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Co-infections and co-morbidities: stakeholder meeting report published

9 February 2018

Co-infections and co-morbidities in low- and middle-income countries are an important public health problem. These conditions decrease chances of recovery or cure and ultimately result in increased morbidity and mortality. Co-infections present unique challenges in diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a fast-growing burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa. There is a clear need for long-term, more integrated management of poverty-related infectious diseases and NCDs. Therefore, co-infections and co-morbidities are among the priority topics for EDCTP to be addressed in 2018.

An EDCTP Stakeholder meeting focused on this thematic area was held in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 13 September 2017. Participants included 52 representatives from academic and research institutions, funding agencies, product development partnerships, industry and international organisations, including members of EDCTP’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Recommendations from the meeting informed the preparations for the ‘EDCTP Strategic research agenda’ as updated for 2018. Today, a summary report on the meeting was published.

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The meeting was chaired by Dr Maryline Bonnet (Institute of Research for Development, France) and
Professor John Gyapong (University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana), both members of the EDCTP Scientific Advisory Committee. Professor Shabir Madhi (National Institute for Communicable Diseases and University of Witwatersrand, South Africa), gave a keynote address on the role of co-infections and comorbidities in childhood, neonatal and stillbirth deaths.

Key recommendations from the meeting focussed on epidemiological and diagnostic assessment of the burden, and on clinical management, especially of Leishmania–HIV co-infection, HIV and Buruli ulcer co-infection, HIV and female genital schistosomiasis coinfection, and tuberculosis (TB) and diabetes co-morbidity.

EDCTP scientific stakeholder meetings

The EDCTP scientific stakeholder meetings are an important part of the ongoing consultation process for the second EDCTP programme that started in 2013 and continues through meetings and workshops with academic researchers, pharmaceutical industry, product development partnerships, charities and foundations, international organisations and health research funders outside Europe and Africa. Previous reports summarise stakeholder meetings on: