Friday Newsletter
View this email in your browser
Dear Centre Leaders,
We hope you have had a good week.
We have the following items for your attention:
  • Confirmation of Attendance -INDEPTH AGM 2016
  • Malaria vaccine receives FDA fast track designation
  • Proposed Study Opportunities for the INDEPTH Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021
  • Patterns of mortality in the elderly in Vietnam
  • Prof Waiswa attends Preterm Birth Initiative study launch
  • Non-malaria fevers in a high malaria endemic area of Ghana
  • Child wanted and when?
1.   Confirmation of Attendance -INDEPTH AGM 2016
AGM venue, Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda.
This is a kind reminder for Centre Leaders who have not yet confirmed participation to the INDEPTH 2016 AGM. Please click this link that will get you to the survey page.
The AGM will be held at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda, from 16-18 November 2016.  The average rates per room, per night are USD 115, we have made block bookings for all our participants. Centre Leaders have to reimburse INDEPTH the cost of their accommodation. 

INDEPTH takes care of the conference costs which include two coffee breaks and a buffet lunch during the period of the conference. Upon confirmation of your participation and sharing your flight details, airport pickups will be arranged.

 We want to thank the Leaders of the Centres listed below who have already responded to the survey, and we encourage others to also do so as early as possible so that INDEPTH doesn’t suffer last minute cancellation penalties from the hotel. 
  • Kaya, Burkina Faso
  • Arba Minch, Ethiopia
  • Kisumu, Kenya
  • Dodowa, Ghana
  • Kilite Awlaelo, Ethiopia
  • Chililab, Vietnam
  • Dabat, Ethiopia
  • Nahuche, Nigeria
  • Gilgel Gibe, Ethiopia
  • ACDIS, South Africa
  • Kersa, Ethiopia
  • Iganga/Mayuge, Uganda
  • Filabavi, Vietnam
  • Bandafassi & Mlomp, Senegal
  • Kombewa, Kenya
  • Agincourt, South Africa
  • Kyamulibwa, Uganda
  • Kilifi, Kenya
  • PiH, Papua New Guinea
  • Karonga, Malawi
2.  Malaria vaccine receives FDA fast track designation
Dr Hassan Mshinda 
Sanaria Inc. has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Fast Track designation for its preventative vaccine for malaria, Sanaria® PfSPZ Vaccine. Sanaria believes its PfSPZ Vaccine is the only malaria vaccine to have ever received this distinction.

According to the FDA, "Fast Track is a process designed to facilitate the development, and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need. The purpose is to get important new drugs to the patient earlier." A drug (or vaccine) that receives Fast Track designation is eligible for Accelerated Approval and Priority Review, which can considerably speed the time to market.

Dr. Hassan Mshinda, Director General of the Tanzanian Commission on Science and Technology, the organisation that provided funds for the first PfSPZ trial in Africa, said, "We are excited to have the Ifakara Health Institute, a Tanzanian Institute, be working with Sanaria and partners in Equatorial Guinea to move toward phase 3 clinical trials and mass vaccine administration elimination campaigns."

Sanaria® PfSPZ Vaccine is in clinical trials in subjects ranging in age from 6-month old infants to adults in the U.S., Europe and Africa. These trials are intended to finalize an immunization regimen to be taken forward into pivotal phase 3 clinical trials that will, if successful, provide the necessary data for licensing the vaccine. Read more:  
3.  Proposed Study Opportunities for the INDEPTH Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021
Please go to this link:

Dear Centre Leaders, Colleagues and Friends,

This survey will take you about 10 minutes.

As you are aware, the Secretariat started the process of developing our new Strategic Plan for 2017-2021, since the existing one will end in December, 2016.

At the ISC 2015 in Addis Ababa, the SAC deliberated and came up with a list of study opportunities for INDEPTH which we circulated to all of you. Some of you reviewed and provided comments.

