Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

International Congress on Viruses and Vaccines in Tropical Areas held in Gambia

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COMSATS, in collaboration with The University of the Gambia (UTG) and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), successfully organized the first International Congress on Viruses and Vaccines in Tropical Areas, from 11th – 12th October 2017, in Sere Kunda, Gambia. The congress managed to attract more than 100 participants consisting of scientists, experts on infectious diseases, academicians, public health professionals and postgraduate students from several countries around the world involved in treatment, research, discovery and development of drugs and vaccines in the field of emerging viruses.

The two-day International Congress brought together experts from the academia, healthcare professionals, government and the public health experts to discuss ideas, share knowledge and learn about the latest research that may benefit the public at large. The international Congress brought together experts from countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sudan.

Speaking at the inauguration, Prof. Dr. Faqir Muhammad Anjum, Chairman of the Organizing Committee at UTG, welcomed all participants and expressed his hope that this congress will provide an opportunity for people from various countries and from various disciplines to meet, discuss, share and hear the views of some distinguished speakers in the field of tropical viral diseases.

Her Excellency, Ms. Aja Fatoumata C.M. Jallow-Tambajang, Vice-President of the Republic of The Gambia, who inaugurated the event, stated that the Health and Education sectors are the priority sectors of the Government of The Gambia and the Government’s mission is to ensure quality health for all. “We firmly believe that prevention is better than cure”, said Ms. Fatoumata, “and so we have to focus on accelerating the research and development of urgently needed vaccines against diseases”.

Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director COMSATS, in his message read out on the occasion by Ms. Huma Balouch, Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes) COMSATS, considered emergence and re-emergence of viral diseases and its rapid spread to other parts of the globe represents a continual challenge in global heath. He considered this international congress in Gambia a timely intervention in that it provided a forum for discussions among scientists, infectious-disease experts, academicians and technologists on various aspects of combating viral diseases in West Africa and the possible future directions in this endeavor.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Dr. Umberto D’Alessandro, Director Medical Research Council (UK) Unit in Gambia, noted that the Council shares the vision of the Government of The Gambia in aiming to reduce the burden and threat of viral diseases to levels where it ceases to be a public health concern in The Gambia. Specifically, the MRC is committed to quality research to generate evidence for successful interventions that can be deployed to achieve this vision in the Gambia, the sub region and African continent on the whole.

Representing the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Gambia, its Permanent Secretary, Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, noted the vision of the Ministry to provide quality and affordable health services in Gambia for all by the year 2020. Dr. Barry highlighted the Government’s plans to establish a directorate in consultation with Medical Research Council (MRC) and World Health Organization (WHO), to address other components of research which are not currently being addressed.

The event also resulted in robust discussions on the most effective strategies related to diagnosis, prevention and management of viral diseases as well as explores new ideas and concepts related to vaccinations and control. The proceedings of the event focused on three major themes prediction and prevention, management; and control of viruses. Under these themes, the participants explored the topics such as emergence, epidemiology and surveillance, animals as hosts for human disease pathogens, historical reports based on research analysis of emerging viral diseases, immune and host responses, genomics and evolution.

The Congress programme also featured a keynote presentation by Dr. Assan Jaye, Head of Research Training and Career Development at Medical Research Council Unit Gambia, on HIV Immune-Pathogenesis and Anti-HIV Vaccines. Dr. Jaye is a prominent scientist who has been recently honored with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Science and Technology (S&T) Achievement Award at the First OIC Summit on Science and Technology. Another riveting keynote presentation was delivered by Prof. Dr. Javed Akram, Vice Chancellor, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, on Dengue via video conference.

Some interesting research papers presented at the Congress were: Ebola Virus Disease – Strides Towards Control by Dr. LES Jaiteh, Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, Gambia; Zika Virus: A Communicable Disease Threat by Dr. Joel Solorzano Romero, School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of The Gambia; The Gambia Hepatitis Intervention Study: Vaccination as a Means of Cancer Control by Dr. S.O Bittaye, International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO-IARC); Prevention of Cervical Cancer by HPV Vaccination: The Gambia Experience by Dr. D. Sowe, Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, The Gambia; Mechanism of a Semi-conserved In-Vitro Selected Nueraminidase Inhibitor Resistant Variant in H10N8 Influenza A Virus by Dr. Oladejo, Federal University of Technology, Nigeria

The event helped in strengthening the Gambian research community through dissemination of findings and cross-disciplinary collaboration and communication among novice and experienced researchers, at regional and international levels.

