Scientific meeting with the SPICES team on the prevention of cardiovascular disease in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: lessons and experiences

On the 9th of March, we organize a scientific meeting with the SPICES team on the prevention of cardiovascular disease in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: lessons and experiences.

Objectives of the meeting are to 

  • Share the knowledge, evidence and best practices from the implementation and evaluation of CVD interventions and strategies for CVD prevention in Europe and SSA.
  • Facilitate reciprocal learning and sharing of lessons across implementation sites in LMICs and high-income countries and generate context-specific recommendations.
  • Facilitate greater interdisciplinary CVD research collaboration and learning globally and locally.

Meeting details

Our colleagues in Uganda host the meeting, however online participation is possible.

Date and time: 9th March 2022; 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EAT // 6:00 AM – 3:00 PM CET

Registration link for virtual participation:

Additional information is available in the pdf file.

SPICES Consortium Members Share Project Implementation Lessons

The Sussex and Brighton Medical School hosted the 8th SPICES project consortium meeting from 12 to 14 September 2019 in the seaside city of Brighton in the United Kingdom. In his recorded welcome address, Prof. Malcolm Reed of the Sussex and Brighton Medical School urged the team to continue learning and sharing for more robust research results.

During the three days in Brighton, all the six project sites shared preliminary research results, difficulties encountered and lessons learned. Deliberations from these presentations provided invaluable lessons for team members. The four PhD candidates from the Universities of Limpopo in South Africa, Brest in France, Antwerp in Belgium and Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom also presented updates of their research for suggestions from the entire team.

At the end of deliberations, the SPICES project lead, Prof. Hilde Bastiaens exhorted the different project sites to; continuously note the pros and cons in their design and implementation processes; to continue to use the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and Reach Effectiveness Adoption Implementation Maintenance (RE-AIM) frameworks especially in project reporting; to document the process of co-creation of knowledge; to do project documentation in real time and to put emphasis on marketing the work of the SPICES project for wider reach and impact. In his turn, the SPICES project manager, Dr. Geofrey Musinguzi, drilled participants on reporting through EMDESK to facilitate project periodic reporting. EMDESK is a web based project management tool designed for European research projects in Horizon 2020 which facilitates collaboration, communication and reporting on project deliverables.

Prof. Harm Marwijk and Dr. Papreen Nahar led field visits to the SPICES project’s implementation partners such as the Wellsbourne General Practitioner (GP) facility, the Crew Club and the Sussex Community Development Association (SCDA) in Brighton which provided an in depth understanding of the project’s work in Brighton.

The hosting baton has been passed on to the University of Brest in France for January 2020.

University of Limpopo Hosts 7th SPICES Consortium Meeting

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.

SPICES project launched in January 2017

With the start of the new year, the University of Antwerp successfully launched the “SPICES”-project, a science project funded by the European Commission through the Horizon2020 research and innovation action. SPICES is an acronym for ‘Scaling-up Packages of Interventions for Cardiovascular disease prevention in selected sites in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa’.

The UA  is the coordinating university. Hilde Bastiaens, professor at the Centre for primary care medicine, Department of Interdisciplinary and Primary Care takes up the role of Principal Investigator coordinator. Co-promoters are Paul Van Royen, dean of the faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Jean-Pierre Van geertruyden, coordinator of the Global Health Institute. Next to that, 5 other project partners involved:  Makerere University (via the School of Public Health in Uganda), University of Manchester and the Nottingham Trent University (UK), Brest University in France and the University of Limpopo in South Africa.

The research objective is to implement and evaluate the impact of a Cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and control programme on patients at high risk in five different settings: a rural & semi-urban community in a low-income country (Uganda),  middle income (South Africa) and vulnerable groups in three high-income countries (Belgium, France and United Kingdom). Next to that, the project aims to identify and compare the barriers and facilitators across study sites that influence the scale-up  of the CVD prevention and control intervention.

This 5-year project started with an intensive three day kick off meeting from the 14th – 17th January 2017 at the University of Antwerp. The aim was to have a first face-to-face interactive discussion about the goals and approach of the project. It triggered the partners to discuss and define the work packages in detail and to take the first steps in the initialization of protocols.