Dr Noah Fongwen, a member of Professor Rosanna Peeling's team within i-sense Flagship 1, was invited for a policy talk on diagnostic priorities for the implementation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance in Africa during the 1st International Conference on Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (ICREID).
Dr Fongwen’s abstract was among the 12 accepted (out of 96) for oral presentation during plenary sessions at the ICREID.
What is the ICREID?
Organised by the Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and Virology Education, the ICREID is a global platform that brought together experts involved in emerging diseases from around the world in an interactive conference setting.
The first of its kind to be held on the continent, the conference brought together healthcare professionals, researchers, public health experts and policy makers involved in treatment, research, discovery and development of drugs and vaccines in the field of re-emerging infectious diseases.
The ICREID is a highly scientific, abstract-driven conference consisting of key note speeches, state-of-the-art lectures, oral and poster abstract presentations, roundtable discussion, debates, and in depth discussions. The event allowed for exchange of knowledge on the latest clinical developments and updates on ongoing and new trials on various emerging and re-emerging diseases.
Key learnings from the conference
- It is not enough to have a test that distinguishes bacterial and viral infection. There has to be initiatives to ensure high uptake by end-users such as clinicians and nurses through innovations to strengthen the clinic lab interface.
- The appropriate affordable technologies must be selected in resource limited settings in Africa to permit the impact evaluation of AMR surveillance interventions.
- Diagnostic technologies with connectivity are pivotal in AMR surveillance.
- A strong economic case for AMR is needed to ensure the sustainability of AMR surveillance efforts in Africa.
How was this conference valuable to i-sense work?
As part of the work of Flagship 1, we seek to gain an understanding of end‐user needs for an early-warning sensing system for infectious diseases and the potential impact of such a system on existing clinical and surveillance practices. Surveillance for AMR is one of such important surveillance practices.
In order to achieve these goals, Flagship 1 is engaging with a wide range of potential users of our technologies, including clinical leads, hospital managers, patient representatives and healthcare commissioners in the UK and in select countries in Asia and Africa.
The Africa CDC is one of the crucial partners that can ultimately determine how any potential diagnostic technology for AMR surveillance from i-sense would be used in the context of Africa. With the creation of the Africa CDC AMR surveillance network, we took the opportunity to interview policy makers from African countries on the diagnostic priorities for such a network.
The feedback from these policy makers were presented as a policy talk during the ICREID. Flagship 1 believe the ICREID was a relevant opportunity for engagement with a wider audience in the context of AMR diagnostics for Africa.