The University of Limpopo (UL), South Africa hosted the 7th SPICES project face to face meeting from 28 February to 3 March 2019 in Polokwane. In her welcome address, the Deputy Vice Chancellor at UL, Prof. Jessica Singh appreciated the SPICES team for putting together a winning project. In her turn, the Director International Affairs, Prof. Mbambo Kekana, said partnerships such as the recent UK-UL doctoral partnership and the 9 year UL-University of Antwerp VLIR-OUS project facilitate beneficial research collaborations. VLIR-OUS is a research partnership scheme between universities in Belgium and the global south which provides innovative solutions to global challenges.
The meeting kicked off with the award of certificates of attendance to 64 newly trained Community Health Workers (CHWs) during a session chaired by the SPICES Project Coordinator, Prof. Hilde Bastiaens, from the University of Antwerp, Belgium and coordinated by Prof. Tebogo Mothiba from the Faculty of Health Sciences at UL.
During their stay in Polokwane, consortium members also visited 3 of the 11 clinic sites where the newly trained CHWs would carry out educational talks and referrals. The visits provided an avenue for other SPICES team members to learn lessons from the UL research sites, and share ideas in preparation for the project implementation phase.
The next meeting will be hosted by Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the United Kingdom from the 12-14 September 2019.