data extraction when needed, troubleshoot and provide guidance on the maintenance or modification of data related issues. He holds an undergraduate degree and postgraduate degree in public health (MPH) from KNUST. He has worked as a Research Assistant and Data Clerk/Analyst on several projects at KCCR. These include Research on Diabetes among African Migrants (RODAM), Cohort of Hypertension and Diabetes (CHAD) and Severe Typhoid in Africa (SETA) studies.

Joseph Sarfo Antwi​

Community Liaison

Joseph is the Community Liaison Officer. His role is to use focus group discussions to assess the network’s impact on local communities within and nearby Kumasi. This role is connected to the community engagement working group. His first degree was from University of Ghana, Accra, with an MPhil in Reproductive Physiology in view, from KNUST. Being part of the SickleGenAfrica team is paramount to increasing his understanding in sickle cell genomics, as well as improving the quality of care he gives to patients and their families. Joseph has been with the center for Newborn Screening Project since 2000, and a part of the team for the Education and Counselling Component of the Project since 2002. Mr. Sarfo is one of 14 certified genetic counselors in Ghana.

Lagos

Lagos is home to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL) serving as a collaborating site for SickleGenAfrica. LUTH is a tertiary hospital in Nigeria with the highest concentration of skilled medical and paramedical staff in different areas of medicine and boast of comprehensive sickle cell disease clinics for both paediatrics and adult.

Bukola Arogundade​

Research Coordinator

Bukola Arogundade; B.Tech, is a Research Co-Ordinator in the Department of Haematology & Blood Transfusion, faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos. She earned her Bachelor’s degree (B.Tech Management Technology) at the Lagos State University (LASU) with Second Class Honours in 2010. Prior to her current employment as Research Co-Ordinator, she was as a Customer Care Executive with Konga. She has also worked as a Project Co-Ordinator at Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and with United Bank For Africa (UBA), as a member of the Corporate Banking Department.

Adeseye Michael Akinsete​

Co-Investigator - Paediatrics​

Adeseye Michael Akinsete is a lecturer in the College of Medicine, University of Lagos and a Paediatric Haematologist/Oncologist to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. He graduated from the University of Benin in January 2002 and obtained a Fellowship of the West African College of Physicians in 2012. His dissertation was on the pathogens responsible for asymptomatic bacteriuria in children with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. He obtained a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell transplant from the Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 2016. He is involved in the care of children with sickle cell anemia and malignancies and runs one of the largest sickle cell clinics in the country. He obtained a grant from the Building Research and Innovation in Nigeria Sciences in 2017 to study the endocrine dysfunctions of children with HIV/AIDS on highly active anti-retroviral therapy. His area of research interest is in the haplotypic manifestations of children with sickle cell anemia in the tropics as well as the molecular characterizations of solid tumors in children.

Olufunto Kalejaiye​

Co-Investigator - Adult​

Olufunto Kalejaiye is a Co-Investigator with the Lagos Site as well as a lecturer in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos and a Consultant Physician and Haematologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-araba, Lagos Nigeria. She graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria with a Bachelors degree in Medicine and Surgery and completed her residency training in Internal medicine – subspecialty: Clinical Haematology at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. She is a fellow of the Faculty of Internal Medicine of National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria. She majors in the management of adult sickle cell disorders and haematologic malignancies and runs one of the largest sickle cell clinics in the country. Her research interests are in sickle cell disease (SCD), haematologic malignancies and HIV. She is interested in the clinical management and outcomes of sickle cell disease and haematologic malignancies.

Mathew Kunmi Oyewole​

Laboratory Scientist​

Oyewole is the Laboratory Scientist for the Lagos Site. He holds the position of a Medical Laboratory Scientist at the Haematology & Blood Transfusion department of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba , Lagos. He attained his first degree from Ambrose Ali University. Oyewole is a fellow of Medical Laboratory Science council of Nigeria with research in HBAA & HBSS in riverine, Effect of Helminh in relation to haematological parameters and Stool microscopy.