What is TIBA?

Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (TIBA, which means “to cure an infection” in Swahili) is an Africa-led, wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary research programme that explores and draws lessons from the ways that different African health systems tackle infectious diseases. Through TIBA, the University of Edinburgh will be working in partnerships with researchers from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe to generate new knowledge and inform comparative analyses of health systems.

Our Vision

To harness the expertise and technical capability in biomedical and social sciences at the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and African partners to reduce the burden and threat of infectious diseases in Africa by informing and influencing health policy and strengthening health systems.
TIBA will help empower African scientists to effectively and sustainably tackle neglected tropical diseases (such as schistosomiasis, malaria, trypanosomiasis and lymphatic filariasis), and improve preparedness for epidemics (such as Ebola).


  1. Improve the diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases in resource-poor settings
  2. Improve the deployment of existing drug treatments and enhance local capacity to develop new ones
  3. Improve the deployment of existing vaccines and enhance local capacity to develop new ones
  4. Improve the management of endemic and epidemic infectious diseases by:
    1. Strengthening health systems, governance and ethics
    2. Improving policy development and implementation
    3. Enhancing capacity to respond to infectious disease emergencies

These aims will be delivered by collaborative and coordinated activities organised as 6 work packages:

  • WP1 Rapid Impact projects;
  • WP2 Making a Difference projects;
  • WP3 Toolkit projects;
  • WP4 Technology transfer and training;
  • WP5 Dissemination for action;
  • WP6 Responding to health emergencies.

Tiba Principles

  • Our work is Africa-led
  • We seek to shift the centre of gravity for research for Africa to Africa
  • We believe in equitable partnerships
  • We strive for inclusive engagement, "we leave no one behind"

Our science, budget and impact

Disciplines - infection biology, clinical medicine, primary health care, health systems, international development, governance and ethics, diagnostics, surveillance and epidemiology, molecular biology and drug development, immunology and vaccinology, genomics and bioinformatics, synthetic biology, innovation.

Diseases - schistosomiasis, malaria, trypanosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, co-morbidities, NCDs + emerging infectious diseases.  

Budget: We have a budget of just under £7M over a 4 year period plus in kind contributions. More than 80% of this will be allocated to our African partners.

Impact: Partner countries population total ≈ 300M; Population living in poverty ≈ 75M; Health care spend (public funds) ≈ US$20B; TIBA beneficiaries’ ≈ 50M people. Achieved by: improving health policy, health systems operation and health R&D environment in Africa partner countries and beyond.

Click to download the TIBA brochure