We encourage the scientific community in PALOP countries to support research projects that help to improve healthcare delivery and strengthen the scientific institutions in these countries.

What we do

  • We'Search Call to support research projects that help to improve healthcare delivery and strengthen the capacity of scientific institutions in PALOP (2023).

  • Call to support health research projects aimed at the participants of the three editions of the Science Management Course (2021).

  • 3 editions of a Course in Science Management organised by the Gulbenkian Foundation and the ”la Caixa” Foundation with the support of the Centro de Investigação em Saúde da Manhiça-Moçambique and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) (2018-2021).


Cape Verde Personalized Oncology Care CV-POC

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Led by Hospital Universitário Dr. Agostinho Neto (CAPE VERD)

CV-POC - This project aims to enhance the recently implemented Molecular Biology Laboratory at Agostinho Neto University Hospital by providing equipments, implementing advanced molecular profiling techniques and developing expertise in precision oncology, to enable local cancer genetic testing.

This testing will facilitate the identification of colorectal, lung and melanoma somatic mutations as well as hereditary breast cancer mutations in Cape Verdean cancer patients.

The implementation of CV-POC will have a significant impact on the quality of cancer care in Cape Verde (cancer clinical practices, therapeutic decisions and personalized treatment) and patients’ outcomes. It will also foster cancer research in the country.

Triple Artemisinin Combination Therapy for stopping malaria resistance

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Led by Instituto Nacional de Investigação em Sáude (ANGOLA)

Malango II - Plasmodium falciparum malaria is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in Africa. From 2005, the progressive implementation of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) has critically contributed for a decrease in the burden of the disease. Artemether-Lumefantrine (AL) is the most adopted antimalarial globally, with most national malaria control programmes relying on AL as the main tool for the management of uncomplicated malaria.

In 2021 the MALANGO trial, a rigorously directly observed treatment (DOT) confirmed levels of efficacy on the 89-90 % marginal level.

The present project intends to propose a novel treatment strategy designed to fight AL resistance: the association of lumefantrine with amodiaquine in a fixed combination with artemether (ALAQ), taking advantage of the perceived incompatibility of resistance mechanisms to each drug, i.e. Resistance to Lumefantrine leads to sensitivity to Amodiaquine and vice-versa, a locked situation of “collateral sensitivity”.

Airway colonization and microbiome in relation to asthma and atopy in children from Cabo Verde

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Led by the Universidade de Cabo Verde (CAPE VERD)

The Respira-CV This study aims to improve the knowledge, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of respiratory diseases in Cabo-Verdean children and to develop/strengthen both human and institutional capacity to conduct clinical research in this area.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To reassess the prevalence of current wheeze, severe asthma, ever having asthma, current rhinoconjunctivitis, severe rhinoconjunctivitis, ever having allergic rhinits, current eczema, severe eczema, and ever having eczema in children aged 8-9 years from Santiago Island, Cabo Verde, two years after the baseline study, and identify modifiable risk factors to guide interventions for the primary prevention of asthma and other atopic diseases.

  2. To compare paired data from children assessed during the baseline (2022) and the follow-up (2024) surveys to identify clinical phenotypes of interest (e.g., persisting symptoms, newly diagnosed asthma etc.) and identify modifiable risk factors associated with these clinical phenotypes.

  3. To apply a metataxonomic approach to compare the respiratory microbiome composition and diversity in children with current asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema and a random sample of healthy counterparts, to test the “biodiversity” hypothesis in an Insular African setting.

  4. To test whether changes in the respiratory microbiome composition and diversity are associated with an increased prevalence of upper respiratory tract infections in children with current asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema, compared to healthy counterparts.

  5. To strengthen clinical research capacities in small island developing states through Mediterranean-South-South partnership.

Use of GeneXpert® STRAT4 assay for evaluation of breast cancer biomarkers in cytology in Mozambique

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Led by Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (MOZAMBIQUE)

MAMAEXPERT - The main aim of this project is to test the point-of-care STRAT4 assay for biomarkers breast cancer using GeneXpert platform, from a cohort of women with Breast Cancer (BC) in Mozambique and evaluate his potential as an alternative method to immunohistochemistry (IHC). The study will be conducted with partnership of MCH and will have RISE Laboratory/Faculty of Medicine of University of Porto- FMUP (Portugal) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (New York, United States) as international collaborators. this project expect to find an alternative assay to IHC that could be implemented in low-resources settings were IHC is limited, and were GeneXpert platform is widely available, has happening in most hospitals in the country. The project is an excellent avenue for technology and knowledge transfer, and for creation a core of well-trained personal implementing BC practices diagnosis and treatment.

