Inaugural scientific workshop held from 19-20 March 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya
During the Keystone Symposia in Cape Town (2016) African scientists set the base for establishing the African Vaccinology Network (AfVANET) as a forum for African scientists to take greater part in establishing priorities for vaccine development for emerging and re-emerging human and veterinary diseases affecting the continent.
On 19 March 2019 AfVANET’s General Coordinator Prof. Mustapha Oumouna (University of Medea, Algeria) opened AfVANET’s first scientific workshop at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi. Around 30 speakers came from Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia. In a series of presentations AfVANET’s five African Region Coordinators (North, South, East, Central, West Africa) underlined Prof. Oumouna’s vision: Promoting and retaining Africa’s potential by fostering collaboration, innovation, training, and trust between vaccine Research & Development organisations and facilities for human and animal health in Africa.
Over the course of two days, the speakers presented their research achievements in human (e.g. Ebola, Malaria, Cholera), zoonotic (e.g. Brucellosis, MERS-CoV, West Nile Fever), and veterinary diseases (e.g. Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Theileriosis in cattle).
During the meeting, participants learned about technologically advanced vaccine research, new vaccine candidates, and got in-depth insights into immune-profiling data, but, next to the science, stakeholders and funding organisations got an equal space: Dr. Tim Connelly introduced the International Veterinary Vaccinology Network (IVVN) to the audience. Dr. Kristin Stuke presented GALVmed’s objectives, structure, portfolio, partnerships, and key achievements in product development. Dr. Stafano Messori gave an overview over the OIE’s STAR-IDAZ International Research Consortium on Animal Health. Dr. Jennifer Mabuka presented the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and in particular their aim to build an openly accessible, comprehensive database of clinical trials and capacities in Africa. Dr Tabby Karanja presented insights from her IDRC Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund-funded PhD project.
More information about African Vaccinology Network (AfVANET) is available on their Twitter page:
Written by Dr Kristin Stuke