Dipesalema Joel
Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
OMB No. 0925-0001/0002 (Rev. 08/12), Biographical Sketch Format Page


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NAME: JOEL, Dipesalema

eRA COMMONS USER NAME (credential, e.g., agency login): DIPESALEMA

POSITION TITLE: Academic Head(Chair) of Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Health,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

EDUCATION/TRAINING (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, include postdoctoral training and residency training if applicable. Add/delete rows as necessary.)



(if applicable)


Completion Date






University of Botswana


BSc Part 1


Chemistry / Biology/Physics

National University of Ireland, University College Cork





Royal College of Physicians of Ireland





Clinical Fellowship in Paediatric Endocrinology



Paediatric Endocrinology







A.              Personal Statement


I have been working as General Paediatrician in the Botswana Health Care system since 2008. In 2009 to 2011 I did the sub-speciality training in Paediatric Endocrinology Training Centre for Africa(PETCA) in Nairobi, Kenya under the auspices of the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology(ESPE) and the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes(ISPAD). My work as Paediatric Endocrinologist in Botswana was the first of its kind as the country did not have a resident Paediatric Endocrinologist at the time. I was tasked with establishing the Paediatric Endocrinology Service which encompassed both the outpatient and inpatient services. That involved the coordination between important stakeholder essential for the provision of Paediatric Endocrine Services in Botswana. These included the Laboratory, the Pharmacy, Radiology and General Paediatricians.


In addition to my work as a Paediatric Endocrinologist, I still do the general paediatrics. As a clinician working in a Tuberculosis(TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV) endemic setting like Botswana since July 2008, I have been involved in the pioneering work of improving TB diagnosis in children in Botswana using the sputum induction. I pioneered the national roll out of paediatric sputum induction as a modality for diagnosing TB in children in Botswana, a work which has been published in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease( Joel DR et al Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 18(3):328–334, March 2014 http://dx.doi.org/10.5588/ijtld.13.0243). Of note, I have trained over 4600 healthcare workers in Paediatric HIV Care (KITSO) and paediatric TB diagnostics.


I am currently working as Academic Head(Chair) of Paediatrics and Adolescent Health and a Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Botswana. My roles and responsibilities include (1) ) Providing the overall strategic leadership and roadmap for the department and its programs, (2) Provision of medical education and mentoring services to trainee doctors namely Paediatric Residents and Medical Students.(2)  Supervision of staff composed of Attendings, Medical Officers, Residents, Interns, Nurses and Health Care Auxiliaries. (4) Providing clinical care for all children attending Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone, Botswana, (5) Provision of clinical care to all children with diabetes and other endocrine disorders who attends Princes Marina Hospital and the out-reach sites


I have special expertise in paediatric tuberculosis, HIV, general paediatrics, endocrinology and research. I have worked as collaborator in a number of projects across the world. I have special interest in medical education and operations research..



B.              Positions and Honors



Positions and Employment


1994-1995                            Botswana Government National Service, Dept of Civil Engineering, Sowa Town, Botswana


2002-2003                            Internship in Medicine and Surgery, Cork University Hospital and Tralee General Hospital, Ireland


2003-2005                            Senior House Officer(Residency) Training in Paediatrics, Dublin, Ireland


2005-2006                            Registrar(Attending) in Paediatrics, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, Ireland


2006-2007                            Registrar(Attending) in Paediatrics, The Children’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland


2007-2008                            Registrar(Attending) in Paediatrics, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland


2008-2009                            Paediatrician, Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence, Gaborone, Botswana


2009-2011                            Fellow in Pediatric Endocrinology, European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology, Kenya


2011-2014              Attending Paediatrician/Paediatric Endocrinologist, Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence, Gaborone, Botswana


2015-To date              Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana


2018 -To date               Academic Head(Chair) of Paediatrics and Adolescent Health


Other Experience and Professional Memberships


03/2018- to date               President, African Society for Paediatrics and Adolescence Endocrinology – Kenya


02/2018-to date                            Chairman of Botswana Paediatrics Association


03/2010-to date                            Chairman- Diabetic Association of Botswana Botswana


09/2013-to 2018              Secretary of Botswana Paediatrics Association


05/2013- to 2018              Secretary, African Society for Paediatrics and Adolescence Endocrinology – Kenya


03/2015- to 2018              University of Botswana Master of Medicine-Paediatric  Residency Program Coordinator


06/2010-11/2012              Vice Chairman, Botswana HIV Clinicians Society, - Botswana


03/2015- to date              Member, University of Botswana Faculty of Medicine Research Committee


08/2008-12/2014              Member, Paediatric TB Technical Working Group, Ministry of Health Botswana


03/2010- to date              Member, International Society of Pediatrics and Adolecence Diabetes(ISPAD) – USA


03/2010- to date              Member of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology(ESPE)


06/2005- to date              Member, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland - Ireland




