News in Brief - July 2018

TIBA Annual Report

We are delighted to inform you that we successfully submitted our first annual report to the funders, NIHR on July 17 and now look forward to the funders’ feedback on the report. We would like to thank everyone for their contributions in fulfilling this very essential requirement by the NIHR.

Training and Capacity Development

TIBA and Oak Foundation postgraduate fellows in Zimbabwe attended a Professional Development Training workshop 12-13 July 2018 at Cresta Oasis, Harare, Zimbabwe. Topics covered included science communication where there were contributions from Zimbabwe's largest and oldest Press (The Herald and ZimPapers) participating and reporting on the event.

Group photo of TIBA-OAK postgraduate fellows with their supervisors.

Community and stakeholders engagements

Botswana: Our Botswana partners engaged the community in Maun where they outlined the linkages between the MABISA project and their TIBA Rapid Impact project.

Professor Barbara Ngwenya speaking during the community engagement workshop in Maun.

Ghana: Dr Yaw Aniweh, TIBA Ghana co-Investigator embarked on a tour on the ‘Way forward in controlling malaria’. He met with both District and Municipal Directors of Health within the Ghana Health Service.

Dr Yaw Aniweh with the Municipal Director of Health at the Upper Denkyira East, Ghana.

South Africa: UKZN TIBA Fellows were in Ingwavuma to collect urine samples for the first post-treatment schistosomiasis screening.

Urine processing for schistosome parasites.

Zimbabwe: Co-Deputy Director, Professor Mutapi and co-Investigator Professor Mduluza, University of Zimbabwe, visited Dr Zinyowere, Co-ordinator, Zimbabwe National Microbiology Reference Laboratory, on July 5 to discuss TIBA’s work on antimicrobial resistance in Zimbabwe.

Professors Mutapi (2nd L) and Mduluza (2nd R) with their host in Harare.


Zimbabwe: Paediatric Praziquantel Clinical Trial - The oversight committee members for the Paediatric Praziquantel Clinical Trial held a meeting at the Holiday Inn, Harare to discuss the way forward. Professor Hakim, PI for the trial presented details of the study following a site visit at the Mutoko Hospital. Deon represented our partners from Merck.

Oversight committee members including TIBA Deputy Directors and Zimbabwe PIs.

Early Childhood Development: Our ODA GCRF funded project got underway in June in Zimbabwe. Researchers hope to collect scientific evidence on the impact of schistosomiasis elimination on neurocognitive and physical development in children.

A nurse explains the procedures to a mother.

Cognition assessment: TIBA South Africa conducted a protest of cognition assessment in children under five years as part of their studies in schistosomiasis in this age group.

UKZN TIBA PhD student Hlengiwe interacting with a child.

Graduation and degree completions

Congratulations to:

1. TIBA Research Co-ordinator, Dr Seth Amanfo on his PhD graduation at the University of Edinburgh.

Dr Seth Amanfo – TIBA Research Co-ordinator at his graduation ceremony in Edinburgh.

2. Oak Foundation fellows Caroline Chasara and Lorraine Pfavayi on completing their MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Zimbabwe. Many thanks to the supervisory team (Professors Chimbari, Mduluza, Mutapi and Sibanda) who are all members of TIBA.

3. PhD fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Chanelle Mulopo was elected onto the 2018-2020 national committee of The Young Water Professionals. A very well deserved honour to Chanelle!

Chanelle presenting a poem at the AGM in Durban.

TIBA co-Investigators

We welcomed TIBA co-Investigators Professor Kenneth Amaeshi, Business School, University of Edinburgh, Dr Geoff Banda of the Innogen Institute, University of Edinburgh, Professor Takafira Mduluza, University of Zimbabwe and Dr George Warimwe of KEMRI Wellcome Trust. TIBA will continue to recognise the contributions of various researchers to the partnership, see


We had 2 NIHR funded publications in the month of July. The links are below. Congratulations to Muhubiri Kabuyaya, Derick Osakunor and all co-authors. We look forward to many more TIBA publications in due course, see

1. Efficacy of praziquantel treatment regimens in pre-school and school aged children infected with schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review
Kabuyaya et al. Infectious Diseases of Poverty (2018) 7:73

2. Universal Health Coverage in Africa: Coinfections and Comorbidities
Osakunor et al. Trends in Parasitology (2018)

3rd WACCBIP Research Conference in Accra, Ghana

Our partners in Ghana held their 3rd WACCBIP Research Conference in Accra (18-20 July. The 3-day conference held under the theme “Translating Molecular Research into Healthcare Solutions for Africa”, attracted representation from about 50 institutions. WACCBIP’s Fellowship count is now up to 152! At the conference the Director of WACCBIP and TIBA Ghana Principal Investigator, Professor Gordon Awandare outlined the centre’s vision of translating research to healthcare solutions, and demonstrating the value to the Ghanaian society of sustainable funding of biomedical research in Ghana. More detail on this in the link.

Professor Awandare delivering his address at WRC in Accra.

Group photo of 3rd WRC attendees in Accra