Africa
Regional Area Councilor: A. Olupelumi Adebiyi

Regional News

 Cesar Vitora Wins 2021 Richard Doll Prize (5/7/2021) 
   

Cesar Victora named winner of 2021 Richard Doll Prize in Epidemiology

Cesar Victora, Emeritus Professor of Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil, and Director, International Center for Equity in Health, has been named the winner of the 2021 Richard Doll Prize in Epidemiology.

The Richard Doll Prize is awarded by IEA in commemoration of Richard Doll’s legacy and his achievements in epidemiology. The prize is for a body of scientific research in epidemiology that has advanced understanding of conditions that are important for population health.

Victora's research has driven global policies on breastfeeding, child nutrition and inequalities in health. He has applied and advanced epidemiological methods to maternal and child health, initially in his home country and later in dozens of low and middle-income countries. His studies in the 1980s led to the discovery of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for infant survival, which shaped World Health Organization policies in 1991. His leading role in the creation of the WHO Child Growth Standards led to growth curves that are now used in over 140 countries. He leads the Pelotas Birth Cohort Studies (1982, 1993, 2004 and 2015) which have made major contributions to recognition of the importance of early nutrition for adult health and human capital. More recently, he became a global leader in the study of inequalities in maternal and child health, and his team provides global analyses that are widely used by international organizations.

Having opted to remain in Brazil throughout his career, he has honorary appointments at Oxford University, Harvard University and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He is a member of the editorial board of many journals, including The Lancet. In Brazil, he founded the Post-Graduate Program in Epidemiology at the Federal University of Pelotas, a remote location without any research activity until the 1980s and led this program to become the top-ranked program in the Ministry of Education’s scoring system for over 80 Public Health programs in the country.


 Early Career Epidemiologist Representatives Elected (5/7/2021) 
   

Early Career Epidemiologist Elections Conclude

The election of regional Early Career Epidemiologist representatives has concluded. Winning candidates for each region are:

  • Dr. Moleen Dzikiti, Africa Region
  • Rajini Nagrani, Europe Region
  • Ghinwa El Hayek, MPH, Middle East North Africa Region
  • Astou Thiam, North America Region
  • Dr. Ritu Pradhan Sharma, South East Asia Region, and member of IEA Council
  • Dr. Gazaleh Dashti, Western Pacific Region

A candidate was not elected in the Latin American & Caribbean Region.

IEA defines Early Career Epidemiologists as those currently enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate course of study in a subject relevant to epidemiology, or who have worked in the field of epidemiology for not more than ten years.

Elected representatives will serve for the next three years starting at the conclusion of the 2021 IEA World Congress of Epidemiology in Melbourne, Australia (http://ieaweb.org). Terms will end at the conclusion of the 2024 World Congress of Epidemiology.

Per IEA’s Constitution and Bylaws, the representative elected from the region that will be hosting the next World Congress of Epidemiology will become the ECE Council Member. This person will liaise with the ECE representatives in all regions, formulate proposals for ECE activities, and represent the interests of ECE members to Council. The 2024 WCE will be held in Goa, India.


 Congratulations to IEA's 2021-24 Councilors (5/7/2021) 
   

IEA Council Election Results, 2021-24


Of 1592 eligible IEA members, about half (764) voted during December 15-30, 2020. Every election was independently certified as having no evidence of fraud. Regional councilors were elected by IEA members in good standing who reside in the specific region. The new Executive and Council members will assume their offices at the World Congress of Epidemiology, currently scheduled to take place in September 2021. Their terms will last until the next World Congress of Epidemiology, currently scheduled for September 2024.