06/2017              CFAR Grant to study the DNA Methylation in HIV Exposed Infants on PMTCT


03/2016              University of Botswana Red Ribbon Award-HIV and AIDS International Research Champion


03/2011              Distinction Award in Paediatric Endocrinology


06/2005              Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland


06/2002              Honors degree in Paediatrics and Surgery


06/2000              Irish Health Research Board summer grant


C. Contribution to Science


I have collaborated with a group of experts from all the 5 continents to develop a number of clinical practice guidelines in the diagnosis of the polycystic ovarian syndrome in adolescents, diabetes mellitus in Sub-Saharan Africa, Access to Essential Medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa. These clinical guidelines are assisting many clinicians to provide high quality care to patient as it helps them to focus their diagnostic approach, thereby avoiding unnecessary investigations that may elevate the patients ‘anxiety..


The diagnosis of tuberculosis in children is a challenge because of their inability to expectorate sputum on demand and the paucibacillary nature of their disease. For many years, two or more early morning gastric aspirates have been used as modality for diagnosing TB in children. In March 2014, I published a paper to show that sputum induction can be used safely and effectively as a modality for diagnosing TB in community hospitals in a resource constrained setting5. Prior to that, sputum induction projects in resource constrained settings have examined the efficacy of the procedure at tertiary academic institutions or in clinical trials. So our project focused on implementing sputum induction in national health care facilities, including non-academic settings.


I have also shown that there is higher prevalence of stunting in HIV infected children who are taking Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) and that the degree of stunting is aggravated by poor adherence to HAART which resulted in detectable viral load and low CD4 count4.


I have been involved as collaborator with other experts from Southern African HIV Clinician Society to develop clinical guidelines on HIV resistance testing in Southern African region7. These guidelines are currently in use and they have helped many clinicians to provide high quality care to patients.


Below is a list of all my publication record in peer reviewed journals.


  1. Dipesalema Joel, Ieuan Hughes, 2018, Normal Puberty; Somatic Characteristic; In  Encyclopedia of Endocrine Diseases, 2nd Edition, ISBN 978-0-12-812199-3


  1. Enane LA, Mokete K, Joel D, Daimari R, Tshume O, Anabwani G, et al. (2018), “We did not know what was wrong”—Barriers along the care cascade among hospitalized adolescents with HIV in Gaborone, Botswana. PLoS ONE 13(4):e0195372. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0195372


  1. Francis Banda, M.G Mutapanduwa, C Goutam, A Steenhoff, Dipesalema Joel, 2017, An unusual surgical cause of pyloric stenosis in an 8-Month-Old Infant: In African Journal of Paediatric Surgery 14(4):79 · January 2017 DOI: 10.4103/ajps.AJPS_118_16 


  1. Jean-Pierre Chanoine, Amanda Rowlands, Emmanuel Ameyaw, Florent Rutagarama, Dipesalema Joel, Edna Majaliwa, Joyce Mbogo, Graham Ogle;(2018), Insights from the WHO and National lists of Essential Medicines: Focus on Pediatric Diabetes Care in Africa, Horm Res Paediatr 2018


  1. Lourdes Ibáñez, Sharon E. Oberfield, Selma F. Witchel, Richard J. Auchus, R. Jeffrey Chang, Ethel Codner, Preeti Dabadghao, Feyza Darendeliler. Nancy Samir Elbarbary, Alessandra Gambineri, Cecilia Garcia Rudaz, Kathleen M. Hoeger, Abel López-Bermejo, Ken Ong, Alexia S. Peña, Thomas Reinehr, Nicola Santoro, Manuel Tena-Sempere, Rachel Tao, Bulent O. Yildiz, Haya Alkhayyat,  Asma Deeb, Dipesalema Joel, Reiko Horikawa, Francis de Zegher, Peter A. Lee; An International Consortium Update: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Adolescence; Horm Res Paediatr 2017;88:371–395; DOI: 10.1159/000479371


  1. Dipesalema Joel; (2017), In Country Profile: Botswana, Supplementary Appendix 3 to: Atun R, Justine I Davies JI, Gale EAM, et al. Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa: from clinical care to health policy. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2017; published online July 5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(17)30181-X.