In early August, the Secretariat organised a strategic planning meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa to reflect on the emerging opportunities and future strategic direction for the Network in general and for Working Groups and projects in particular. A total of 26 delegates including leaders of active Working Groups and project leaders/PIs, Board and SAC representatives and a team from the Secretariat participated in this important meeting. A general consensus was reached on the key MULTI-CENTRE STUDY OPPORTUNITIES that will position INDEPTH for the next 5-years and beyond. The identified study opportunities were classified into 5 broad categories as follows: 
1. Foundation;
2. Life course studies; 
3. Leveraging longitudinal platforms;
4. Social determinants and contexts; and
5. Platform development

As before, we would like to involve all of you in the process. The goal is to have the new Strategic Plan adopted by the AGM in Kampala in November 2016.

Please take a look at the proposed new/ongoing opportunities and let us know what you are already doing and what you would like to do in the near future. If we have missed some critical opportunities, please let us know. 

We thank you in advance for your continued support.
1.  Patterns of mortality in the elderly in Vietnam
Dr. Tran Khan, Centre Leader for DodaLab, an urban HDSS, part of the Hanoi Medical University.
Mortality rates exert profound effects on the population scope and structure. A great variety of factors that may affect these rates include age, gender, residence, marital status, living conditions and genetic traits. Research on mortality rates helps policy makers offer socio-economic resolutions and public health programs in order to reduce mortality rates, prolong life expectancy and lay the foundation for social insurance policies.  

Vietnam is facing the challenge of population aging in the coming years. According to statistical calculations Vietnam will enter “population aging" from 2017. There is limited knowledge the factors associated with mortality in older people living in Vietnam. Therefore, this study was undertaken to have scientific evidences for making appropriate recommendations to improve health care for elderly people. In this article, researchers from Hanoi School of Public Health, Ha Noi, used secondary data from the epidemiological population surveillance system in a town of Hai Duong province, Vietnam, to analyze the patterns of mortality among the elderly in Chi Linh, Hai Duong during the 2004-2012 period and  identify some factors associated with the mortality in the elderly. Read more

2. Prof Waiswa attends Preterm Birth Initiative study launch
(L-R) Prof. Peter Waiswa, PTBi East Africa PI Dr Dilys Walker, Dr Jana Patterson of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Speaker Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Dr Jesca Nsungwa of MoH and Dr Sophie Namasopo the Director of Jinja Regional Hospital.
INDEPTH Maternal and Newborn Health Working Group Leader Prof. Peter Waiswa recently attended the official launch of the Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi) Study at the Jinja Regional Referral Hospital in Uganda. Associate Prof. Waiswa is also the Uganda PI of PTBi. 

During the event, the Guest of Honour, Speaker of Uganda Parliament Hon Rebecca Kadaga said a new study that will bring out evidence aimed at improving care for preterm babies is a welcome initiative but there is need for requisite infrastructure to make childbirth safe. Read more
3.  Non-malaria fevers in a high malaria endemic area of Ghana
KHRC Director Dr. Seth Owusu (right) talks to media.
The importance of fevers not due to malaria (non-malaria fevers) in children in sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly being recognised. Researchers from an INDEPTH member centre - Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC) in Ghana, investigated the influence of exposure-related factors and placental malaria on the risk of non-malaria fevers among children in Kintampo, an area of Ghana with high malaria transmission. The study established that the incidence of on-malaria fevers in infancy is high in the study area. Results also show that the incidence of non-malaria fevers is associated with low birth weight and poor socioeconomic status but not with placental malaria. Read more
4.  Child wanted and when?
Navrongo HRC during the 25th anniversary ceremony
Panel survey data collected by Navrongo Health Research Centre in rural northern Ghana asked women about the “wantedness” status of their children. Parous women were asked whether they wanted more children, while those who had never had a child were asked whether they wanted to have children in the future; those who said that they did not want to have any more children in the future were asked whether they wanted to become pregnant when they last became pregnant and, if so, whether they wanted to become pregnant at the time, or would have preferred to be pregnant earlier or later. 

This article published in Studies in Family Planning analyzes longitudinal responses to these questions over a 10-year period. Birth and survival histories of subsequently born children linked to preference data permit investigation of the question: are “wanted” children more likely to survive than “unwanted” children? 

Hazard models are estimated to determine whether children born to women who indicated that they did not want to have a child at the time they did, or did not want any more children in the future, have a higher risk of mortality relative to children who were reported wanted at the time of pregnancy. Results show no significant differences in adjusted mortality risks between children who were reported to be wanted and those reported to be unwanted.

click to view full article here
Policy Engagement and Communications