The African Science Plans of the ICSU Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA) were revised in June 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa to reflect current/emerging trends in scientific research at global, regional and national levels. In conjunction with the Scientific Research Association of Mozambique (AICIMO), ICSU ROA organised a 2-day Science Plans Scoping Workshop in Maputo, Mozambique, 08 – 09 February, 2017 to provide an opportunity for African scientists involved in the consortia of ICSU ROA to brainstorm on developing relevant project proposals from these Science Plans.
Prof Tollulah Oni attended this meeting as a representative of the ICSU Urban Health and Wellbeing Programme. She participated in brainstorming sessions as part of the Health and Human Wellbeing consortium at this meeting. In the morning, the team discussed revisions to the Health and Human Wellbeing Science Plan. Whilst it was too late to make changes to the printed version of the science plan, the suggested inputs will be incorporated into the implementation plans. Suggested additions of relevance to the UHWB programme include including population migration/mobility as a cross cutting theme; and the need for surveillance data on both health and socioenvironmental indicators in urban and rural settings. The remainder of day 1 and day 2 were spent identifying themes for research projects and brainstorming possible projects in each theme. The themes developed by the consortium are:
? Non-communicable diseases
? Water and sanitation
? Food security
? Urbanisation and health
? Traditional medicine
? Genetic diversity and disease
Possible projects of relevance to urbanization and health include the contribution of toxic environmental organic and inorganic pollutants, including
air pollution, to NCD burden; and research to build an evidence base for healthy public policies, e.g., housing policy. It was recognized that some of these themes overlap. For example NCD and water and sanitation overlap with urbanization and health. In addition, potential for collaboration with other consortia were identified. For example, there was potential for overlap between health and environment consortia. Potential funding agencies for this spectrum of themes were also identified.
The plan moving forwards is for the health consortium to work towards developing a few of these projects into proposals. The ICSU ROA head office will
also work to integrate a few of these themes where overlap exists; as well as coordinating identification of potential funding sources and calls. Lastly, the ICSU LIRA 2030 programme was presented. The first call was focused on Energy, Health and Natural Disaster nexus in urban settings. The first cohort has been selected; and will soon be informed. The next call will be released shortly with the second cohort selected by June (theme TBC).