Infectious Diseases Symposium

19 June 2019, 11:14

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The South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) − TWAS Young Affiliate Network (TYAN) held a symposium on ONE HEALTH: A focus on Infectious Diseases in Africa on 27 and 28 May, 2019.

The aim was to increase knowledge and build capacity in infectious disease research amongst early career researchers in the Africa region. The symposium was held in partnership with the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE), TWAS Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Partner (TWAS-SAREP) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC).

Delegates deliberated on the One Health concept and acknowledged the interconnected relationship between human beings, animals and environmental health. A sustainable and shared approach requires an integrated analysis of infectious diseases with contributions from various domains.

The symposium also sought to identify niche areas of commonality or opportunities to address scientific challenges through leveraging the strengths of others in the region. Delegates from South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Benin, Malawi, Nigeria, Cameroon, Mauritius, Ghana and Zambia attended the symposium.

Guest speakers included Prof Sabiha Essack, Professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South African Research Chair in Antibiotic Resistance and One Health; Prof Salim Abdool Karim, Director, Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research (CAPRISA), UKZN and Prof Thumbi Ndung’u, Deputy Director (Science), Africa Health Research Institute.