Africa
Regional Area Councilor: A. Olupelumi Adebiyi

Regional News

 Africa Region COVID Summary (9/25/2020) 
   

(Fall 2020)  The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted economic, health and living conditions on the African continent. Since the 3rd of March 2020 when three African countries first reported confirmed cases, up to 47 Africa countries have now reported a cumulative 891, 942 confirmed cases. The impact on individuals, families and communities across Africa has been unprecedented. The occurrence of this pandemic within the timeframe of an unfinished African agenda on control of communicable diseases and an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases portends great danger for weak African Health Systems. The economic loss while still unfolding is projected to be quite huge. Happily, even though previous predictions from outside Africa had projected an exponential increase and profound mortality, current data suggest the virus is spreading more slowly in Africa than was initially anticipated. Mortality has also been low with a total number of deaths put at 16,941 (case fatality ratio of ~ 1.9%).

Population testing still remains low, with many countries still unable to test beyond the big cities, which makes it difficult to correctly assess the true situation and predict the trend in African countries. However, it is pleasing that despite health system challenges and resource limitations, African countries have done relatively well in managing this pandemic. The tremendous efforts put into contact listing, contact tracing, active surveillance and ramping up basic public health measures like handwashing and social distancing has been unprecedented. The adaptation of risk communication strategies to fit contextual backgrounds has been remarkable. At the centre of all these efforts are the African epidemiologists who continue to toil night and day to find some meaning out of the crisis and are at the forefront of advancing strategies based on science, data and logic. These contributions would not be forgotten in a hurry! Now more than ever is the work of the epidemiologist appreciated. Whether in large urban hospital settings, or in the far-flung communities that are hard to reach or in conflict zones amid grave threats to life and personal security, our colleagues across Africa have demonstrated the importance of epidemiology in understanding a virus that most times is hidden in our very midst. We must continue to encourage them, support them and collaborate in sharing unique experiences that would engender co-learning. This pandemic will redefine epidemiology and the skill sets and competencies needed to practice as an epidemiologist globally and particularly in resource poor settings like Africa. This reinforces our stance as the International Epidemiological Association- African Region on the need to rethink, reposition and rebrand epidemiology for greater impact and it further sets us on the path to achieving the “Maputo Declaration” set by the African arm of the association on 17th of April, 2019. The IEA-Africa region salutes the resilience and dedication of our colleagues across the African Continent and globally.

 


 Statement on COVID 19 (3/25/2020) 
   

 AFENET meeting attracts Early Career Epidemiologists to IEA (10/21/2019) 
   
AFENET Early Career Epidemiologists find value in IEA

Early Career Epidemiologists attending the African Field Epidemiologists Network (AFENET) Scientific Conference seemed to value IEA. The conference was held in Maputo, Mozambique, during 12-16 November. Representing IEA at the conference were IEA President Henrique Barros, IEA Africa Regional Councilor Akindele O. Adebiyi and members Armand Nkwescheu and Samuel Akinbosede.

More than 65 epidemiologists stopped by the IEA booth during the first day of the conference, and by the conference end, 41 early career epidemiologists had joined IEA.  During the meeting, IEA President was also able to visit with the minister of public health.

The next meeting in Africa will be the IEA-Africa Regional Conference, 14-17 April, 2019 in Maputo, Mozambique. Pictures from the AFENET meeting are featured below.

 Call for nominations for IEA Councillors 2017-2020 (11/8/2016) 
   

The IEA is seeking nominations for IEA Council Membership for 2017-2020

Nominations are requested of the following positions:

  • President Elect
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • 7 Regional Councillors, respectively for the African Region; the Eastern Mediterranean Region;  the European Region; the Latin American and Caribbean Region; the South East Asian Region; the North American Region; and the Western Pacific Region

Any IEA member may submit to the Nominating Committee names of candidates for President Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. IEA members may submit nominations for Regional Councillors for their own region only.

Those nominating candidates must ensure that:

  • the candidate is aware of their responsibilities as IEA Councillors and of the tasks they are expected to carry out, that can be found on the IEA Handbook (IEA-Handbook-2015-11-7-16 (1).pdf)
  • the candidate is committed to accept the mandate, if elected
  • the candidate is a current IEA member

Self nominations can be accepted ONLY from current IEA Secretary, Treasurer, and Regional Councillors.

Nominations should specify the name and address of the candidate and summarize briefly:

  • current affiliations
  • professional curriculum
  • past and present involvement in IEA activities
  • past and present involvement in national epidemiological societies

The Nominating Committee will treat in strict confidence any comments proposers may wish to add.  Nominations must be submitted to Peter Kralka, IEA Account Executive (peter.kralka@ieaweb.orgby 31 December 2016.  Electronic voting by the entire IEA membership will take place during February 2017.

The current IEA Council will act until August 2017 and hand over responsibilities for the next three years to the newly appointed members of Council at the 2017 IEA World Congress of Epidemiology in Saitama, Japan (http://wce2017.umin.jp/welcome/index.html).

 


 Stephen Leeder new Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Epidemiology (5/12/2016) 
   

Stephen Leeder, Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia, has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE). He is a longstanding member of IEA and has a wide network of international associations. He was recommended for the post by four past Presidents of IEA.

Stephen was Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia in 2013-15. In the 1990s he was President of the Australasian Epidemiological Association and head of the Sydney School of Public Health. Later he served as Dean of the Medical School at the University of Sydney. Early in his career Stephen spent time working in departments of public health and/or community medicine in the UK, Canada and the USA and he is currently Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health in New York. He has also been Director of the Asian and Pacific Rockefeller Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, through which he developed strong links with students and institutions in Thailand, China, Indonesia and Colombia.

The IJE has flourished under the editorship of George Davey Smith and Shah Ebrahim, who will step down as editors at the end of 2016. The IEA is enormously grateful to them for their substantial contributions to enhancing the profile of the journal over the last 15 years. Stephen will take up the post of IJE Editor-in-Chief on 1 January 2017.