SHAPE-UTT supporting young African Scientists to conceptualize, prepare and present health systems research at AIDS 2018, The Netherlands and the INTEREST 2018 Workshop, Rwanda
SHAPE – UTT (Strengthening Health systems for the Application of Policy to Enable Test and Treat) will be represented at the AIDS 2018 meeting and the INTEREST workshop.
SHAPE – UTT is a partnership between LSHTM, MEIRU, IHI and AHRI and began in 2017, with an initial focus on team formation and training and data collection. In the beginning of 2018 (January 22nd – 26th) we convened a virtual week long workshop. Like a face-to-face workshop all participants blocked off a week of their time, including setting up out of office responses. We had a full week’s timetable which, like the traditional ALPHA analysis workshop, factored in a lot of time for researchers to sit and analyse their data. The use of the ZOOM technology enabled us to be all on line together, either as a large group or to move into virtual break out rooms for individual support. The screen-share function enabled us to make presentations, analyse work together and also have a document in which we iteratively captured thoughts and action points (much like flip charts during a face to face workshop). Alison Wringe and Jenny Renju co-hosted the workshop and presented overviews on the project and analysis plans, each country team leader presented their current updates on data collection and also ideas of emerging analytical thematic areas. We had a total of 15 workshop participants (including policy makers) connecting from 11 different locations across five countries. Technology was kind to us and we really had no challenges with connectivity. At the end of the week we had collaboratively prepared eight abstracts.
All of these were submitted to AIDS2018 (a week later) and four were submitted to INTEREST 2018 (dubbed the African CROI). We are proud to announce that five abstracts were accepted to AIDS2018 – with two of our presenting authors (John (MEIRU) and Farida (IHI) in pictures below) both receiving scholarships to attend and a third; David Etoori, is a full time Phd Candidate at LSHTM within the department. Additionally, we had four abstracts accepted to INTEREST, again with the two presenting authors (Albert (MEIRU) and Lameck (IHI) – Lameck in pictures below) receiving waivers on their registration fee.