The WAKA HPV Africa project started in 2014 as a VLIR UOS North South South Cooperation Programme in the framework of the Institutional University Cooperation (IUC) with the University of Limpopo.
The three major goals are:
- To collect high quality data on HPV knowledge (laboratory, public health, sociology) on a national level, co-ordinated at a supra-national level;
- To increase awareness and knowledge with national and supra-national politics and policy in a shared national and supranational approach;
- To build local laboratory capacity and laboratory quality control/assurance, supported by a centralized, African-based Reference Lab that is supported by the founding Universities.
The programme is coordinated by John-Paul Bogers (University of Antwerp) and supported by the Global Health Institute of the University of Antwerp (Prof. Jean-Pierre Van geertruyden and his team) and Jeffrey Mphahlele/Lisbeth Lebelo (Sefako Maghato University, former Medunsa Campus of the University of Limpopo).
HPV is the main, almost unique cause of cervix carcinoma in adult women. Unfortunately, currently, many African countries lack comprehensive data on the circulating HPV types and Africa may harbor a variety of unexplored circulating HPV types which are uniquely distributed in various cancers and benign lesions.
This NSS initiative will establish a HPV research network between several VLIR partners of whom some are already conducting HPV and/or cervix carcinoma research with own VLIR-UOS funding.