Dr. Fred Ssewamala, professor at the Washington University in St. Louis – Brown School Public Health Programs, has received a $3.4 million National Institutes of Health grant to study the effectiveness of interventions in Uganda aimed at protecting adolescent girls against HIV.
[Photo: Dr. Fred Ssewamala]
“The highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS (24.7 million) is in sub-Saharan Africa, with Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda accounting for 48 percent of new infections,” said Dr. Ssewamala, who is in his first year at the Brown School after spending 15 years as a professor at Columbia University.
The five-year study will examine the impact and cost associated with “Suubi (Hope) For Girls,” an innovative intervention that aims to prevent HIV risk behaviors among 15-to 17-year-old girls living in communities heavily affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
The program comprises two main components: a youth monetary saving program that supports secondary education for girls, and a family-based dialogue and training that strengthens family relationships to address mental health challenges which frequently accompany adolescent girls’ transition to adulthood.