The West African Network for TB, Aids, Malaria (WANETAM)

16 January 2019

The WANETAM network is being implemented in thirteen West African Institutions in nine countries with partnerships from four northern partners.

The MRC Unit the Gambia at LSHTM is using its unique position in West Africa to support capacity building and development of researchers and research institutions in the region. In addition to the core funding that the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM uses towards this objective, the Unit actively collaborates with other research groups in West Africa to seek external funding for capacity building. Dr Assan Jaye Head of Research Training and Career Development is the Deputy Coordinator of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) funded network of excellence on TB, AIDS and Malaria called WANETAM. These networks are flagship EDCTP initiatives for the development of core competencies in research institutions for the conduct of clinical trials.

Dembo Kanteh, WAGHA Coordinator and Jean Pierre Nguessan, Project Manager for WANETAM at the EDCTP forum in Lisbon, Portugal held from 17th September to 21st September 2018

The WANETAM network is being implemented in 13 West African institutions in nine countries with partnerships from four northern partners. A key feature of the WANETAM project is that the stronger research institutions in the Network provide support and practical skill-based training to the weaker research institutions covering researcher development, scientific support as well as platform and infrastructure support. Currently, a significant part of the network activities are being led by the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM. The malaria work package is led by Professor Umberto D’Alessandro with objectives to build capacities in the following areas,
• the evaluation of new community-based interventions aiming at interrupting malaria transmission in West Africa.
• the evaluation of the efficacy of new insecticides and the monitoring of insecticide resistance.
• to determine safety and efficacy of new treatments and vaccines.

The TB work package is being implemented by Professors Martin Antonio and Beate Kampmann with Martin continuing his work establishing a TB drug resistant surveillance platform across eight sites in seven West African countries. Professor Kampmann is expanding her work on the diagnosis and management of childhood TB with West African partners in the TB group.

Dr Assan Jaye in addition to being the overall coordinator responsible for supervision of project activities, leads the delivery of the cross cutting trainings in researcher development and mentorship, financial management, clinical trial monitoring, data management and project management.

The overall objective of the WANETAM programme is aligned with the Unit’s West Africa agenda to create an eco-system of complementary and supportive research institutions in the region in order to build competency to conduct collaborative research and clinica