On the 30th of November 2021, a webinar was organized as part of the EDCTP2 funded project “Important data on Covid-19 profile in Africa” (AIDCO). The webinar brought together more than forty young scientists, PhD students, as well as experienced researchers, clinicians and laboratory personnel from: Centre de recherches médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL)-(Gabon), Faculté de médecine – Université des sciences de la santé de Libreville (DPM-USS)- (Gabon), Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI)- (Ethiopia), Réseau africain de recherche sur le SIDA / Institut de recherche en santé, de surveillance épidémiologique et de formations (RARS/IRESSEF)-(Senegal), Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC)-(The Netherlands), Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (EKUT)- (Germany) and other partner institutions such as the University of Buea in Cameroon.
The webinar which was opened by the consortium coordinator, Prof. Ayola Akim Adegnika (CERMEL) had participants engaged in interactive sessions with key presentations coming from three researchers from the Institute of Tropical Medicine of the University of Tübingen, CERMEL, and LUMC.
Prof. Thirumalaisamy P. Velavan, from EKUT, gave an update on epidemiology, diagnostics, treatment, vaccines, and variants of concern. Prof. Bertrand Lell, from CERMEL and the Medical University of Vienna, gave a presentation focused on the state of Covid vaccination in Africa, followed by Dr. Simon Jochems, from LUMC, with his presentation “Mucosal immunity during hospitalized Covid-19” summarizing the results of a study on samples from hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
The AIDCO consortium which is made up of six institutions from five countries aims to:
- Determine the clinical outcome of Covid-19 infection at the participating African sites, including Ethiopia, Gabon, and Senegal.
- Determine the pattern of infection in households of confirmed cases.
- Chart factors associated with Covid-19 infection and disease progression.
- Scale-up capacity for case and household contact studies.
- Establish a biobank of samples.