Epicentre has provided epidemiological expertise to Médecins sans frontières (MSF) from its Paris headquarters in France for 30 years and has had a base in Uganda for more than 20 years and in Niger for almost a decade. Epicentre Uganda is located at the heart of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Mbarara Regional Reference Hospital (MRRH). At this moment we take the opportunity to thank the University leadership and the ministry of Health that allowed Epicentre to set up a permanent home on its campus from where great work through collaborative effort has been carried out.
Epicentre conducts research and training in support of MSF’s goal of providing medical care in areas where people are affected by conflicts, epidemics, disasters, or are otherwise excluded from health care. In these contexts medical doctors do not always have tools to respond adequately to the health needs of the people. Innovation to adapt treatment, diagnostic tools, preventive measures and strategies are needed. These innovations have to be built on evidence without which no policy advance can take place. This is why Epicentre was created and what it continues to do to this day.
Today we have gathered here as people from different walks of life including politicians, diplomats, academicians, service providers, etc., but for one common reason; to forge a way for better delivery of health services. As Epicentre, we are proud to share with you research results that we hope will act as a catalyst to stimulate your thinking further on how to continuously improve health policies and hope to explore with you future research perspectives for Africa.
In the first session we explore research projects that investigate how HIV care strategies can be adapted and improved. This will be followed by a series on how tuberculosis treatment can be safely simplified whilst preserving efficacy. The third session will focus on complex emergencies where epidemiological data need to be made available rapidly in order to mount an effective response. Our last session highlights patients whose needs are neglected despite great suffering. We hope that this last session will stimulate a discussion on health research topics for Africa today.
9:30 – 10:00 Opening Ceremony
- Juliet Mwanga-Amumpaire, Director Epicentre Mbarara Research Centre
- Professor Celestino Obua, Vice-chancellor Mbarara University of Science and Technology
- Dr Jane Aceng, Minister of Health Uganda
10:00 – 11:00 HIV/AIDS: Research into adapted strategies to improve access to HIV care
Moderator: Dr. Joshua Musinguzi, Program Manager Aids Control Program, Ministry of Health, Uganda
- Understanding virological failure in HIV positive adolescents: is it true treatment failure or poor adherence? Birgit Schramm
- Fishermen and Fishing communities in East Africa: Most-at-Risk population of acquiring HIV infection. Results from a population-based survey. Juan Burgos Soto
- Contribution of HIV Population Impact Studies to care strategies: experience of 6 MSF African projects. David Mamam
- Ongoing project: Lopinavir-based ART for HIV-infected children globally (LIVING study). Catherine Kyakwera
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 – 12:30 Tuberculosis: Optimizing treatment to improve patient outcomes
Moderator: Dr. Frank Mugabe; Program manager NTLP, Ministry of Health, Uganda
- Rifatox: Is it safe to double the dose of rifampicin to shorten tuberculosis treatment duration? Daniel Atwine
- Rifavirenz: Can high-dose rifampicin be an option to shorten tuberculosis treatment for tuberculosis and HIV co-infected patients? Maryline Bonnet
- Kids cohort: Pitfalls of childhood tuberculosis diagnosis in high-burden and limited-resource countries. Elias Kumba Kumba
- Ongoing project: TB Speed: Improvement of childhood tuberculosis diagnosis using new technologies for use in low-level health care facilities. Eric Wobudeya
14:00 – 15:00 Emergencies and displaced people: research to guide adapted and timely responses
Moderator: Jean-Luc Anglade, Head of Mission Uganda, MSF France
- Nigeria: Bono crisis, mortality and malnutrition in areas of MSF intervention Sophie Masson
- Pneumococcal carriage pre- and post-PCV vaccination campaign in Adjumani refugee camp, Uganda Dan Nyehangane
- Dihydroartemisinin piperaquine as intermittent preventive treatment for children in refugee camp Matthew Coldiron
- Ongoing project: Health assessment and surveillance in refugee camps in Northern Uganda Denis Ardiet
15: 00 – 15:30 Tea break
15:30 – 17:00 Research off the beaten track: neglected research topics for neglected patients. Perspectives for future research.
Moderator: Philip Guerin, Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health, Oxford University
- Oral cholera vaccines: transforming old products in new solutions for neglected populations Francisco Luquero
- PSYCa: Developing a tool to identify young children with mental health problems Fabienne Nackers
- Efficacy and safety of a new heat stable rotavirus vaccine (ROSE) Rebecca Grais
- Antivenoms for snake bites: Combatting market failure and neglect with research Matthew Coldiron
- Infection control in the era of antibiotic resistance Céline Langendorf
17: 00 – 17:30 Closure session
- Emmanuel Baron, Director Epicentre, introduces: Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye: Minister of Science, Technologyand Innovation
- Juliet Mwanga-Amumpaire closed meeting