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African One Health Network for Disease Prevention (ADAPT): Building capacity for communicable disease prevention across sub Saharan Africa (ADAPT)


Funding programme / funding institution: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) - Deutschland

Grant number: 01KA2218A

Project homepage: -

Project description:

Overall goal of the project

The mission of this project is to increase the scientific capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa for the prevention of communicable diseases, in particular Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD), and in cooperation with the respective governments, national organizations (NGOs), as well as to empower local and regional stakeholders. Research institutions from the eight participating countries of this network will define, analyze and study a variety of biological-medical and socio-cultural factors affecting human, animal and environmental health in sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of the BfR is to expand cooperation with research institutions in Africa and to support and strengthen them in building capacity to prevent antibiotic resistance. One focus of the BfR is to support the development of a One Health Surveillance System for antibiotic resistance in sub-Saharan Africa.

Relation of the project to the funding policy goals

This project aims to develop the sub-Saharan African network, ADAPT, and to carry out joint work within this network with the aim of preventing the transmission of infectious diseases in accordance with UN SDG #3. Capacity building and promoting interdisciplinarity to prevent disease through a one-health approach are the core tasks of this project. The targeted involvement of local, regional and state stakeholders from the participating countries of the network throughout the project period will promote the skills of the stakeholders and increase the technical competence and efficiency of the network. The involvement of relevant policy makers and other key stakeholders in the ministries of health and other sectors of the network countries will ensure that the project objectives are achieved.

Scientific and/or technical work goals

This project will address six broad work areas that will increase antimicrobial stewardship capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, including: 1) Screening for AMR in humans, cattle and poultry by monitoring and genetic mapping of circulating bacterial strains including theirs resistances; 2) studying the relationships between AMR-carrying bacteria and helminth infections to better understand the synergies of these common and dangerous co-infections; 3) create capacity for on-demand diagnostics of AMR and NTDs using mobile tests for field use; 4) To study the possible changes in the incidences of AMR following the increased use of antimicrobials before, during and possibly after the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa; 5) Control of communicable diseases, particularly AMR, by evaluating and improving existing hygiene practices at the human-animal-environmental interface; and 6) capacity building for sustainable guidance on the use and management of antimicrobial substances (stewardship, AMS). This project, carried out by a large, multidisciplinary and broad-based team, aims to develop solutions for improving AMR/AMS management by working on the main areas of AMR/AMS intervention on the basis of current research results obtained using different methods. At the same time, capacities and structures are to be created for this area (capacity building) in order to sustainably improve digital and mobile health (mHealth). In order to achieve this sustainability, the ADAPT project involves local health organizations and institutions and other relevant local stakeholders, as well as political decision-makers in the partner countries from the project planning phase to the end of the project period to ensure successful cooperation. The aim of the BfR is to support the cooperation partners in work areas 1 (screening), 3 (diagnostic capacities) and 6 (antimicrobial stewardship) and thus make an important contribution to reducing antibiotic resistance and its global risks. Another goal of the BfR is to support the participating African countries in building capacities for a One Health Surveillance System for antibiotic resistance.

In the research work package, the BfR is particularly involved in tasks 1, 3 and 6. This work is described below:

Task 1: Establish a One Health Surveillance System for AMR in Sub-Saharan Africa Based on the know-how of the monitoring systems in Germany and in the EU, the BfR provides advice and support in order to fulfill this task. This includes the planning and preparation of monitoring activities, sampling, the development of investigation strategies, the use of investigation methods and their harmonized application, data collection, processing and overarching analysis, evaluation and communication. Local aspects as well as feasibility must be taken into account. To this end, intensive cooperation with local partners is required.

Task 3: Develop capabilities for point-of-need diagnostics of AMR/NTDs With its reference tasks, the BfR will primarily be involved in providing reference materials, developing a protocol for sample preparation and validating the results of point-of-need tests developed by the cooperation partners. In addition, the BfR will characterize isolated strains in order to provide the technical basis for the assessment of connections and possible limitation strategies. Support is also provided in the development of manuals so that quality assurance can be guaranteed.

Task 6: Build AMR stewardship leadership capacity The BfR will contribute experiences from national approaches to an AMR stewardship program and support the partners with specific examples and suggestions. Building on the activities in Tasks 1 and 3, administrative and organizational aspects will also be examined. The focus will be on the preparation and implementation of training courses and on contributing to the dissemination of project results to stakeholders.

In the "Capacity Building" work package, the BfR offers on-site training programs and will also train staff in its own facility. This supports the structure of the Master's and PhD programs, and at the same time the BfR contributes to the development of laboratory manuals, guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs). Through active cooperation regarding different methods, it can also be worked out what is needed for capacity building and the partners can be advised on procurement if necessary. In the "Networking" work package, the BfR is actively involved in the formation of a network between African and German institutions. The BfR contributes to this by organizing joint training measures and the exchange of scientists/students. It is also planned that 2 BfR scientists will take part in the annual consortium meeting. In addition, the BfR supports the project partners in disseminating the project results in user-oriented formats, e.g. through presentations at conferences, webinars and on the project website and in scientific open access journals. The aim is to make the results accessible to a wide range of users, including political decision-makers and stakeholders.

Project partners

  • University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) Kigali - Ruanda
  • Makerere University (MAK) Kampala - Uganda
  • Institut für Tierhygiene und öffentliches Veterinärwesen (Uni Leipzig) (Universität Leipzig)


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