NeuroSolve Project Kick-off Meeting in Lusaka -ZAMBIA, on 4th December 2023

The NeuroSolve consortium held its Project Kick-off Meeting on the 4th December 2023 in Lusaka (Zambia) at the Southern Sun Hotel, hosted by the University of Zambia (UNZA), partner of the research consortium.

NeuroSolve project aims to improve health outcomes for patients with neurocysticercosis (NCC) in sub-Saharan Africa. NCC, a Neglected Tropical Disease caused by Taenia solium, is a major cause of acquired epilepsy in middle-and-low-income countries.

The meeting was chaired by Prof. Kabemba Evans Mwape (Principal Investigator for Zambia), and opened by Prof. Chisoni Mumba (UNZA Assistant Dean) and Prof. Boniface Namangala (UNZA Deputy Vice Chancellor). The guest of honour Dr George Sinyangwe (Zambian Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary) officially kicked-off the Project.

The Kick-Off meeting was attended by several invited key stakeholders from the medical, veterinary, local authorities, academic and professional bodies, including World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MFL), Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI), Zambia Medical Association (ZMA), Veterinary Association of Zambia (VAZ, represented by its president Dr. Malcom Chiyoba), School of Veterinary Medicine of UNZA. Invited media houses including the state owned Daily mail and Times of Zambia were also in attendance. In total more than 30 people participated in the meeting (including representatives of all NeuroSolve project consortium partners).

The participation of so inclusive ecosystem of stakeholders involved in the improvements of neurocysticercosis diagnosis and treatment has been fundamental for the success of this kick-off meeting, representing also an important step in the exchanging with the relevant policy/decision-makers from this initial phase.

The Kick-Off meeting was followed by full-day project (reported separately) to reflect on the kick-off meeting results, discuss about current status of the project implementation and plan next activities.

NeuroSolve is a four-year project funded by EDCTP3, lead by an African-European research consortium involves the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM – Tanzania), Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA – Tanzania), University of Zambia (UNZA – Zambia), Revolution Worldwide Srl – Impresa Sociale (R-EvoWW – Italy) and Universiteit Ghent (UGent – Belgium).

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