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EDCTP Network of Excellence for Southern Africa launched

29 November 2017

The EDCTP Regional Network of Excellence for Southern Africa—Trials of Excellence for Southern Africa (TESAII)—was launched in Maputo, Mozambique on 30–31 October 2017. EDCTP is investing almost €3 million in the Mozambique-based consortium, which is coordinated by Dr Eusebio Macete of Manhiça Foundation-Manhiça Health Research Centre (FM-CISM). The kick-off meeting was attended by several important stakeholders, including Dr Zacarias Zindoga (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mozambique),  Dr Mohsin Sidat (Chair of Manhiça Foundation), Dr Ilesh Jani (Director, National Institute of Health, Mozambique; EDCTP General Assembly representative for Mozambique) and Prof. ‎Jorge Ferrao (Rector Universidade Pedagógica). EDCTP was represented by the EDCTP High Representative South Dr Leonardo Simão, and Project Officer Ms Michelle Nderu.

The TESAII team and guests at the launch event in Maputo.

“The launch of TESAII is very pleasing news. We are very hopeful that this reinvigorated regional network of excellence will further contribute to a measurable increase in collaborative research (south-south and north-south collaborations) and offer clinical trials training opportunities that will improve competences and capacity to conduct high quality clinical research/trials in Africa.”

Dr Michael Makanga, EDCTP Executive Director

Objectives of TESAII

The overall aim of TESAII is to develop, strengthen and expand clinical research capacities in the southern African region through the consolidation of the TESA nodes of excellence for conducting clinical trials. The consortium focuses on conducting high quality research on infectious diseases with the most severe morbidity and mortality in the region. TESAII has identified a framework of core capacity development activities which will take place within the larger context of the clinical trials in TB, HIV and malaria to be managed by the network. These activities include:

  • establishment of three referral laboratories across the network to serve as training platforms for less experienced network members;
  • establishment of a dedicated referral data centre at CISM. The data centre will support the network members to develop and strengthen capacity for data management and statistical analysis;
  • career development and training that will contribute to professional development and scientific leadership in clinical trials across the network; and
  • networking of networks.
Dr Eusebio Macete and Dr Ilesh Jani (left to right).

About TESA
Currently, TESAII includes 15 institutions from 8 southern African and 4 European countries, which have come together to strengthen and enhance capacities for clinical research, and increase collaboration and North-South and South-South networking activities. The TESA network was originally established in 2009 under the first EDCTP programme, with the objective of creating a framework for collaboration, capacity building and training within the participating institutions in southern Africa. The network specifically aimed to improve the infrastructure for conducting clinical trials in the fields of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. TESAI included 9 institutions from 6 sub-Saharan African countries.

The organisations participating in TESAII are:

  • Centro de Investigacao em Saude de Manhica (CISM), Mozambique
  • Stellenbosch University (SUN), South Africa
  • Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP), Botswana
  • Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD), Netherlands
  • University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS), Zimbabwe
  • LT Clinical Research (LTCR), South Africa
  • ISGLobal – Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Spain
  • Centro de Investigação em Saúde de Angola (CISA), Angola
  • Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI), Zimbabwe
  • Blantyre Health Research and Training Trust (BHRTT), Malawi
  • University College London (UCL), United Kingdom
  • University of Cape Town Lung Institute (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
  • University of Namibia (UNAM), Namibia
  • University Teaching Hospital (UTHZ), Zambia
  • European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN-ERIC), France
  • Uganda National Health Research Organisation (UNHRO), Uganda.
Countries participating in TESAII