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.