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Research network wins approximately £5.7 million to target human and animal diseases in Africa
Date:7/1/2009

in low- and middle-income countries.

SACIDS' work tackles a woefully under-resourced and important sector. Most major infectious human diseases have animal origins and up to 80 per cent of emerging infectious human diseases come from livestock or wild animals, yet Africa currently has the least capacity to survey major livestock or wildlife diseases. Livestock provide a vital source of nutrition, financial security and status in the continent, but livestock production is severely limited by disease. Many of the world's worst livestock diseases, such as Foot and Mouth disease, are indigenous to Africa.

The Wellcome Trust grant will provide funds for SACIDS to:

  • Develop and deliver new MSc courses in critical areas of Molecular Biology and Epidemiology
  • Develop biosafety systems and quality management in laboratories
  • Develop continuing professional development to upgrade skills
  • Develop a secure internet-based technology platform for partners to share resources
  • Enhance ICT support to distance learning
  • Provide research apprenticeships with 'smart partners' institutions, namely RVC and LSHTM

Professor Mark Rweyemamu, Executive Director of SACIDS, Professor at Sokoine University and a Visiting Professor at RVC, stressed the necessity of the SACIDS initiative. He said: "The 'one health' collaboration between medical and veterinary sectors helps us to focus our common resources to study the shared problem of infectious disease. The 'smart partnership' between SACIDS and the LIDC colleges will marshal the best science expertise to the study of infectious diseases in the endemic setting and to identify new and emerging diseases early". Professor Jeff Waage, Director of LIDC, said "LIDC's member institutions are excited at the prospect of building a 'one health' platform for research and training with SACIDS members in Africa."

SACIDS has also won financial backing for analysis
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Contact: Guy Collender
guy.collender@lidc.bloomsbury.ac.uk
020-795-88260
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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