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Community Talks

Community Talks is a monthly webinar where experts from Flanders and abroad can meet and share their knowledge & academic research.

With this platform, we aim to build sustainable research connections and increase local (societal) impact through knowledge sharing on a global scale.


PRIMAFAMED : Building Primary Health Care in Sub-Saharan Africa with VLIRUOS-support 2003-2023: looking back at the future!

20 December

In 1997, the Departments of Family Medicine in Flanders and South Africa initiated a collaborative effort known as FaMec (Family Medicine Education Consortium). By 2005, the consortium expanded, welcoming departments from East- and Central Africa.

Fast forward to 2008,  the 'Primary Health Care and Family Medicine' network was launched, spanning 45 institutions across 25 Sub-Saharan African countries.

Since 2019, Primafamed embraced Africanisation, shifting coordination from the University of Ghent to Stellenbosch University. In this community talk, the researchers will unveil a SWOT analysis and share insights as a WHO Collaborating Centre.


Prof. Jan De Maeseneer, Dr. Anna Galle, Bianca Da Silva, WHO Collaborating Centre on Family Medicine and Primary Health Care Ghent University

Please register here

Check out our previous talks

Capacity building for directed breeding programs and bioinformatics research at the JKUAT university and KALRO institute in Kenya


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.


  • Hasselt University, D. Valkenborg & S. Appeltans
  • JKUAT University and KALRO Institute, Hudson Lubabali & Johnstone O. Neondo

Challenges for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes in ressource- limited countries (DRCongo)

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.


  • Prof. Joris Delanghe, Ghent University
  • Prof. Antoine Kishabongo, UCB, Bukavu
  • Prof Justin Cikomola, UCB, Bukavu

Looking for more ?

Missed out a Community Talk, check our YouTube channel

Are you interested in getting in touch with one of our speakers? Or looking for more info on a particular project? Or even interested in presenting your own project?

Contact us at communitytalks@vliruos.be

Change towards an e-portfolio is not easy, it is a long learning process. But progress is even more satisfying when working on it together.

Olive Tengera, University of Rwanda

Finally we took the time and energy to bring all information together and present to a broader public

Leo Van Audenhove (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

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