In the context of two VLIR-UOS projects, Hasselt University together with JKUAT and KALRO are working on building bioinformatics capacity with the aim of developing directed breeding programs for staple food crops and economically important livestock. These breeding programs are key in protecting the Kenyan socio economic stability as well as safeguarding food production under threat of competing economic conditions and climate change.
During these projects, Hasselt University together with the South partners has invested in computing infrastructure, but also in networking and education. This educational part consisted of workshops for students, but also train the trainer events and international mobility from Kenya to Belgium for specialised training. Our aim is to provide a nourishing basis for long term scientific and educational collaboration, e.g. with our international master in statistics.
We hope that through this capacity building, we can create a self sustainable research group in Kenya that, together with Hasselt University, will work towards a more sustainable future for Kenyan rural communities.
Diabetes prevalence is rising dramatically in limited-resources countries, particularly in DR Congo. An estimated number of 14.2 million adults (aged between 20 and 79 years old) are suffering from diabetes mellitus, which represents a regional prevalence of 2.1–6.7%. In the near future, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to undergo the largest proportional increase in diabetes mellitus, with an estimated number of 41.5 million affected Africans in 2035.
For decades, available resources were allocated in the management of infectious diseases. Despite the increase in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, little attention has been paid to the correct diagnosis of this disease in developing countries. About 50% of people living with diabetes mellitus in sub-Saharan Africa remain undiagnosed. A poor glycemic control increases the risk of diabetes complications and is associated with a high mortality rate.
The published report from Diabetes International Expert committees in 2009 (American Diabetes Association and European Diabetes Association) recommended the plasma glucose measurement [either a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentration ≥ 126 mg/dL (7.0 mM), a random plasma glucose concentration ≥ 200mg/dL (11.1 mM) or a 2- plasma glucose value ≥ 200 mg/dL in the 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)] or an hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) ≥ 48 mmol/ mol for the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.
This community talks will gives an overview of the challenges encountered in diagnosing and monitoring of diabetes mellitus in sub-Saharan Africa. It will presents also the recent progress maid in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.
Olive Tengera, University of Rwanda
Leo Van Audenhove (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)