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On Monday November 30, 2009 at the Savana Hotel in Dakar, researchers from West Africa expressed the urgency of joining forces to find solutions to reduce the death toll of the three poverty-related diseases namely Tuberculosis, Malaria and AIDS.
This union led to the creation of the West African Network for TB, AIDS and Malaria (WANETAM), sponsored by EDCTP (European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership) with the objective to build capacity in sub-Saharan Africa to conduct clinical trials under best practices that follow ICH-GCP, GCLP and other internationally recognized guidelines.

This initiative came at the right time because resources allocated to research were tiny and infrastructures were precarious. As a result, there was a lack of capacity in sub-Saharan Africa to conduct clinical trials under best practices. Moreover, it is known that the health research ethics review mechanism and the regulatory framework in sub-Saharan Africa is far from being adequate.

The EDCTP therefore committed resources to secure an enabling environment for the conduct of clinical trials that follow best practices that follow ICH-GCP, GCLP and other internationally recognized guidelines.

Initially, the network included 14 institutions from 7 West African countries (Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal).
WANETAM supports the creation of a scientific research network focused principally on capacity building of member institutions in view to prepare them address public health issues in sub Saharan Africa.
In its first phase covering the period from 2009 to 2013n WANETAM took a holistic view to capacity building. Focus was made on:
1. The development of scientists through continuous education such as grant writing, mentorship and publications
2. Research support through project management, finance, quality, biomedical engineering, monitoring and evaluation
3. Infrastructure support
4. System support through laboratory accreditation


Training was largely provided by the stronger members of the network to the weaker members.





2009-2013





In terms of results, WANETAM has been able to:
- Create a collaborative research network of scientists from Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone countries in West Africa.
- Support of short-term training activities that built both laboratory and clinical skills in the field of HIV, Malaria, and TB as well as in cross cutting disciplines, in view to support proficiency in clinical research.
- Conduct a few baseline studies were also planned in the Gambia, Ghana, Mali and Senegal.
- Publish articles
In BMC Medicine, Published: 3 November 2016

“The emerging threat of pre-extensively-drug-resistant tuberculosis in West Africa: preparing for large scale tuberculosis research and drug resistance surveillance”

In PLoS One. Published on 19 September 2017

“Whole-genome sequencing illuminates the evolution and spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Southwest Nigeria”

- Two Laboratories (MRC and RARS) have been accredited ISO 15189 plus

Generally, WANETAM has enabled strong linkages and built strong partnerships between established and sister institutions, promoted the sharing of scientific expertise and increased research quality standards in the West African sub-region owing to through on-site training and group training.
This first phase of WANETAM was satisfactory and gave the opportunity to the network to compete for another round within the EDCTP II framework. This second program launched in 2015, aimed at providing funding for actions that aim to support regional networking in sub-Saharan Africa and with Europe to build and strengthen the established regional, national, institutional and individual capacities to conduct clinical trials in line with the International Conference on Harmonization guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (ICH-GCP).
WANETAM II project was therefore set up to respond to the new EDCTP call, with a broadened its scope including new diseases such as Neglected Tropical Diseases, and Ebola. Today, WANETAM brings together 9 African Institutions and 4 Northern partners.
The networks plan to build on the previous achievements in capacity building for clinical studies and interventions. Training and collaboration will be structured through thematic nodes of excellence in TB, HIV/AIDS and Malaria and a new capacity strengthening in Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) and Ebola.

 



WANETAM SECRETARIAT

Executive Secretary
Réseau Africain de recherche sur le Sida/Institut de Recherche en Santé, de Surveillance
Epidémiologique et de Formation (RARS/IRESSEF) Arrondissement 4 Rue 2 D1 - Pôle Urbain de Diamniadio
BP 7325, Dakar, SENEGAL
Téléphones : 221-338722588/Fax : 221-338502017
Email: jeanpierre.nguessan@iressef.org
www.wanetam.org

Network Coordinator: Prof. Souleymane Mboup
President of IRESSEF
Email: souleymane.mboup@iressef.org

Deputy Coordinator: Dr Assan Jaye
Medical Research Council the Gambia
Email: ajaye@mrc.gm
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Site Web: http://www.wanetam.org

 

 

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