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LVCT Health MSc. Student Project Funding + Scholarship

Background

LVCT Health is an established Kenyan NGO that is renowned for the implementation of health programs at scale in Kenya. Through its vision of Empowered Healthy Communities, LVCT Health is a leader in designing and implementing innovative HIV prevention and treatment approaches, sexual and reproductive sexual and gender-based violence programs reaching the most vulnerable populations. The organization works with the government and other stakeholders at the national and county levels.

We are seeking to fill an MSc level position that will involve a single project nested within the health economics evaluation of the C-it-DU-it Trial. The MSc project will focus on health-related costs of women accessing ANC and delivery care, the costs to the project team and health system of delivering the intervention, and the cost-effectiveness of the intervention.

Overview

Facility and community health data is rapidly changing from paper to electronic across Kenya. Multiple digital systems are being developed, but these do not link. Community health volunteers (CHVs) and facility staff need to work together using data to monitor and improve uptake of services. Antenatal care (ANC) is an example of a service where this is important as Kenya in adopting WHO’s ambitious target of 8 ANC contacts. This research will demonstrate how to link the data and use it, providing missing evidence on the impact, costs to people accessing ANC and the health system, and scale-up of data linkage and use. Our intervention targets the interface between the community and the facility. Data linkage for data use is at its heart with ANC picked as an example of what is possible. Our short name C-it DU-it (pronounced “see-it; do-it”) is an acronym intended to convey ‘seeing’ linked data (C-it) and ‘doing’ or acting on the data (DU-it). A pragmatic cluster-randomised controlled trial in Homa Bay will tell us the impact of linking digital data and the added value (if any) of combining this with training work improvement teams in data use to drive ANC uptake. We will measure the impact on the number of ANC visits and the effects on pregnancy outcomes and quality of care. Health economic evaluation will evaluate the costs to the health system of delivering the intervention, identify whether C-it DU it reduces health expenditure of and socioeconomic impact upon pregnant women accessing and engaging with ANC care and whether the intervention is cost-effective. This project is as a partnership co-led by KEMRI, LVCT Health and LSTM and involving ministry of health at county and national levels. This project seeks an existing MSc candidate with the skill and enthusiasm to conduct a suitable MSc project within the health economics evaluation of the C-It DU-It Trial.

Expectations of the candidate.

  • This will be a 1-2 Year post, which can be negotiable following a successful interview.
  • The candidate is expected to be already registered for an MSc, ideally at a registered Kenyan Higher Education or Research Institution.
  • For project activities, the MSc student will be based in Homa Bay County and can be based in Nairobi for non-data collection-related activities.
  • The MSc student will continue to develop and implement the existing health economics evaluation project nested within the C-it-DU-it trial. This will include evaluating the costs to the health system of delivering the intervention, identifying whether C-it DU-it reduces health expenditure and socioeconomic impact on pregnant women accessing and engaging with ANC care and whether the intervention is cost-effective. Specifically, the student will: oversee data collection, analysis, and write-up of a longitudinal patient cost survey; conduct a multi-level top down and bottom-up costing analysis to establish the costs of delivering the C-It DU-It intervention to both the project team and health system; and finalize a decision tree linked with the health and patient costs identified to conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of the disability adjusted life years averted through the intervention and, if possible, consider equity of the intervention through distributional cost-effectiveness analysis by gender, socioeconomic status, and HIV status.
  • The student will be expected to lead this project under the supervision of the study principal investigators in Kenya (Dr Lilian Otiso, Dr Hellen Barsosio), and the health economic lead at LSTM (Dr Tom Wingfield) with support from health economists from the University of Nairobi (Dr Vincent Okungu) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Dr Meghan Kumar). In addition, the student will coordinate with a PhD candidate employed on the C-It DU-It project to collaboratively conduct the work above.

Support for the MSc Candidate

  1. The project time and delivery costs are fully funded.
  2. Items covered by the scholarship include:
  • MSc student stipend costs
  • Cost of dissertation research / field work.

Eligibility

1. Must be citizens or permanent residents of Kenya

2. Hold a first-class, or high upper second-class honors degree (or equivalent) Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent from a recognized University relevant to the area of study (medicine, public health, epidemiology, biostatistics or related field)

  1. Be enrolled on a Master’s degree at a recognized University in health economics or an economics-related area of study
  2. Willingness to commit to the project ideally 100% full time.
  3. Previous publications related to the project’s research themes will be an added advantage, especially if in the field of health economic evaluation.

6. Knowledge and skills relevant to the MSc project. This includes the subject area, such as experience in community health systems strengthening, health systems strengthening, maternal health or related field, and also experience of health economic evaluation including designing, analyzing, and writing up patient cost surveys and cost-effectiveness analysis studies.

7. Personal motivation of the candidates as demonstrated by their motivation letter and responses during the interview

Application Procedure

The following documents should be included in the application

  • Current curriculum vitae (use the NIH template for pre-doctoral fellows available on (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms/biosketch.htm))
  • A motivation letter (max 1000 words). This should cover your academic and professional background, any experience relevant to this project and position, why you want to undertake an MSc project within the C-It DU-It project, what do you hope to gain from this MSc Project and your plans after the MSc.

Name and contacts of two referees. One should be your current supervisor. Referees should be senior academic and/or professional persons currently or have recently been responsible for supervising you. Friends and family are not acceptable.

We strive to provide an environment of professional growth and development. Interested and qualified candidates are invited to submit their applications expressing interest to recruitment@lvcthealth.org by 16th June 2023. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

LVCT Health is an equal opportunity employer. Please visit our website www.lvcthealth.org for more information about the organization

LVCT Health DOES NOT CHARGE any fee whatsoever in any part of the recruitment process

LVCT Health is committed to preventing unwanted behavior at work, including sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, stigma and discrimination of individuals of various diversity, lack of integrity, and financial misconduct. LVCT Health expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. Failure to adhere will result in disciplinary action.


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