Updates from the GloPID-R Africa Hub

Africa Hub Stakeholders Meeting focuses on next steps in the Hub’s development and the ongoing mpox epidemic

The Africa Hub organized a Stakeholders Meeting on May 6-7 in Cape Town, attended by the SAMRC Team (host of the Africa Hub), members of the GloPID-R Secretariat, and several other stakeholders. Held in person and online, the meeting addressed the development of the Hub and devoted a session to the ongoing mpox epidemic in Central and West African countries.

To launch the discussions, participants at the Stakeholders Meeting delved into various aspects of the Hub’s day-to-day operations, involving the Africa Hub Regional Advisory Group, comprised of representatives of NEPAD, EDCTP, WHO-AFRO, Africa CDC and others. They discussed the challenges of defining and mapping funders of infectious disease research in Africa due to the specific challenges of the funding landscape (the role of private and external research support as well as the need to strengthen domestic funders) and other factors; ensuring African ownership and avoiding external dominance in decisions concerning the region; stakeholder engagement strategies; and building an effective governance framework for the Hub.


Response to the epidemic of mpox in Central and West African countries

On the second day of the Stakeholders Meeting, a special session was devoted to the response to the current mpox epidemic and implications for future health emergencies. The GloPID-R Africa Hub Secretariat, which is led by Duduzile Ndwandwe (Deputy Director, Cochrane South Africa), has been helping to compile brief documents and engaging with funders to address the epidemic. “A coordinated response is crucial for effectively managing the mpox outbreak,” she stated. “The Africa Hub serves as a vital platform to align efforts and resources, ensuring that funders can efficiently support and address this pressing health crisis. The mpox pandemic is a cause for concern, with cases now being reported in South Africa. By bringing together key stakeholders and facilitating the exchange of critical information, the Africa Hub enables a unified approach that maximizes the impact of funding and interventions, ultimately leading to more effective and timely containment of the outbreak.”

Cochrane South Africa and the Africa Hub are collaborating with Oxford as part of the Pandemic PACT programme to undertake mapping of live data on the mpox epidemic. The Pandemic PACT tracking tool recently added a section on Outbreaks with a dedicated page on the current mpox outbreak in the DRC.

“Its been great to put Pandemic PACT’s work into practice in support of the GloPID-R Africa Hub’s efforts to support coordination of research relating to the mpox epidemic,” said Alice Norton, Head of the GloPID-R Research & Policy Team and PI of Pandemic PACT. “This has been enhanced by our existing collaboration with Cochrane South Africa on the Rapid Research Needs Appraisals Analysis, which we have combined with our mapping of the active research landscape to help inform action in alignment with those priorities identified locally and globally for mpox.”

Hans-Eckhardt Hagen, GloPID-R Scientific & Advocacy Director, added: “The joint activities on the mpox outbreak to ensure a coordinated funding response led by the regional GloPID-R Secretariat at the SAMRC clearly re-emphasize the importance of developing regional hubs generally, to address public health emergencies at the regional level.”


The Africa Hub’s current & future role

 Following its official launch on August 22-23, 2023, the Africa Hub continues to explore ways to fulfill its ambition to be a coordinating center for research funders in the region, working in close collaboration with the Central GloPID-R Secretariat in Berlin. Currently, the Hub receives funding from NIHR, UK Aid, EDCTP and SAMRC.

Members of the Africa Hub will attend the International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA) in Morocco, November 26-29, with the goal of increasing the Hub’s visibility in Africa. CPHIA is an annual event and an African-led platform for leaders across the continent to reflect on lessons learned in health and science, and to align on a way forward for creating more resilient health systems.



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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.