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African journalists sensitised on INESS project

Mar 25, 2010, 12:55 PM | Article By: Momodou Faal from Tanzania

Indepth Effectiveness and Safety of Anti-malarial Drugs in Africa, known as INESS project, in collaboration with the African Media and Malaria Research Network ( Ammren) recently concluded a three-day media sensitisation workshop for thirty African journalist drawn from ten Ammren member countries comprising Burkina Faso, Gabon, The Gambia, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, the Executive Secretary of AMMREN Mrs. Charity Binka stated that the aim of the meeting was to acquaint journalists with the INESS project. She noted that INESS is conducting studies in Tanzania and Ghana and would expand it to other African countries, such as Mozambique and Burkina Faso.

She said AMMREN would link with INESS in the area of information dissemination and also visit research sites in the countries where they operate.

Mrs. Binka called on African journalists to engage scientists and researchers in order to move INESS forward.

Dr. Hassan Mshinda, the Principal Investigator of the INESS project said the objectives of the project is to develop and maintain phase IV safety and effectiveness studies platform in Africa, and to also assess the effectiveness of the new malaria treatments and its determinants in real life setting in Africa.

He added that the INESS platform will take a multi-step modular approach towards determining and understanding malaria drug effectiveness in real world settlings, utilising the presence of health demographic surveillance sites and their longitudinal access to population.

According to him, it is estimated that a total population of about 1, 287,800 in eight districts will be followed.

He pointed out that the expected outcomes of the project is to reduce time between "licensure of drug and wide scale use in malaria endemic countries" through provision of all essential information for rational decision. He added that it also seeks to strengthen surveillance sites and district health information systems by linking household and health facility information.

He also assured AMMREN of INESS support.

For her part, Dr Aziza Mwisongo, the Project Manager assured the journalists of INESS continuous support and collaboration.

During the three-day workshop, journalist also visited BUNGU and Rufiji regions in order to have first hand knowledge of the INESS project.