Upcoming Events

Mar
11
Mon
2019
Workshop on Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination, at National Research Centre, Egypt
Mar 11 – Mar 12 all-day

[ Flyer ]

Theme: “Rational Use of Water Resources”

Background and Rationale of the Workshop

Many parts of the world today are confronted by an acute water crisis that has several facets, including water deprivation among the world’s poor, fast-rising global water demand and climate change. The water security and poverty nexus is a particularly serious issue for development. Economic activity and growth, which are necessary for job creation and raising incomes in developing countries, depend on adequate, affordable and reliable supplies of water.

One of the main goals of the UN to be achieved by 2030 is to “substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity” (SDG No. 6).

Introduction

Keeping in mind the SDG number 17: “Partnerships for the Goals”; the National Research Centre (NRC), Cairo and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS), Islamabad are co-organizing a workshop entitled “Water Resources: Expected Crises and Strategies of Predomination”.

Aims and Objectives

The workshop is designed to be an intensive co-working for specialists in the academic, administration and industrial sectors in all subjects of interest related to Science, Technology and Innovation. It will give them an opportunity to discuss, exchange opinion and reach recommendations of how to maximize efforts for rational use of water resources.

Targeted Participants

This event targets a wide range of participants, including:

  • Young scientists working in Science, Technology and Innovation with specific emphasis on water resources.
  • Academician working in industrial and service sectors related to water resources, and
  • Mid-to senior-level government officials in related Ministries.

Language

All technical and discussion sessions of the workshop will be conducted in English language.

Financial Support

Accommodation for three nights in a suitable hotel and local transportation for international speakers and local administrative expenses of the workshop will be covered by NRC, Egypt. The economy class airfare and perdiam of the selected international speakers will be covered by COMSATS.

Themes

1. Water crisis in different parts of the world
2. Successful stories in water desalination
3. Successful stories in rational use of water in industrial sectors
4. Successful stories for rational use of water in agriculture
5. Future outlook regarding cooperative programs and projects among COMSATS Member States
6. Water recycling and utilization

How to Apply

Applications for participation (duly filled-in prescribed form, abstract of presentation, detailed CV and passport copy) are required to be submitted to NRC and COMSATS no later than Monday, 31st December 2018, at the following addresses:

Prof. Hosam El-Sayed
Assistant Vice President for Research &
International Relations
National Research Centre
33, El-Behouth St., 12311-Dokki,
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+20 100) 544 36 51
Fax: (+202 333) 701010
E-mail: hosam@trdegypt.org, hosamelsayed58@gmail.com

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad – Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539
Email: farhan@comsats.org

Apr
16
Tue
2019
The 22nd Meeting of COMSATS Coordinating Council, 16-17 April 2019, Tianjin, China
Apr 16 – Apr 17 all-day

The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) is pleased to announce the convening of the 22nd meeting of its Coordinating Council scheduled to be held in Tianjin, China, on 16 – 17 April 2019. The meeting will be hosted by COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence, the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. The meeting programme includes a visit to TIB’s laboratories on 18th April 2019.

The Coordinating Council meets every year, inter alia, to: review the activities of COMSATS’ Network; follow up on the decisions and recommendations made in the previous meeting; and outline the future course of action.

Invitations and Confirmation of Participation

The Executive Director COMSATS has extended invitations to all members of the Coordinating Council. The representatives of some international partner organizations have also been invited to participate in the meeting as Observers.

COMSATS Headquarters is closely coordinating with the host institution (TIB) to ensure timely arrangements.

Agenda and Working Paper

The provisional Agenda of the meeting has been prepared. The detailed Working Paper and associated documents of the meeting are under preparation and will be electronically distributed to the Council members and other invitees during first half of March 2019.

For further details, please contact:

COMSATS Secretariat, Pakistan TIB, China

Mr. Tajammul Hussain
Advisor (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9204892
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539
Email: tajammul@comsats.org

Mr. Farhan Ansari
Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes)
COMSATS Headquarters
Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-7
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539
Email: farhan@comsats.org

Prof. Dr. Jibin Sun
Deputy Director-General
Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
Tianjin, China
32 West 7th Avenue, Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Tianjin 300308, China
Tel: 0086-22-84861949
Fax: 0086-22-84861943
Email: sun_jb@tib.cas.cn

Ms. Qianqian Chai
Officer of Foreign Affairs and Academic Exchange
Division of Science and Technology Development
Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS)
32 West 7th Avenue, Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Tianjin 300308, China
Tel: +86-2284861925
E-mail: chai_qq@tib.cas.cn
http://english.tib.cas.cn

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