There are six work packages planned, with all activity based on priorities from Ministries of Health in the 9 African countries:
- Rapid Impact Projects (years 1-2)
Nine projects worth £100k, each designed to create demonstrable improvements/impact on the ground within 18 months. WP1 addresses current knowledge gaps that result in either non-deployment of diagnostics/interventions or a lack of operational knowledge.
- Making a Difference Projects (years 2-3)
Five £500k projects building on WP1 and involving two or more Africa partner countries – demonstrating relevance to national health needs and clearing a pathway to impact.
- Toolkit Projects (years 3-4)
Strengthening health systems, looking at innovation-to-application value chains, information exchange and data sharing, and best practice for capacity building and training. Examples include working with local authorities to develop a road map for African drug and vaccine manufacturers.
- Capacity Building
Establishing in-country expertise through PhD, MSc, and MPH training along with postdoctoral fellowships and technology transfer. This is important for sustainability.
- Dissemination for Action
Crucial for its impact on the actual health of the individuals and their communities – this is how TIBA’s findings will be communicated to end users, i.e. communities as well as the national, continental, and global stakeholders. These stakeholders have been engaged from initial application onwards, and TIBA has received support from the African Union; New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD); African Academy of Science; and Ministries of Health from all 9 countries. That engagement with stakeholders and communities is continuing.
- Emergency Response
Our last work package is designed to enhance local capacity to respond to health emergencies in all 9 African countries, by supporting the development of field diagnostics, data sharing, and performing real-time genomic analyses. Edinburgh is developing portable diagnostic kits for viral, bacterial and parasite infections employing biomarkers, electrochemical and bio-sensors, or sequencing technologies. Together with several of the African partners (Kenya, Botswana, South Africa), TIBA is taking an eHealth approach to improving outbreak surveillance by optimizing technologies (e.g. smart phones), surveillance system design and data communication capabilities.