Opening of the Eighth EDCTP Forum
EDCTP has held seven previous forums but the eighth is the first that has been opened by a President. This is seen both as an indication of the level of commitment of the Zambian Government to health research and as increasing recognition of the importance of EDCTP’s work against the infectious diseases that still hold back development across Africa. As Dr Michael Makanga, EDCTP Executive Director, told the meeting, ‘Health is wealth’.
Speakers from EDCTP and the European Community said Zambia should be congratulated on its commitment to health and on the support it has given to EDCTP since the programme was first launched. His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu said that his Government would continue to ‘pursue a vigorous agenda’ on health research.
EDCTP aims not simply to discover new treatments but to support the entire ‘pipeline’ in which a new product is tested and finally brought to the point where it can be used in routine health care. Speakers at the Forum’s opening session stressed that Africa and Europe are equal partners in EDCTP and called upon African countries to engage fully with the programme and make their voices heard in deciding on the priorities for health research.
The keynote address at the opening session was given by Professor Marcel Tanner, EDCTP High Representative North and a legendary figure in tropical medicine research. He said EDCTP would have to address a wide range of issues – not just treatment but diagnosis, disease surveillance and programmes intended to eliminate certain infections. Changing situations, for example the appearance of new diseases and climate change, must also be taken into consideration. EDCTP’s core belief in the value of partnerships was to be applauded but should be taken much further, so that organisations involved in the fight against poverty-related diseases worked together not just on short-term individual projects but at a strategic level.
Outstanding Research Team award
The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has given its Outstanding Research Team award to the The University of Zambia-University College London Medical School Research & Training Program. Representatives of the team, lead by Dr Peter Mwaba, Permanent Secretary. Ministry of Health of Zambia received the award trophy from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
The University of Zambia-University College London Medical School Research & Training Program effectively brought together scientists, funders, politicians, and advocates to unite together in the fight against killer infectious diseases, particularly TB and HIV/AIDS, diseases declared global emergencies by the WHO in 1993. The UNZA-UCLMS Project has achieved very significant, multi-country research, training and capacity development deliverables on poverty-related diseases. The clinical trials and translational research that have been used by WHO and African governments for improving management and prevention of poverty-related diseases.
We thank all our sponsors for their generous support.