A Prospective, Randomized Controlled Study to Evaluate the Effects of Daily Low Dose Aspirin in Pregnant women with sickle cell disease

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Led by Instituto Nacional de Investigação em Sáude (ANGOLA)

LEARNER - The objectives of this project include:

  1. Demonstrating that first trimester initiation of low dose aspirin daily, in women with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), is more effective at preventing maternal and/or fetal complications than starting aspirin at the second trimester.

  2. Building capacity in Angola for the conduction clinical trials involving local research sites and hospitals, through increasing community and patient awareness of clinical research studies, highlighting the ability to collect and analyze data accurately in a timely manner, building clinical trial workflows and electronic data capture guidelines to be use in future clinical trials.

The expected impact of the proposed project includes reducing maternal and children mortality due to SCD, and reduce the morbidity in pregnancy and delivery. SCD monitoring is relevant to at least the reduction of three Sustainable Development Goals targets: maternal mortality (SDG 3.1), neonatal and under-5 mortality (SDG 3.2), and premature mortality due to non-communicable disease (SDG 3.4); Capacitating Angolan researchers and research institutions with International Ethical/Scientific Good Clinical Practice and biomedical research conduct, and promoting collaborations between Angolan institutions and international colleagues, and creating a road map for gold standards of clinical research operational and internationally recognized.

Helminth infections and respiratory allergic diseases. Does a neglected tropical disease influence a non-communicable disease?

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Project developed by: National Institute of Health Research, through the Angolan Health Research Centre, with the collaboration of the Luanda Military Hospital and the Lisbon Higher School of Health Technologies.

Description: The project aims to understand the link between respiratory allergic diseases and the presence of helminths (intestinal parasites), as well as the role played by the intestinal microbiome in controlling asthma and helminths.

Epidemiology and characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection among children and their households in Mozambique

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Project developed by: Mozambique's National Institute of Health will implement the project.

Description: The project consists of a study of SARS-Cov-2 in children from three primary schools in neighbourhoods of Maputo. The researchers will analyse mortality and morbidity rates in these age groups, in addition to conducting an epidemiological study and a seroprevalence survey.

Clinical-pathological characterisation of cancer in PALOP countries

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Project developed by: The University of Cape Verde in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine of the Eduardo Mondlane University.

Description: This project aims to understand the incidence of prostate cancer in Cape Verde and Mozambique. The project also includes the creation of a digital laboratory "INCUBATOR", a platform for publishing data and information to support the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Results


We'Search Call

In the We'Search Call, 5 projects have been selected that focus on the areas of cancer, malaria, respiratory diseases and genetics, led by 5 researchers from Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique:

Cape Verde Personalized Oncology Care CV-POC

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Led by Hospital Universitário Dr. Agostinho Neto (CAPE VERD)

CV-POC - This project aims to enhance the recently implemented Molecular Biology Laboratory at Agostinho Neto University Hospital by providing equipments, implementing advanced molecular profiling techniques and developing expertise in precision oncology, to enable local cancer genetic testing.

This testing will facilitate the identification of colorectal, lung and melanoma somatic mutations as well as hereditary breast cancer mutations in Cape Verdean cancer patients.

The implementation of CV-POC will have a significant impact on the quality of cancer care in Cape Verde (cancer clinical practices, therapeutic decisions and personalized treatment) and patients’ outcomes. It will also foster cancer research in the country.

Triple Artemisinin Combination Therapy for stopping malaria resistance

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Led by Instituto Nacional de Investigação em Sáude (ANGOLA)

Malango II - Plasmodium falciparum malaria is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in Africa. From 2005, the progressive implementation of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) has critically contributed for a decrease in the burden of the disease. Artemether-Lumefantrine (AL) is the most adopted antimalarial globally, with most national malaria control programmes relying on AL as the main tool for the management of uncomplicated malaria.

In 2021 the MALANGO trial, a rigorously directly observed treatment (DOT) confirmed levels of efficacy on the 89-90 % marginal level.

The present project intends to propose a novel treatment strategy designed to fight AL resistance: the association of lumefantrine with amodiaquine in a fixed combination with artemether (ALAQ), taking advantage of the perceived incompatibility of resistance mechanisms to each drug, i.e. Resistance to Lumefantrine leads to sensitivity to Amodiaquine and vice-versa, a locked situation of “collateral sensitivity”.

Airway colonization and microbiome in relation to asthma and atopy in children from Cabo Verde

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Led by the Universidade de Cabo Verde (CAPE VERD)

The Respira-CV This study aims to improve the knowledge, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of respiratory diseases in Cabo-Verdean children and to develop/strengthen both human and institutional capacity to conduct clinical research in this area.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To reassess the prevalence of current wheeze, severe asthma, ever having asthma, current rhinoconjunctivitis, severe rhinoconjunctivitis, ever having allergic rhinits, current eczema, severe eczema, and ever having eczema in children aged 8-9 years from Santiago Island, Cabo Verde, two years after the baseline study, and identify modifiable risk factors to guide interventions for the primary prevention of asthma and other atopic diseases.

