Medical Scholars To Share Insight On Applied Innovations To Address HIV And AIDS At Harare Symposium

By Wallace Mawire

 

Medical scholars will meet today at a three day symposium to be held in Harare, Zimbabwe to share insights and success stories on applied innovations to address HIV and AIDS.

The fifth annual Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) symposium will be held in Harare on 14 to 16 July under the theme: Sustaining MEPI Achievements: Leadership built, lessons learnt and partnership created towards an AIDS-free generation.

The United States government supports HIV and AIDS innovation sharing through the MEPI symposium.

According to Karen Kelley, US Public Affairs Officer, researchers and scholars representing medical schools from 13 sub-Saharan African countries will attend the symposium.

Kelley said that experts in medical education, research, capacity strengthening as well as health systems strengthening will share their experiences at the symposium.

Key stakeholders such as the African Union, the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the Wellcome Trust will also attend the symposium.

“The US government through the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) provided $130 million in 2010 to support activities of the MEPI programme over five years,” Kelley said.

The institutions involved support the use of science and technology to support HIV and AIDS research. It is reported that the implementing agencies of the MEPI programme are Fogarty International, Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC)/PEPFAR and the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

MEPI annual symposia are reported to have been held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Kampala, Uganda and Maputo, Mozambique. The meetings are also reported to have focused on increasing the capacity and quality of trained health care workers as well as retaining them where they are most needed.

“Cumulatively the initiatives contribute to the attainment of an AIDS-free generation,” a statement released by Kelley says.

Leading journals such as the Lancet, Lancet Global Health, Academic Medicine and African Journals Online have published MEPI’s findings.

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