WHO TDR and WHO AFRO organise research uptake meeting

Brazzaville, 25 April – 27 April 2017

TDR Tanzania Aug 15 Select Large-58


We know that climate change will affect people across the globe. But it takes new types of transdisciplinary research on specific issues to understand what these actual impacts might be. The possible impacts of climate change on diseases of poverty in Africa, and especially on vector-borne diseases (VBDs), are likely to be serious and far-reaching. The programme entitled, Population health vulnerabilities to vector-borne diseases: increasing resilience under climate change conditions in Africa, looks at these issues. The work is supported by WHO TDR with funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.

The overall goal of this research programme was to generate new evidence on VBD-related risks and vulnerabilities in the context of climate change. The project helped to build the resilience of communities, assisting policymakers in responding to the issues, and building research capacity for the future. Along the way, it has enhanced collaboration, generated new ways of doing research, and developed policy advice products that can be used throughout Africa.

The research uptake meeting

To facilitate sharing the findings of this research, WHO TDR jointly organised a three-day Research Uptake Meeting with WHO AFRO. This took place at the end of April 2017 at the WHO Regional Office in Africa, Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo. The Research Uptake Meeting facilitated the use of research evidence by policymakers, practitioners and other partners. Attendees to the meeting included 1) country delegations from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment of Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mauritania, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe, 2) the principal investigators of each of the five research projects, 3) partners from WHO (PHE, TDR, AFRO), IDRC, IRI, WMO, ACMAD, UNEP, and supporting agencies.

This gathering of policymakers, researchers and development practitioners allowed for an exchange of ideas, concerns and priorities for future action. It also helped the researchers to address the specific questions of policymakers in simple, accessible terms. It allowed the PIs to present findings that are in line with the priorities of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment of the participating African countries. Other events at the meeting included previewing a “mapping” interface product that one of the teams has been trialling with Google Earth. Because this meeting marks the culmination and end of this three-year research programme, plans for ensuring long-term impact were discussed. Plans were also discussed to launch The Special Issue on VBDs and Climate Change (Journal of Infectious Diseases of Poverty).

A report of the meeting and of key findings can be found here. To receive more information about the meeting and the subsequent information materials please contact Bernadette Ramirez of WHO TDR (ramirezb@who.int).

Each of the research teams produced policy briefs to share with the participants to the Research Uptake Meeting. Click the links to preview and download the policy briefs.