  2. To compare paired data from children assessed during the baseline (2022) and the follow-up (2024) surveys to identify clinical phenotypes of interest (e.g., persisting symptoms, newly diagnosed asthma etc.) and identify modifiable risk factors associated with these clinical phenotypes.

  3. To apply a metataxonomic approach to compare the respiratory microbiome composition and diversity in children with current asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema and a random sample of healthy counterparts, to test the “biodiversity” hypothesis in an Insular African setting.

  4. To test whether changes in the respiratory microbiome composition and diversity are associated with an increased prevalence of upper respiratory tract infections in children with current asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema, compared to healthy counterparts.

  5. To strengthen clinical research capacities in small island developing states through Mediterranean-South-South partnership.

Use of GeneXpert® STRAT4 assay for evaluation of breast cancer biomarkers in cytology in Mozambique

<@liferay.language key='wos-mostrar-info' /> <@liferay.language key='wos-ocultar-info' />

Led by Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (MOZAMBIQUE)

MAMAEXPERT - The main aim of this project is to test the point-of-care STRAT4 assay for biomarkers breast cancer using GeneXpert platform, from a cohort of women with Breast Cancer (BC) in Mozambique and evaluate his potential as an alternative method to immunohistochemistry (IHC). The study will be conducted with partnership of MCH and will have RISE Laboratory/Faculty of Medicine of University of Porto- FMUP (Portugal) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (New York, United States) as international collaborators. this project expect to find an alternative assay to IHC that could be implemented in low-resources settings were IHC is limited, and were GeneXpert platform is widely available, has happening in most hospitals in the country. The project is an excellent avenue for technology and knowledge transfer, and for creation a core of well-trained personal implementing BC practices diagnosis and treatment.

A Prospective, Randomized Controlled Study to Evaluate the Effects of Daily Low Dose Aspirin in Pregnant women with sickle cell disease

<@liferay.language key='wos-mostrar-info' /> <@liferay.language key='wos-ocultar-info' />

Led by Instituto Nacional de Investigação em Sáude (ANGOLA)

LEARNER - The objectives of this project include:

  1. Demonstrating that first trimester initiation of low dose aspirin daily, in women with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), is more effective at preventing maternal and/or fetal complications than starting aspirin at the second trimester.

  2. Building capacity in Angola for the conduction clinical trials involving local research sites and hospitals, through increasing community and patient awareness of clinical research studies, highlighting the ability to collect and analyze data accurately in a timely manner, building clinical trial workflows and electronic data capture guidelines to be use in future clinical trials.

The expected impact of the proposed project includes reducing maternal and children mortality due to SCD, and reduce the morbidity in pregnancy and delivery. SCD monitoring is relevant to at least the reduction of three Sustainable Development Goals targets: maternal mortality (SDG 3.1), neonatal and under-5 mortality (SDG 3.2), and premature mortality due to non-communicable disease (SDG 3.4); Capacitating Angolan researchers and research institutions with International Ethical/Scientific Good Clinical Practice and biomedical research conduct, and promoting collaborations between Angolan institutions and international colleagues, and creating a road map for gold standards of clinical research operational and internationally recognized.


Microbiome, cancer and COVID-19 projects

3 projects have been selected that focus on the areas of the microbiome, cancer and COVID-19, led by researchers from Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique:

Helminth infections and respiratory allergic diseases. Does a neglected tropical disease influence a non-communicable disease?

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Project developed by: National Institute of Health Research, through the Angolan Health Research Centre, with the collaboration of the Luanda Military Hospital and the Lisbon Higher School of Health Technologies.

Description: The project aims to understand the link between respiratory allergic diseases and the presence of helminths (intestinal parasites), as well as the role played by the intestinal microbiome in controlling asthma and helminths.

Epidemiology and characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection among children and their households in Mozambique

<@liferay.language key='wos-mostrar-info' /> <@liferay.language key='wos-ocultar-info' />

Project developed by: Mozambique's National Institute of Health will implement the project.

Description: The project consists of a study of SARS-Cov-2 in children from three primary schools in neighbourhoods of Maputo. The researchers will analyse mortality and morbidity rates in these age groups, in addition to conducting an epidemiological study and a seroprevalence survey.

Clinical-pathological characterisation of cancer in PALOP countries

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Project developed by: The University of Cape Verde in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine of the Eduardo Mondlane University.

Description: This project aims to understand the incidence of prostate cancer in Cape Verde and Mozambique. The project also includes the creation of a digital laboratory "INCUBATOR", a platform for publishing data and information to support the diagnosis of prostate cancer.


Researchers and managers

46 researchers and/or managers have been trained from public and private research institutions, in the field of health.