TIBA has 4 specific aims:
- Improve the diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases in resource-poor settings. Diagnostics development is focussed on the provision of portable kits employing biomarkers, electrochemical and bio-sensors or sequencing technologies. Surveillance research includes optimising technologies, surveillance system design and eHealth.
- Improve the deployment of existing drug treatments and enhance local capacity to develop new ones.
- Improve the deployment of existing vaccines and enhance local capacity to develop new ones.
- Improve the management of both endemic and emerging infections by i) strengthening health systems, with special attention to ethics and governance; ii) improving policy development and implementation (e.g. drug procurement, local licensing, regulatory harmonization); iii) enhancing capacity to respond to infectious diseases emergencies, while protecting capacity to manage endemic diseases concurrently.
We will focus on a set of largely neglected diseases – including but not restricted to schistosomiasis, malaria, trypanosomiasis and lymphatic filariasis – all important in their own right but also providing opportunities to explore the ways in which health systems operate and respond to changes in policy, new scientific knowledge, or technological innovation. We will pay close attention to interactions with other infections (e.g. HIV, TB), co-morbidities and NCDs, especially in the contexts of diagnosis and clinical management.
TIBA will take on a diverse set of research projects in order to explore multiple aspects of the different ways in which African health systems have to deal with different infectious diseases. Our partner countries represent a wide range of health system structures and resources (with per capita health care expenditure varying more than ten-fold). Our research will generate new knowledge and allow us to conduct comparative analyses, identify examples of good practice and evaluate transferability. We will add value and cohesion to TIBA projects by working across all our projects to learn wider lessons for strengthening health systems, making innovation work, information exchange, and capacity building and training.
TIBA will also:
- undertake its own capacity building;
- proactively translate research into health technologies and policies that benefit the neediest communities;
- respond to health emergencies by supporting diagnostics development and deployment, data sharing and real-time analysis of pathogen genomes.