Newly Elected IEA Council Members for the next IEA period of office are:

Officers of the Executive Committee

President: Chandra Mani Pandey

President-Elect: Akindele Adebiyi

Past President: Henrique Barros

Secretary: Karina Braga Ribeiro

Treasurer: Yosikazu Nakamura

 
Regional representatives

Africa Region: Armanda Nkwescheu

European Region: Linda O’Keeffe

Latin America & Caribbean Region: Pedro Hallal

Middle East/North Africa Region: Mary Deeb

North America Region: Jennifer Salerno

Southeast Asia Region: Umesh Kapil

Western Pacific Region: Chihaya Koriyama
Early Career Epidemiologist: Ritu Pradhan Sharma (Southeast Asia Region)

Congratulations to all our new Council Members, and thank you for your service to the IEA.


 In Memoriam - Adetokunbo Lucas (12/30/2020) 
   

In Memoriam - Adetokunbo Oluwole Lucas

The Council of The International Epidemiology Association (IEA) deeply mourns the passing of Professor Adetokunbo Oluwole Lucas OFR MD DSc FRCPH FFPH FRCOG FUI (1931–2020), a globally acknowledged public health leader and foremost epidemiologist. He was until his death on the 25th of December 2020, a retired Professor of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Ibadan and Professor of International Health, Harvard University.
Prof. Ade Lucas made significant contributions to the field of epidemiology and public health, especially with regards to the epidemiology and control of Schistosomiasis, Onchocerciasis and Malaria. He hosted the first regional conference of the IEA in Ibadan, Nigeria in 1970 and went on to be the President of IEA from 1971 to 1974. He later directed the Tropical Diseases Research (TDR) Programme of the World Health Organization between 1976 and 1986. It was in recognition of his contribution towards the development of the TDR into a globally acclaimed program of research in tropical diseases that he was jointly awarded the prestigious Prince Mahidol prize, given annually for achievements in medicine and public health.
Prof. Ade Lucas would be remembered for his efforts at improving the quality of life of the most underprivileged in society and eliminating inequity.

 Africa Region COVID Summary (9/25/2020) 
   

(Fall 2020)  The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted economic, health and living conditions on the African continent. Since the 3rd of March 2020 when three African countries first reported confirmed cases, up to 47 Africa countries have now reported a cumulative 891, 942 confirmed cases. The impact on individuals, families and communities across Africa has been unprecedented. The occurrence of this pandemic within the timeframe of an unfinished African agenda on control of communicable diseases and an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases portends great danger for weak African Health Systems. The economic loss while still unfolding is projected to be quite huge. Happily, even though previous predictions from outside Africa had projected an exponential increase and profound mortality, current data suggest the virus is spreading more slowly in Africa than was initially anticipated. Mortality has also been low with a total number of deaths put at 16,941 (case fatality ratio of ~ 1.9%).

Population testing still remains low, with many countries still unable to test beyond the big cities, which makes it difficult to correctly assess the true situation and predict the trend in African countries. However, it is pleasing that despite health system challenges and resource limitations, African countries have done relatively well in managing this pandemic. The tremendous efforts put into contact listing, contact tracing, active surveillance and ramping up basic public health measures like handwashing and social distancing has been unprecedented. The adaptation of risk communication strategies to fit contextual backgrounds has been remarkable. At the centre of all these efforts are the African epidemiologists who continue to toil night and day to find some meaning out of the crisis and are at the forefront of advancing strategies based on science, data and logic. These contributions would not be forgotten in a hurry! Now more than ever is the work of the epidemiologist appreciated. Whether in large urban hospital settings, or in the far-flung communities that are hard to reach or in conflict zones amid grave threats to life and personal security, our colleagues across Africa have demonstrated the importance of epidemiology in understanding a virus that most times is hidden in our very midst. We must continue to encourage them, support them and collaborate in sharing unique experiences that would engender co-learning. This pandemic will redefine epidemiology and the skill sets and competencies needed to practice as an epidemiologist globally and particularly in resource poor settings like Africa. This reinforces our stance as the International Epidemiological Association- African Region on the need to rethink, reposition and rebrand epidemiology for greater impact and it further sets us on the path to achieving the “Maputo Declaration” set by the African arm of the association on 17th of April, 2019. The IEA-Africa region salutes the resilience and dedication of our colleagues across the African Continent and globally.