IVI and Burkina Faso
COVID-19 Research in African Settings (COVIA):
With funding from Sweden’s Sida, IVI launched COVIA, a program which supports local institutions in Burkina Faso in alignment with national authorities. COVIA aims to improve the collection of disease burden data by implementing COVID-19 surveillance tailored to health care centers, as well as testing and tracing the household contacts of infected patients.
With funding from the EU Horizons 2020, IVI launched VASA in 2019 to conduct a Phase I clinical study of the SchistoShield® anti-schistosomiasis vaccine in Burkina Faso. This project includes disease surveillance and cost-effectiveness studies, the formation of a global consortium to advance schistosomiasis vaccine research, and an Integrated Product Development Plan (IPDP) for development of the vaccine backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition, VASA contributed towards a human challenge model for the vaccine which was developed in partnership with the University of Leiden.
Severe Typhoid in Africa (SETA) Plus
As a follow-up to SETA (see below), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation granted IVI additional funding to launch SETA Plus in 2020, which extended typhoid surveillance in Burkina Faso. With additional funding from the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Fund and Sida, SETA Plus expanded its diagnostics and implemented safety training and surveillance platforms to track the spread of COVID-19 in Burkina Faso.
Since 2012, three individuals from Burkina Faso have participated in IVI’s International Vaccinology Course.
The Severe Typhoid Fever in Africa (SETA) program, a multicountry surveillance study, aimed to understand the burden of severe typohid fever and the associated case fatalities, clinical characteristics, and potential host risk factors that may be related to the disease severity. The SETA program also aimed to investigate the host immune response and bacterial shedding patterns associated with invasive salmonellosis.
SETA conducted prospective healthcare facility–based surveillance with active screening of enteric fever and clinically suspected severe typhoid fever with complications was performed using a standardized protocol across the study sites in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, and Nigeria.
In Burkina Faso, SETA conducted surveillance from 2016 to 2019 in the capital Ouagadougou and Balé Province in collaboration with the Schiphra Hospital Laboratory.
The data generated by SETA will be essential in developing adequate immunization strategies and typhoid and iNTS disease control and prevention policies. The SETA study results will have a direct impact, particularly in countries eligible for support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, on potential uptake of TCV in the next 10 years.
From 2010 to 2014, IVI’s The Typhoid Fever Surveillance in Africa Program (TSAP) obtained comparable incidence data on typhoid fever and invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease in sub-Saharan Africa through standardized surveillance in ten countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, and Tanzania).
With initial funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2010, a field site was established in Burkina Faso to conduct surveillance on the invasive Salmonella infections largely impacting children and rural populations. In 2013, data analyses from this program showed a high incidence of typhoid fever burden in Burkina Faso, following which IVI obtained additional funding from the Else Kroner-Fresenius-Stiftung of Germany to carry out capacity-building activities in the country.
Each TSAP site conducted passive surveillance for bloodstream infections among febrile patients to isolate and identify aerobic bacteria from the patients’ blood. Healthcare utilization surveys were conducted to adjust population denominators in incidence calculations for differing healthcare utilization patterns and improve comparability of incidence rates across sites. The results of TSAP indicated that enteric fever caused by Salmonella Typhi and non-typhoidal Salmonella are significant problems in Africa and that the prevalence of multi-drug resistance may limit appropriate treatment options.
Along with its new disease burden discoveries, TSAP and its collaborators strengthened local surveillance capacities at multiple sites across sub-Saharan Africa, creating a system that has improved bacterial disease diagnostics, disease surveillance, reporting, and analysis systems in the region.
Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI)
After its establishment in 2011, DVI research was expanded to Burkina Faso in 2014. IVI’s Policy and Economic Research (PER) team kickstarted a health economics study to evaluate a cost estimation tool and transmission model to estimate the global impact of a new oral cholera vaccine. In response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the DVI assisted in the launch of a mobile-based system using PDA devices and conducted data management training using internet applications at a field site in Burkina Faso.
Meningitis in Niger Program
After WHO approval in 2010, IVI helped to carry out the mass roll-out of MenAfriVac in 2011, which was initially introduced in Niger and subsequently expanded into select regions of Burkina Faso.