The Herald (Zimbabwe)

ICASA Conference: Young scientists to be rewarded

- Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Senior Health Reporter ◆ Full story:

WITH less than 30 days before the Internatio­nal Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) to be held in Zimbabwe, the spotlight has been cast on the country’s excellent research prowess as three young scientists will be recognised for their outstandin­g research work at the premier event.

Zimbabwe will be hosting at least 8 000 delegates who will attend the conference from December 4 to 9 this year.

Addressing a pre-conference media briefing yesterday, Health and child Care Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora said the country was ready to host the event where research will take centre stage.

“We are proud that Zimbabwe will be hosting this very important conference. We have strengthen­ed the health delivery and surveillan­ce systems to ensure that our visitors and locals have access to needed health services,” he said.

He said the achievemen­t of the UNAIDS 95,95,95 targets to end Aids by 2025 was a testimony of the great work being done locally.

ICASA scientific committee chairperso­n Professor Mike Chirenje said numerous scientists had submitted their work in HIV research.

“The whole purpose of having a scientific committee is to really put up a robust scientific programme which is convincing and attractive. We put out a call for abstracts and these are driven by the fact that there is ongoing research. When we get these abstracts we look at them thoroughly and they are put in thematic areas starting from basic science all the way to clinical medicine and public health and we sit as a committee to select the best,” he said.

“It is rigorous, so when we say we have one of the best programmes for HIV prevention and control, we really mean it. Our young scientists will be awarded. We have a merit system and there are about six best abstracts that we selected and I am pleased to say that three of them are from Zimbabwe and they will be rewarded so that tomorrow they will be the leaders of science.”

Almost 735 speakers have been lined up to speak at the conference with specific speakers expected to look at scientific research that has been done.

ICASA director Mr Luke Bodea said a session had been dedicated to researcher­s who had discovered the malaria vaccine and how the same could be applied in the HIV research.

 ?? ?? Health and Child Care Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora addresses a press conference in Harare yesterday. — Picture Innocent Makawa
Health and Child Care Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora addresses a press conference in Harare yesterday. — Picture Innocent Makawa

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