CDT-Africa Consortium Meeting launched

Centre for Innovative Drug Development and Therapeutic Trials for Africa (CDT) Consortium meeting opened with the vision “Africa-based, world-class centre that provides ground-breaking discoveries and inventions of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other interventions” on 28th June, 2019 at Getfam Hotel.

Dr. Dawit Wendimagegn, chief executive director at the college of health sciences in Addis Ababa University, on his welcoming address said, “The centre is tasked with improving access to medicines (drugs, vaccines, diagnostics), and strengthening regulatory frameworks and health care delivery for Africa through relevant education and research. The mission and the work of the centre is an indication of the commitment of the college to address the development challenges of Ethiopia and the region.”

The chief executive director also added that with the highest concentration of clinical specialists, basic science scientists, public health experts and the largest specialized hospital in the country, the college pursues excellence in education, research and community services and serves as an ideal platform for the work of CDT-Africa.

Head of CDT-Africa at the college of Health Sciences, Abebaw Fekadu (MD, PhD,MRCPsych) on his report on Organizational, Education and Research Excellence, said that the centre signed memorandum of understanding with 10 of its partner institutions and conducted on-site visit to six national partner institutions to initiate collaborations and build institutional capacity of its partners.

“As part of its staff capacity development plan, the centre sponsored travels of the centre’s Administrator to university of Cape Town in July 2017 to share experiences on administration and project management. The centre was able to forge an important relationship with Bio-ventures for Global Health (BVGH)”, Dr Abebaw explained.

“CDT-Africa faculty also attended the first Africa-China-World Bank Higher Education Forum (July 9-14, 2017) in Beijing and Shanghai and got opportunities to share experience and to visit large technology hubs such as the Lenovo. Furthermore, relevant discussions were held with teams from the Africa Centres of Excellnce (ACE) that work on natural and herbal products”, he added.

In his report, Dr. Abebaw noted that the centre initiated high quality education programs (Postdoctoral, PhD, MSc, and Short Courses) to build a critical mass of scientists and technical experts for medical discoveries. According to Dr. Abebaw, the center engaged its partner institutions to contribute to all its education activities, including in curriculum development, delivery of training, and participation as trainees.

Regarding Research Excellence, he emphasized that the centre has secured five new research grants to be implemented over the coming 4-5 years, with a total generated grant coming to CDT-Africa of over $ 3.5 million.

He further explained that the grants have the potential to advance innovations and harness knowledge transfer and the centre launched the five projects officially on 20th June, 2018 with its partners, while implementation of the projects has started since January 2018.