MRCG at LSHTM MARCAD Plus Fellowships Strengthen Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Elimination Efforts in West and Central Africa

The Malaria Research Capacity Development Consortium (MARCAD) in West and Central Africa, a collaborative effort of several institutions, including The Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM), seeks to contribute to the elimination of malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the region. Supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in partnership with the Science for Africa Foundation, the program strengthens the capacity of researchers in Africa to be able to provide relevant answers for the control and elimination of these diseases.

The MRCG at LSHTM is delighted to have awarded five scholarships comprising of one MSc, two PhDs, and two post-doctoral fellowships to the following awardees: Ms. Aminata Seedy Jawara (MSc scholarship), Mrs. Ndey Fatou Drammeh (PhD scholarship), Mr. Moussa Diallo (PhD scholarship), Dr. Majidah Hamid-Adiamoh (post-doctoral fellowship), and Dr. Diniba Edgard Dabira (post-doctoral fellowship).

These students will be part of the new cohort of fellows of MARCAD Plus. The program's emphasis on capacity building and networking has garnered enthusiasm within the MRCG at LSHTM as it strengthens collaboration with partner institutions across the globe.

Led by Professor Oumar Gaye at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD) in Senegal, the consortium comprises of esteemed institutions including UCAD, University of Health & Allied Sciences (UHAS) in GhanaUniversity of Yaoundé 1 (UoY 1) in Cameroon, MRCG at LSHTMUniversity of Sciences Technics and Technology of Bamako (USTTB) in Mali, the Bandim Project of the Institute of Public Health in Guinea Bissau, and the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences at the University of Sierra Leone. The collaboration extends beyond Africa with research institutions from Europe including the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and The London School and Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) both in the UK and the University of Copenhagen (UoC) in Denmark.

Unit Director of MRCG at LSHTM Umberto D'Alessandro expressed the significance of the program stating "This is an extremely important program for us as it combines capacity building with networking. MARCAD Plus follows a previous project called MARCAD that focused exclusively on malaria. With MARCAD Plus, we have broadened the scope to include Neglected Tropical Diseases”.  

He continued, “After a rigorous selection process, we have been able to select applicants who will be part of the new cohort of fellows of MARCAD Plus. I hope that this program will further strengthen our collaboration with all the other institutions involved".

MARCAD Plus signifies a crucial step forward in the fight against malaria and NTDs in West and Central Africa. By leveraging collective research expertise and facilitating capacity building, the consortium is set to make a substantial impact on disease control and elimination efforts in the region by equipping African scientists with comprehensive expertise and empowering students to provide relevant solutions for disease control and elimination.

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