Makerere University together with the development organization CPAR Uganda are part of the five East African institutions in consortium with the University of St. Andrews that have been awarded 400,000 euros to fight tuberculosis.
The funding by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) was extended to “Twende” project which works to empower nations’ diagnostic effort” in Tuberculosis.
Makerere University will work with the lead consortium in the project, the University of St Andrews in UK.
Twende is Kiswahili used to encourage one another to move forward. The project aims to understand and overcome the barriers to the implementation of better tuberculosis diagnostics.
“The project is a study that will research the barriers and opportunities of accelerating the uptake of successful tuberculosis diagnostics,” says CPAR Uganda’s managing director, also the social scientist on the project. She added, “In essence, the project will explore questions of how research innovations can quickly and sustainably be translated into policy and practice – going beyond the laboratories.”
Tuberculosis is a chronic chest infection that kills nearly 2 million people worldwide every year. In a resource poor environment, diagnosis is difficult and it takes many months to get results back.
New diagnostics are being developed but few have been implemented yet in the areas where people need them the most.
Twende will create a platform to translate research innovations into policy and practice. It will focus on the three East African countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, who are increasingly working together to solve their health problems.
Ms Owaraga says, “In the TWENDE Project, CPAR Uganda is in consortium with the University of St. Andrews (United Kingdom), Makerere University Kampala (Uganda), Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (Tanzania), National Institute for Medical Research – Mbeya Medical Research Centre (Tanzania), Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kenya) and the East African Health Commission of the East African Community. “
The study is being led by Dr Wilber Sabiiti and Professor Stephen Gillespie at the University of St Andrews, along with partners in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. They will work closely with the East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC) and national TB control programmes of each partner country.