20 January 2016

Cameroon: HIV/Aids, Hepatitis Viral - Cameroonian Researchers On the Right Track

The 6th Scientific Day of the French Research Agency (ANRS) site in Cameroon is currently taking place in Yaounde.

Cameroon site of the French Research Agency (ANRS), "France Recherche Nord et Sud Sida-HIV Hépatites", yesterday January 19, 2016 began sharing research results of some of the fundamental and clinical research studies carried out at the site in Yaounde. While commemorating the agency's 10th anniversary which coincided with its 6th Scientific Day, the 2008 Nobel Prize winner for Medicine who is also the President of ANRS Scientific Council, Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi joined other dignitaries (Cameroon's Minister of Public Health and the Ambassador of France to Cameroon) to laud the remarkable efforts of Cameroonian researchers working at the agency's site while reiterating the need for continuous research which will one day bring a cure to the AIDS disease caused HIV.

Pr. Barré-Sinoussi told Cameroon Tribune that since the 1990's, Cameroon has been progressing in its fight against HIV. While being amongst the first country to report the origin of HIV in monkeys, the Nobel Prize winner added that the country has also demonstrated that generic treatment for HIV is efficient for African patients. While noting that Cameroon has excellent scientists doing good research as far as HIV/ AIDS and hepatitis viral are concerned, Prof. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi however stressed that research results need to be translated into intervention. Although there has been some progress in terms of access to antiretroviral drugs, Prof Barré-Sinoussi noted that much still needs to be done. "Cameroon is amongst the first few countries to make a study on decentralisation of antiretroviral treatment, but since then, not much has been done in terms of decentralisation which is important in monitoring viral load," Pr Barré-Sinoussi underlined. The renowned scientist added that Cameroon can do better in terms of prevention of mother-to-child transmission, treatment of infant HIV, with the commitment of the government and international efforts.

Over 10 years, the coordinator of ANRS Cameroon, Professor Sinata Koulla-Shiro said some 75 research studies have taken place at the site. During discussions that end today, the results of some 20 research studies that are ongoing at the site will be shared with other researchers at the workshop. Some of such studies include the clinical research on treatment of second line antiretroviral drug in which researchers are comparing the efficacy and tolerance of different second line antiretroviral drugs of patients who become resistant to the first line antiretroviral drugs. Also, research results on early infant vaccination against hepatitis B will be discussed by researchers. The Minister of Public Health, Andre Mama Fouda used the occasion to laud all parties involved in improving the livelihood of HIV patients as well as viral hepatitis.

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