Professor Yaw Afrane Awarded Three Million Dollars by the Gates Foundation for Malaria Research

Professor Yaw Afrane of the Department of Medical Microbiology at the University of Ghana Medical School has been awarded a US$3 million grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to undertake a project which will strengthen scientific capacity in malaria endemic regions in West Africa.

The grant will fund a project titled “Malaria Modeling Field-Strengthening: West Africa Mathematical Modeling Capacity Development (WAMCAD), to be carried out over a three-year period across Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau. The project is an Anglophone-Francophone-lusophone partnership with the collaboration of Northwestern University, The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and Oxford University providing training support.

The World Health Organization (WHO), Malaria Consortium and the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) will support the project by bridging modelling with National Malaria Control Programmes (NMCPs) and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) program requirements through High Burden to High Impact (HBHI) activities.

Having identified a skills dearth in modeling capacity in West African countries, the consortium contends that mathematical modeling has not been routinely integrated into malaria and NTD research or training in participating countries. Hence the WAMCAD project seeks to address this gap.

The project’s long-term goal is to train a critical mass of modeling scientists (20 PhD students, 10 postdoctoral fellows, and 10 junior faculty/scientists) who will be retained within the West Africa region, and constitute the next generation of modelers, working closely with local NMCPs and NTD programs to provide operational support.

The WAMCAD project will be a significant milestone in empowering scholars who possess local knowledge and expertise to develop frameworks and analyze country specific data, to boost NMCPs and NTD programs.

Congratulations to Professor Yaw Afrane and the consortium for the exemplary award!