Madrid, 27 July 2016 – Amref Salud Africa (Amref Health Africa in Spain) signed an agreement with the Council of Tenerife and the University of La Laguna to reinforce health systems in Senegal, and avoid the prevalence of tropical diseases in some areas of the country.
Tropical diseases, such as yellow fever, Zika virus and Ebola, are significant life-threatening conditions for millions of people living in the tropical areas. With globalisation and the mobility of persons, this danger has been extended to all five continents, as opposed to the three continents that carry the tropical regions.
Other common tropical diseases have also been life-threatening to the population in the said regions. For instance, malaria killed more than 400,000 people worldwide in 2015. Cholera, another common disease, is responsible for 1.4 to 4.3 million deaths yearly.
The agreement of collaboration between the said parties was signed during the celebration of the Africa Campus, a cycle promoted by the University of La Laguna, UNESCO, and the Canary Foundation for the Control of Tropical Diseases. With the slogan “Science in the Service of African Development”, Africa Campus aims to analyse challenges affecting health systems in Africa and learn how to use scientific progress to solve said challenges.
The partnership was grounded through a project dubbed Capacity Building for Better Health in Africa, and aims to reduce the consequences of tropical diseases in the area of Saint Louis, Senegal, and at the same time, improve access to quality health to the area’s inhabitants. For significant impact, the project will also work closely with the Ministries of Health and Education in Senegal.
Through the partnership, it is expected that scientific facilities and laboratories that study viruses and determine the incidences of tropical diseases such as malaria or intestinal worms, will be created. At the same time, local medical and scientific personnel will be trained to assume the responsibility of the facilities and the operation of the scientific facilities and laboratories, and will promote exchanges between specialists from the University of La Laguna and Senegal; ensuring practical training of technicians in Canary University facilities. Thus, in essence, the project fits into two basic pillars of Amref Health Africa: complicity with local authorities and the training of local professionals.