The huge communicable disease burden on the African continent is largely made up of HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The trio of diseases alone is creating societal and economic instability in most African countries within all age groups. By mid-2010, the 22.9 million people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa made up approximately 68% of all people living with HIV (UNAIDS 2011 Global Report). Although the absolute number of TB cases in Africa has been falling since 2006, according to the latest WHO report on Global TB Control (2011), Africa had 8.8 million incident cases of TB in 2012. In 2010, malaria caused an estimated 655,000 deaths mostly among African children (WHO factsheet 2012) and it has been estimated that malaria is responsible for loss in productivity that results i a 1.3% growth penalty per year in some African countries. This incredible burden of diseases amongst African populations is causing devastation in all facets of society, most notably in the economies of most African countries. Although there are many measures in place to tackle the disease burden from HIV, TB and Malaria within countries worst affected, there remains a void in terms of training local scientists in some of the methodologies that would facilitate in-country research. In this grant, we believe that training of young scientists should be conducted along with the implementation of in situ physical infrastructures, such as laboratories. It is important that in-country scientists have access to scientific knowledge and training to seek correlates of immune protection for these infectious diseases. By organizing this cycle of symposia, entitled: Infectious Diseases in Africa: Measurement of Immune Response (University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, May 2013- 2015), our objectives are: 1) To continue to provide cutting-edge knowledge in the fields of TB, HIV and malaria and immunology 2) To foster new scientific leadership on the African Continent.
This symposium will mainly address the scientific training of young African scientists whose scope of research is to characterize the T and B cellular immune responses against HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The scientific training of the young African investigators will complement the ongoing efforts to develop local infrastructure.
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