African Scientists Meet To Share Knowledge On Ebola, HIV

save the date Geneva Switzerland

By Abiose Adelaja Adams

African researchers specializing in HIV and Ebola have up to July 30 to apply to participate in the UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit – which will provide an avenue for sharing and dissemination of research data on these diseases, especially Ebola which ravaged the West Africa and some part of East African region last year with death toll rising above 10,000.

According to a press statement from the African Press Organization, this year’s summit is getting scientific support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, the University of Cambridge, UK, and University of Rome, Italy.

Another feature of this year’s summit is the special focus on Ebola and emergent infectious diseases. The summit will also showcase innovative research taking place in projects, programs and initiatives across African universities, and by the wider African research community.

“It also aims to identify scientific research priorities for evolving health needs, and identify opportunities to capitalise on HIV research capacities for emerging infectious diseases in Africa such as Ebola.”

Oyewale Tomori, a Nigerian virologist and the president of the Nigeria Academy of Science, in lending his opinion commended the organisers of the summit and made bold to observe that none of those drugs sent to Africa to treat the Ebola viral disease, EVD, brought it to zero level in the affected countries.

“What we learnt is to practise good hygiene, minimize contact with infected persons- no hugging or kissing of dead bodies, but quarantine them immediately,” Tomori stated.

According to him, if Africa had held such a knowledge sharing summit earlier on in the epidemic, the disease would not have spread that much and had such devastating effect on the people.

As a president of the nation’s advisory body on science, he also agreed with the aim of the summit which is to  address the vital role of research in the improvement and sustainable development of population health with specific emphasis on how to translate knowledge into action – the ‘know-do gap’ – to improve health and make an impact on society.

Ebola re-emerged in last year after it was first discovered in 1976 with devastating consequences on health care system.  In Nigeria, the notable research on it was by the scientist, Maurice Iwu, where he found that Bitter Kola (Garcinia Kola), inhibited the growth of the Ebola virus in a test tube, but the experiment was inconclusive.

Summit organisers say up to 100 scientists / researchers will be fully sponsored to attend the event which holds on October 19 to 20 in Switzerland and participants would benefit from the scientific program and development opportunities that will accelerate access to innovative health solutions and sustain innovation in Africa.



    Their selection will be based on their abstract submission with dead line set at 30th of July.

    Abstracts are thus invited from final year African PhD students and young investigators involved in HIV, Ebola and other infectious disease research. All should be primarily based at African research institutes and universities, although collaboration within and outside Africa is encouraged.

    Organizers of the summit are optimistic that it will provide a networking platform for dialogue on improving global cooperation on health research and narrowing the disparities in health systems performance between developing and developed countries.

    It will also create an African researchers’ network where there will be exchange of experience, knowledge, best practice (especially in Ebola management) and cooperation in future research and development projects.

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