Eight staff members represented the MRC Unit The Gambia (MRCG) at the Eighth EDCTP forum from the 6 – 9 November 2016, in Lusaka, Zambia.The biennial forum provides an international platform for the presentation and discussion of frontier research to address the burden of neglected, infectious, poverty-related diseases, as well as capacity development and networking activities to support these goals. The theme of the forum was Defeating poverty-related and neglected diseases in Africa: harnessing research for evidence-informed policies.
The forum, which was co-hosted by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Zambia, was opened by the Zambian President, His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu and attracted more than 500 representatives from different research fields across the globe. The MRCG staff that attended, included Dr Muhammed Afolabi, Dr Ngozi Moneke- Anyanwoke, Dr Edgard Dabira, Dr Julia Mwesigwa, Dr Joseph Okebe, Dr Olumuyiwa Owolabi and Alieu Mendy, Jacob Otu and Marie Rose Thorpe, which was made possible through travel grants awarded by the EDCTP.
The forum provided an excellent opportunity for networking, highlighting and promoting key activities of various institutions, organisations or companies to a targeted audience while contributing to EDCTP’s mission and conference goals. During the event, the MRCG team presented posters on research on malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and research management while Dr Afolabi gave an oral presentation on multimedia-based informed consenting.
In his opening remarks, the Director of EDCTP, Dr Michael Makanga, welcomed all participants and also highlighted the recent publication from the West African Network of Excellence for TB, AIDS and Malaria (WANETAM) project on Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) led by Prof Martin Antonio.
According to Marie Rose Thorpe, “It was a remarkable conference with a forward-looking, timely theme on the evolving global research agenda. It is a great experience to have been a part of”.