Press release 1
After six years of capacity building on the One Health approach for the benefit of researchers and practitioners in Africa, the Africa One ASPIRE Program will officially close on June 30, 2022.
The Africa One-ASPIRE Management Board mobilized its community of practice from June 23-25, 2022, in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire, for a closing international scientific meeting. The various activities carried out during this meeting have allowed donors, authorities and actors present, to inquire about the progress made.
"We were able to share experiences and results of our work during these two days. This allowed us to show the comparative advantages of the different areas in which we work and to consolidate the network that we have established over the past few years. This network will certainly help boost research and represent the basis for future generations", Prof Bassirou Bonfoh, Director Africa One - ASPIRE.
Considering that health problems in Africa result from interactions between humans, animals and their environment, the program has dwelled on the "one health" approach to find and give answers. Officially launched in July 2016, the Africa One-ASPIRE program aimed to develop tools and methods tending to the elimination of endemic zoonoses (diseases transmissible between animals and humans).
Over the past six years (2016 - 2022), Afrique One-ASPIRE has brought together and trained 72 researchers (Master, PhD, Postdoc levels) from a dozen countries in West, East and Central Africa. Five thematic training programs have been set up and implemented. These are Rabies elimination, Brucellosis control, Zoonotic and environmental mycobacteria management, Food safety and metabolic diseases management and finally disease surveillance and response systems.
"According to WHO, more than 75% of the epidemics and pandemics that have affected humans in the last decade have originated from animals or animal products. It has been shown that actions to combat these diseases have shown limitations when considering only the medical aspect. This is where the One Health approach is promising with its transdisciplinary and collaborative dynamics with the human, animal and environmental health sectors. We are pleased with the work done by Afrique One-ASPIRE, especially the ability to bring together researchers from different disciplines and regions of Africa to work on the same diseases and research themes," said Prof. Brian Perry, Chair of the Afrique One-ASPIRE Scientific Council.
Africa One-ASPIRE reborn
"Although the value of the One Health approach is globally recognized, the approach has yet to be put into practice at different scales and beyond the human-animal interface to improve people's health, livelihoods and well-being. The next steps in the pipeline will focus on building the capacity of African leaders to take collective action," said Prof. Bassirou Bonfoh.
To continue the actions begun, we note the creation of a network of alumni of Africa One of nearly 200 actors, a stronger collaboration with the media and decision makers for better ownership of research results obtained.
"This experience shared during these years by benefiting from a grant to implement my research project has allowed me to develop my career plan. During this program, we were able to benefit from a set of supports both in the writing of scientific documents, the conduct of research but also in terms of supervision. In addition to the funding, Afrique One - ASPIRE also allowed us to expand our network, to exchange with researchers from other backgrounds and share their experience, to acquire a little more experience to be able to implement different programs that can address different themes. The program also allowed us to conduct our activities in transdisciplinarity, through the One Health approach, through exchanges with other fellows from different disciplines such as sociology and medicine," Wilfried D. Oyetola, Africa One Fellow - ASPIRE since 2017.
At the official opening of this closing scientific meeting, Prof. Inza Koné, Director of the Swiss Center for Scientific Research, the program's host institution, expressed his pride in having hosted Africa One - ASPIRE. "As an institution, we are proud to have hosted such an important pan-African project", Prof Inza Koné.
About Africa One-ASPIRE
The African Scientific Partnership for Research Excellence in Intervention (ASPIRE) is the second phase of an African research consortium called Africa One. It is supported by the DELTAS Africa Initiative, an independent funding program of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), the Foundation for Science in Africa (formerly ESA), and the New Partnership for Africa's Development Planning. Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) with funding from the Wellcome Trust and the UK government.
Through the "one health" approach, Afrique One-ASPIRE has engaged in transdisciplinary collaboration between the different actors in human, animal and environmental health, policy makers, and civil society, with the production of nearly 214 scientific articles, a dozen policy briefs and the training of nearly 12,000 practitioners in the approach. The global partnership has enabled African researchers to contribute to important advances in the understanding of transmission, control and zoonoses.
Contacts presse :
Emmanuel Dabo / Chris-Emilie Akpli
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