Botswana-UPenn Partnership

Chawangwa Modongo, MB-MRCPI

Chawangwa Modongo, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, joined the Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP) in 2008. A citizen of Botswana, Chawa earned her MBBS degree from the National University of Galway in Ireland. She currently serves as the lead physician and Principal Investigator for the BUP’s PEPFAR-funded Adult TB Program, which is funded through a $5.5 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that aims to train and expand the local health care workforce in Botswana with the goal to identify and treat TB mono-infected and HIV/TB dual-infected individuals in order to stop the overlapping epidemics of HIV and TB in Botswana. Today, the majority of TB deaths occur in patients co-infected with HIV, many caused by delays and difficulties related to early diagnosis.

Dr. Modongo is one of the most experienced physicians in Botswana in managing HIV/TB co-infected patients as well as multi-drug resistant TB. For the past decade she has managed most of the MDR-TB, complicated TB cases, and TB cases with adverse effects secondary to HIV and/or TB drugs in the country. Through these efforts she has helped develop a national-level cohort of MDR-TB patients. The analyses on this cohort have allowed the description of the treatment outcomes, identification of high ototoxicity rates and pharmacokinetic studies of amikacin in this population. Dr. Modongo has been a co-investigator in several NIH funded TB projects implemented in Botswana in collaboration with Drs. Zetola, Bisson, and Klausner investigating clinical and diagnostic implications of mixed TB infections and bacterial microevolution and pioneering new new TB diagnostics.