Researchers from the Prevention of Liver Fibrosis and Cancer in Africa (PROLIFICA) program at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM) recently led presentations at the 4th annual Conference on Liver Disease in Africa (COLDA). Three of the team members received Young Investigator awards for the conference.
The virtual conference, held from 9th to 11th September 2021, created a platform for researchers, healthcare workers and policy makers to share knowledge and best practices on the management of viral hepatitis and liver disease in Africa.
Dr. Gibril Ndow, Clinical Research Fellow at the MRCG at LSHTM and Coordinator of the PROLIFICA (Prevention of Liver Fibrosis and Cancer in Africa) research program in The Gambia and Senegal is a member of the COLDA Scientific Committee. Dr. Ndow chaired an oral abstract session and delivered and oral lecture at this year’s meeting.
He said, “COLDA provides a unique opportunity for early career African researchers to share experiences and network with global experts. I am extremely proud that our group’s work was showcased at this year’s conference, with presentations by research clinicians and nurses for whom COLDA will be their first international scientific exposure.”
Rohey Bangura, Clinical Research Nurse on the project, made a poster presentation on Integrating Hepatitis B Testing within Antenatal Services in The Gambia. Reacting on this opportunity, she said, “As an early career research nurse, I am honoured to be selected for a poster presentation at this year’s COLDA meeting. The conference continues to provide a unique platform, giving young investigators access to global experts in liver diseases.”
Dr Sulayman Bah is a Research Clinician at the Hepatitis department of the MRCG at LSHTM. He delivered an oral clinical case presentation, focusing on HBV Disease Management – Adult Chronic Hepatitis B Related HCC. Dr Bah revealed, “I attended my first COLDA meeting in 2020, and listened to experts in liver diseases. In 2021, I had the opportunity to present to the experts! This is a dream come true for me, as it gives me exposure and experience to support my career growth.”
Isatou Ais’hah Mahmoud, Clinical Research Nurse said, “I am privileged to have my first ever abstract chosen for an oral presentation at COLDA 2021. COLDA continues to provide a unique platform for young investigators like myself to access a diverse pool of experts on liver diseases. I was excited to share my experiences with fellow researchers from all over Africa and learn from their presentations.” Isatou’s oral abstract presentation highlighted the PROLIFICA Gambia experience, with a focus on the Long Term Follow Up of Chronic Hepatitis B in Africa.
Professor Maud Lemoine from Imperial College London also delivered an oral lecture on the experiences in The Gambia. Prof Lemoine has been working with the MRCG at LSHTM since 2011, as part of the Hepatitis B PROLIFICA programme in The Gambia and Senegal.
Organised by the Share Global Health Foundation in close collaboration with regional societies, COLDA cultivates a unique platform that continues to empower healthcare professionals to help diagnose, prevent, treat, and achieve a cure for liver disease for the benefit of patients in Africa.
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