8 fellowships were awarded for an amount of 821,500 euros during the 3rd International Conference on Neglected Tropical Diseases held in February 2012 in Maputo (Mozambique). 25 researchers have been awarded grants since the European Foundation Initiative into African Research in Neglected Tropical Diseases (EFINTD) began its action.
Keynote lecturers from Pascoal Mocumbi (EDCTP) and Uche Amazigo (Former Director of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control, WHO) honoured the event. All grantees from the 1st two rounds and candidates for the 3rd round had the pleasure to network during the conference and exchange experiences and good practices during 3 workshops on ’Networking research activities’, ‘Hypothesis Based Research’ and ‘How to put research into policy’. EFINTD fellows suggested forming an Academy or Association of NTD researchers that would allow recipients and donors to continue interacting beyond the life of individual projects. This idea is supported by participating foundations and could be extended to other partners.
The 5 European Foundations are driven by a common goal and purpose. They formed the European Foundation Initiative into African Research in Neglected Tropical Diseases (EFINTD) as a pioneering step in 2008.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) continue to wreak devastation in many parts of the African continent. A roadmap published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2012 lays out the vision for control, elimination and eradication of 17 NTDs. One of the goals of this roadmap is to encourage the community of partners, including donors, pharmaceutical companies, agencies, NGOs, philanthropists and universities, to maintain and expand their commitments to overcome the scourge of Neglected tropical diseases.
EFINTD decided to invest, harness and empower young African researchers who are based in their respective countries to perform research on various NTDs.
According to a recently conducted survey (under publication), the EFINTD fellowship programme is a prestigious post-doctoral programme that is highly competitive. Furthermore, the EFINTD programme has empowered the fellows and their home institutions to effectively undertake and contribute to research on NTDs and to create opportunities to establish long-lasting local and international partnerships.