ARUSHA HOSTS ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND SCIENTIFIC MEETING OF EACCR3
Every year partners of the Eastern Africa Consortium for Clinical Research (EACCR3) network gather to assess progress, share best practices and challenges of implementing the project in an Annual General and scientific meeting (AGM). The first AGM was hosted by the Good Samaritan Foundation -Kilimanjaro Christian Centre (GSF-KCMC) at Kibo Palace Hotel in Arusha between 10th and 11th August 2022.
It was a hybrid meeting with partners from Uganda and Tanzania attending physically, and partners from Kenya, Rwanda and Europe joined virtually. The AGM was followed by the Science and Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting on the afternoon of 11th August 2022. The AGM also served as a scientific meeting for the students supported and attached to EACCR3 at PhD and MSc level to present their Research concepts and progress with their research work. The students received guidance on their research topics and methodologies to use for their research from numerous senior scientists during the meeting.
Two guest speakers were invited to the AGM; Dr. Isack Lekule from the Ministry of Health-Social Services in Tanzania who gave a keynote address on status and treatment for MDR TB in Tanzania and Prof Gibson Kibiki from the Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF), who spoke about the perspectives of capacity building for clinical research in Africa. Prof. Kibiki’s highlighted the minimal contribution of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to the global research agenda, pointing out the very small proportion of publications originating from SSA as a major concern that needs urgent attention.
At the time of the AGM, three short courses had been conducted supporting a total of 56 junior scientists and several other activities for period one had been initiated. Dr Kullaya presented the proposed ambitious EACCR mentorship plan which will have an online platform in which junior and mid-level scientists can identify and be paired with senior scientists for mentorship.
The PhD students had already been identified and had registered at universities, identified supervisors, and started working on their PhD concepts. For instance, Dr Yunia Mayanja from the MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit has registered at Karolinska Institute and is exploring mechanisms of improving HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women by using peer counsellors to increase adherence to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.
The EACCR applauds all partners that were able to attend the meeting, and special thanks to GSF-KCMC for organizing and hosting the AGM. EACCR also acknowledges EDCTP for investing in the networks of excellence and for creating avenues to work together to build capacity for research infrastructure in Africa.