MRC Fajara hosted the two-day meeting of the EDCTP Developing Countries Coordinating Committee on 9th and 10th February 2007. Participants at the meeting were Dr Thomas Nyirenda (Malawi), Dr Walter Jaoko (Kenya), Professor Lynn Zijenah (Zimbabwe), Dr Christine Manyando (Zambia), Dr Simon Agwale (Nigeria), Dr Peter Ndumbe (Cameroon), Dr Herman Awono Ambene (Cameroon), Dr Aissatou Toure-Balde (Senegal) and Professor Tumani Corrah. Professors Souleyman Mboup (Senegal) and Richard Adegbola attended the meeting as members of the EDCTP Partnership Board.
WHAT IS THE DCCC?
The Developing Countries Coordinating Committee (DCCC) is an independent advisory board to the EDCTP comprising prominent African scientists, policy makers and health professionals. It ensures the involvement and ownership of the EDCTP programme by the participating sub-Saharan Africa countries through identifying capacity gaps and driving the research agenda for the programme. The DCCC comprise 15 experts from sub-Saharan Africa who are involved in research and/or capacity strengthening related to disease management and clinical trials on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Balance is sought in the membership of the committee in terms of expertise in the three diseases, as well as a fair distribution over gender and African sub regions.On the second day of the meeting, presentations were made by Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Ms Aleksandra Leligdowicz, Ms Ramatoulie Janha, Mr Clayton Onyango and Ms Marianne Mureithi. The DCCC was also given a tour of the MRC’s facilities by Dr Maimuna Mendy.
On Saturday 10th February, the MRC was given the opportunity to showcase its talent and facilities. The DCCC was formally welcomed to The Unit by the Leadership Group; a series of brief presentations by young MRC scientists was followed by a tour of the Fajara compound, led by Dr Maimuna Mendy.
MRC has evolved a fruitful collaborative relationship with the EDCTP over the past few years. Listed below are the current projects funded by the EDCTP in The Gambia:
- A clinical trial on ‘artesunate for severe malaria in African children’ involving Dr Kalifa Bojang
- A senior fellowship on ‘development and evaluation of high throughput cheap and reliable assays for monitoring HIV 1 and HIV 2 viral loads in ARV programmes and clinical trials in developing countries’ Dr Abraham Alabi
- A senior fellowship on ‘evaluation and implementation of high throughput PCR-based method for diagnosis and measurement of Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in clinical trials’ Dr Davis Nwakanma
- PhD award on ‘investigating the effects of inactive CY2C19 alleles on Chlorproguanil pharmacokinetics in adults and in children with mild malaria following Lapdap treatment’ Ramatoulie Janha
- PhD award on ‘the role of human leucocyte antigen (HLA) and killer immunoglobutin-like receptor (KIR) HIV-2 infection: a key component to HIV vaccine design and its evaluation in Africa’ Louis Marie Yindom.
- An MSc scholarship award in reproductive and sexual health research to Mr Jobe Alasan from the Department of State for Health.
- EDCTP is also in the process of finalising the funding for a career development fellowship on ‘immunologic, diagnostic and epidemiologic studies for improved phenotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and disease for the purpose of a therapeutic trial of Bacille-Calmette-Guerin vaccine in The Gambia’ awarded to Dr Ifedayo Adetifa.