News in Brief - August 2018

TIBA at 68th WHO/AFRO RC in Dakar

Dr Seth Amanfo (L) and Professor Simbarashe (R)

At the invitation of the WHO Africa Regional Director Dr Matshidiso Moeti Research Coordinator, Dr Seth Amanfo and Principal Investigator, Professor Simbarashe Rusakaniko attended the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa which opened in Dakar, Senegal. This annual meeting brings together health ministers from the 47 Member States in the WHO African Region and is the highest WHO Governing Body on the continent of Africa. The session run from the 27th to 31st August 2018 at the King Fahd Palace Hotel in Dakar, Senegal

The session was formally opened by the President of the Republic of Senegal His Excellency Mr. Macky Sall who commended WHO for improving health in Africa. Presenting her report, the Regional Director Dr Moeti highlighted the key achievements of the organization in the areas of health security and emergencies, health systems strengthening, Universal Health Coverage (UHC), prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and reproductive, child and adolescent health among others The WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was also in attendance. He said in his speech to the delegates “It’s you as political leaders who are accountable for the decisions you make and the results you achieve. WHO’s role is to give you the best support we can.

The TIBA delegation was part of a High-level meeting of AU policy makers, strategic partners and EDCTP African participating states (30th August) to discuss ‘Engaging African governments to strengthen national health research systems with complementary international cooperation’. Dr Amanfo shared with the ministers the TIBA model and experience and how our 6 Work Packages align with, and support the strengthening of the national health research systems in Africa. He cited several examples of how our Rapid Impact, Making a Difference project and Postgraduate fellowships are contributing to strengthening the NHRS in Africa.

A link to a video of his presentation is below

Prior to the meeting, and under our Toolkit project, TIBA partnered the WHO to conduct an assessment of the 2018 NHRS Barometer in 21 member countries. The final technical report was presented to the ministers by Dr Juliet Nyabonga-Orem who duly acknowledged the contribution of TIBA and especially Professor Simbarashe Rusakaniko and Dr Geoff Banda to the research.

15th International Symposium on Schistosomiasis

Dep Director Professor Moses Chimbari and Co-Investigator Professor Takafira Mduluza attended the 15th International Symposium on Schistosomiasis - Copacabana, Brazil 1-3 August. They spoke about TIBA’s work on paediatric schistosomiasis.

Professor Takafira Mduluza (L) and
Professor Moses Chimbari (R)


TIBA Ghana engages stakeholders

9th August 2018: The TIBA Ghana team engaged with stakeholders in the health delivery sector at Asikuma Odeben Brakwa District in the central Region. Present at the event were about 100 community health workers, the regional health directorate, traditional leaders and the Ghana ambulance service to learn more about malaria research. Dr Emmanuel Amlabu, a research fellow at WACCBIP spoke about using research findings to inform decision making at the District level. The Central Regional Health Director, Dr. Alexis Nang-Beifuba and Mr. Kwabena Ofosu Kwakye, the District Health Director were in attendance and welcomed the TIBA delegation. This partnership is intended to improve the diagnosis and surveillance of malaria in the District.

TIBA SA partners with Maputaland Community Radio Station

TIBA South Africa partnered with Maputaland Community Radio Station as part of their communication and dissemination plan.

Early Childhood Development Research

The TIBA team in Zimbabwe conducted fieldwork into early childhood schistosomiasis in rural Zimbabwe. This project is co-funded by the British Academy.

Out of Africa Postdoctoral Fellowships

Under our Work Package 4 – Technology Transfer and Training, we have commissioned 9 One Year ‘Out of Africa’ postdoctoral fellowships, one in each partner country. Out of Africa Fellowships are primarily intended to allow a Fellow to work with a participating centre at the University of Edinburgh TIBA Postdoctoral fellowship projects should be designed to address one or more of the diverse challenges of health care systems in Africa. Each Postdoctoral project will address a current knowledge gap that is resulting in either non-deployment of diagnostics or interventions or a lack of operational knowledge to improve the health of affected populations.

The concept notes were due end of August with full applications expected by end of October 2018. We are of the hope that successful fellows will be able to commence their research early next year.


Congratulation to Dr Chester Kalinda and colleagues from UKZN on the publication of your work on ‘Simulation of population dynamics of Bulinus globosus: Effects of environmental temperature on production of Schistosoma haematobium cercariae Chester Kalinda, Moses J. Chimbari, William E. Grant , Hsiao-Hsuan Wang, Julius N. Odhiambo, Samson Mukaratirwa.

Upcoming events

  • TIBA Director Professor Mark Woolhouse will deliver a talk at the 2018 Usher Institute Global Health Symposium and Annual Lecture on September 3 in Edinburgh
  • TIBA Botswana will embark on field sample collection from 3-11 September following the successful training of their research assistants.