  1. Atun R, Davies JI, Gale EAM, Bärnighausen T, Beran D, Kengne AP, Levitt NS, Mangugu FW, Nyirenda MJ, Ogle GD, Ramaiya K, Sewankambo NK, Sobngwi E, Tesfaye S, Yudkin JS, Basu S, Bommer C, Heesemann E, Manne-Goehler J, Postolovska I, Sagalova V, Vollmer S, Abbas ZG, Ammon B, Angamo MT, Annamreddi A, Awasthi A, Besançon S, Bhadriraju S, Binagwaho A, Burgess PI, Burton MJ, Chai J, Chilunga FP, Chipendo P, Conn A, Joel DR, Eagan AW, Gishoma C, Ho J, Jong S, Kakarmath SS, Khan Y, Kharel R, Kyle MA, Lee SC, Lichtman A, Malm CP, Mbaye MN, Muhimpundu MA, Mwagomba BM, Mwangi KJ, Nair M, Niyonsenga SP, Njuguna B, Okafor OLO, Okunade O, Park PH, Pastakia SD, Pekny C, Reja A, Rotimi CN, Rwunganira S, Sando D, Sarriera G, Sharma A, Sidibe A, Siraj ES, Syed AS, Van Acker K, Werfalli M. Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa:from clinical care to health policy;  Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2017 Aug;5(8):622-667. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(17)30181-X. Epub 2017 Jul 5. Review. PMID: 28688818


  1. Selma Witchel, Sharon Oberfield, Bob Rosenfield, Ethel Codner, Andrea Bonny, Lourdes Ibáñez, Alexia Pena, Rieko Horikawa, Veronica Gomez-Lobo, Dipesalema Joel, Hala Tfayi, Silva Arslanian, Preeti Dabdghao, Cecilia Garcia Rudaz, Peter A. Lee , The Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome during Adolescence, Hormone Research in Pediatrics-2015 Apr 1


  1. GM Rwegerera, DR Joel, C Bakilana, MP Maruza, The Triad of Iron Deficiency Anaemia, Hepato-splenomegaly, and growth retardation with normal serum zinc levels in a 14 years old boy, Niger J Clin Pract 2015, DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.151802


  1. Brink S1, Joel D, Laffel L, Lee WW, Olsen B, Phelan H, Hanas R. Sick day management in children and adolescents with diabetes, Pediatr Diabetes. 2014 Sep;15 Suppl 20:193-202. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12193.


  1. Joel DR,  Tolle MA, Makhanda J, Mabikwa V, Anabwani GM, Ahmed SF, The Prevalence and determinants of short stature in HIV infected children J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care 2014 (JIAPAC-13-12-OM-0597)


  1. D. R. Joel, A. P. Steenhoff, P. C. Mullan, B. R. Phelps, M. A. Tolle, A. Ho-Foster, V. Mabikwa, B. G. Kgathi, R. Ncube, G. M. Anabwani, Diagnosis of paediatric tuberculosis using sputum induction in Botswana: programme description and findings, Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 18(3):328–334, March 2014 http://dx.doi.org/10.5588/ijtld.13.0243


  1. Kirk BL, Gomila A, Matshaba M, Marape M, Joel DR, Anabwani G, Tolle MA; Early Outomes of Darunavir- and/or Raltegravir-based Antiretroviral Therapy in Children with Multidrug-Resistant HIV at a Pediatric Center in Botswana. J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2013 Mar-Apr;12(2):90-4. doi: 10.1177/1545109712463073. Epub 2013 Jan 11.


  1. F Conradie, D Wilson (Chairpersons of the Resistance Testing Guidelines Committee), A Basson, T de Oliveira, G Hunt,  D Joel, M Papathanasopoulos, W Preiser, J Klausner, D Spencer, W Stevens, F Venter, C van Vuuren (Expert Panel Members), L Levin, G Meintjes, C Orrell, H Sunpath, T Rossouw, G van Zyl (Reviewers); The 2012 southern African ARV drug resistance testing guidelines by the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society; S Afr J HIV Med 2012;13(4):162-167


  1. Joel D, 2011. Sputum Induction in Children. In Kesler M. Seventh Edition. National Tuberculosis Programme Manual. Gaborone. Pp 104-105





D.              Research Support


Principal Investigator


Evaluation of TB screening and diagnostic approaches for HIV-infected and other high-risk children in Botswana- this was a retrospective analysis study done on a PEPFAR Funded TB/HIV Program, cooperative agreement number 1U2GPs001881-01


The Prevalence and associated clinical variables of short stature among a cohort of HIV infected children in Botswana. Funded by the European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology, €1000.completed in 2011




Medical Audit of Patients Registered at the Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence, Gaborone, Principal Investigator – Dr. Gabriel Anabwani


Collaborative African Genomics Study funded by the NIH

Principal Investigator – Dr. Gabriel Anabwani



Completed Research Support (completed during the last three years)


Ref #: 1U2GPs001881-01

PI:Mark W Kline

Date: 09/2009 – 09/2014

Funding Agency: US CDC PEPFAR

Title:Paediatric HIV/TB Management

Goal:To improve TB diagnosis in children

Role: I worked as Botswana country Director and Local PI for this project


Ref #: WDF 07-263

PI:Dipesalema Joel

Date: 09/2009 – 02/2011

Funding Agency:European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology

Title: The Prevalence and associated clinical variables of short stature among a cohort of HIV infected children in Botswana

Goal:To determine the prevalence of short stature in HIV infected children

Role: I worked as the PI for the study