Scientific Day


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Welcome to the 27th Epicentre Scientific Day - Paris

This year’s program reminds us of several fundamental aspects of Epicentre’s activities with MSF. These include the ambition to provide important information during emergency situations, evaluate the efficacy of care strategies in the field, and propose new areas of work and development for adapting medical practice to different contexts. With this in mind, there will be classic presentations of study results, as well as other, more general presentations, which will stimulate our reflection beyond our activities in the field.
More than 15 years after the introduction of antiretrovirals to African programs for managing patients who are seropositive for HIV, many challenges remain. During the first morning session, we will discuss questions of access and diagnosis, as well as treatment failure in very specific patients, children and adolescents.
Two very current public health questions will then be discussed from the point of view of research, in order to clear the way for reflection and work. Antibiotic resistance is an area in which Epicentre now has a significant level of experience. Several studies have been implemented: what is planned, and how can these studies guide practice toward more rational prescribing? Importantly, we will see how research into infection prevention and control can help lead to a decrease in antibiotic prescribing.
In the past few years, the response to seasonal peaks in malaria cases has relied on the principle of prophylactic chemotherapy distributed on a large scale. Today, this strategy seems to be called into question, and even challenged. We will try to shed light on the issues that are involved based on our experience.
We will begin the afternoon session with presentations on the contribution of epidemiology to program management in emergency situations. Four extremely severe situations will be examined: the consequences of conflicts in northern Nigeria, and in Mosul in Iraq, and the refugee situations in northern Uganda and in Greece.
Our last session, which will be moderated by a pioneer in interventional epidemiology, Dr. Ron Waldman, will illustrate one of the unique aspects of our activities, which is the diversity of study situations. We will thus present a tuberculosis clinical trial, an epidemic investigation in Niger, our continuing work toward developing a scale for measuring psychological stress in children, the extent of the need for new cholera vaccines, and finally, access and diagnosis problems for treating visceral leishmaniasis. These various themes and perspectives, as well as their messages, have one main point in common: they are based on the very real practice of research in which Epicentre is engaged as an actor and not simply as a spectator.
We will finish the day with an address from Dr. John Lawrence, president of the Board of Directors for MSF in the United States, who will give us his point of view on the different forms that innovation can take in our interventional contexts. 
We hope you have an excellent day.