Prof A Bousfiha, Morocco: Concept Design.
Dr Nahla Erwa, Sudan: Secretary for the A- Project
Dr M Esser, Dr MJ Alao, Dr J Chipeta, Prof B Eley, Prof R Djidjik

Definition:

The A-Project is defined as professional one-day meeting to raise clinician awareness for Primary Immunodeficiency (PID) in 40 African countries in 5 years.

Background:

PID diseases are more common than previously thought. It is estimated that about 900,000 people may be affected by PID in Africa, yet only 1000 cases are registered. Compared to North African countries and South Africa, 40 African countries seem to be lagging behind, or deficient, in specialist PID care (1,2)

The main objectives of the African Society for Immunodeficiencies (ASID) are to improve PID awareness and care in Africa. Accordingly ASID has come up with the A Project modeled on the highly successful J Project for Eastern Europe. The A Project initiative aims to improve African awareness and expertise in the field of PID through targeting paediatricians, clinical immunologists, physicians and other health care professionals in their own countries.

Methodology:

  1. One training day in each of the 40 African countries with least/no activity in the field of PID.
  2. ASID has proposed the initiative and accordingly shall announce the training programme through its web site, amongst its members and through direct approach with local professional societies, training bodies and health authorities.
  3. There shall be a local body/individual that will organize the meeting venue, dates and recruit funds in collaboration with ASID secretariat. The local body may be the local professional society, patient group, Institution, PID active practitioner, etc.
  4. Countries which do not have a named organizer shall be approached through Ministry of Health or relevant medical educational authority.
  5. Upon approval of an A Project application, by the A Project secretariat as representing the ASID Board,  an organization committee shall be formed of the following:
    a. A-Project secretariat representative
    b. The proposed African expert
    c. The local organizer
  6. Trainers are to be named by ASID. The choice of the trainer will depend on the language adopted in medical education in the country of the meeting.
  7. Relevant references to be distributed ahead of the workshop to enrolled participants

 

Structure of Each Meeting:

1.  This depends on the local setup and national needs.

2.  One day in each country preceded by a brief meeting by the named trainer/s and the local organizer (mentioned in methodology item 5), possibly the night before, to discuss meeting content and local logistic and organizational issues. ASID encourages the following:

a. Involving not more than 50 delegates where possible.
b. Obtaining local CPD/CME and/ or ethical points accreditation for the activity.

3.  The content of each day shall aim at the following:

a. Discussing local clinical problems and practice of PID so that specific areas could be supported.
b. Raising the awareness and level of knowledge on PID diagnosis and care.
c. Helping local specialized groups in developing national registry.
d. Progress of the African registry in the named country and training local delegates on its use.
e. Establishing national PID patient groups.
f. Establishing effective networks that will continue to collaborate with African and international centres in the management of PIDs. Such collaborations shall consider opportunities of clinical and laboratory training fellowships as well as research collaborations

4.  The day may proceed as follows (proposed outline exemplified by standard A Project schedule attached):

c. A long day of 10 hours including breaks.
d. First scientific session of about 3 hours (including a coffee break and lectures by the trainers on selected PID topics) that will cover areas of diagnosis and management as well as advances in PID.
e. A meal, refreshments and poster walks. This should not exceed 1 hour.
f. Second scientific session of about 2-3 hours: interactive session or workshop with case presentations, selected thesis and scientific presentations by local delegates.
g. Third session (1 -12 hour): African Registry progress and training and progress of National Registry.
h. Concluding remarks and summary of training outcome.
i. End the day with an evening meal +/- entertaining social activity and a networking opportunity.

The budget for each day shall not exceed 2000 Euros. Local expenditure is subject to local resources and support and will also be determined by the number of delegates.

1000 Euro additional to be pledged to ASID Account for further educational development

 

References:

  1. Regional Clinical developments in Africa. Prof Aziz Bousfiha, Session 6, First International Primary Immunodeficiencies Congress. Estoril, Portugal, 6-8 November 2013.
  2. Collaborating to Improve the quality of Life in Primary Immunodeficiencies: World PI Week, 2013. Sorensen R, Etzioni A, Bousfiha A and Zeiger J. J Clin Immunol.  DOI 10.1007/s10875-013-9921-2

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