In CYSTINET-Africa a capacity building plan has been developed to ensure a maximum of quality, lateral exchange and sustainability in the network. The capacity building structure is highly complementary with the following emphasis in the different institutions:

Tanzania I: Development of public health education programme with evidence for implementation
Tanzania II: Information technology and data management
Mozambique: Clinical case management with guideline development
Zambia: Upgrading of the Regional Reference Laboratory for TSCT immunodiagnosis and NCC pig model establishment.

The capacity building plan further includes other activities, like teaching and knowledge transfer as well as dissemination and implementation of evidence gained through the respective research tasks. Capacity building will not only take place in the central universities but also in peripheral universities and hospitals with their respective communities where the actual research will be conducted. This will link capacity building closely to the envisaged research in the communities ensuring immediate benefit for the community members/study participants from the actual research projects.

 

Types of Capacity Building

1. Individual capacity-building: There will be vast opportunities for short-term training of staff working at the African institutions either through courses or practical work mainly pertaining to clinical, laboratory, project management, information technology, epidemiological and statistical skills. A total of over 100 members of staff and students will be trained at the African institutions either through access to university courses or training within the consortium itself (African and German partners). All together 17 students will benefit from scholarships. There will be one postdoctoral fellow (Post-Doc) and two PhD students from Germany, the other students will be distributed over the four African partner sites. In addition, up to five students will get the opportunity to participate in a structured mentor ship program and three students will participate in a German/African exchange program.
2. Institutional capacity building: The areas with most activities pertain to laboratory (upgrading of a regional reference laboratory), information technology (establishment of a virtual one-health centre), data management (establishment of a mobile data management system) and evidence implementation with clear impact on institutional strengthening. Great care is taken that institutional capacity building does not happen in isolation, but that lateral transfer within and between countries of the CYSTINET-Africa consortium is guaranteed.
3. System capacity building: The two major areas of system capacity building include
a) the establishment of a virtual one-health centre and
b) evidence implementation of obtained research results.
System capacity building is inextricably linked with institutional capacity building. The virtual one-health center consists of an interactive CYSTINET-Africa website/platform with an integrated  research school and additional applications such a web-based “project finder” and an “electronic case management” tool. All partners will contribute to the establishment of the center, although one partner (Tanzania II) will take the lead. Evidence implementation will happen at local, national and international level and support strengthening of health systems in the involved partner countries and beyond.

 

Responsibilities

Tanzania I: Sokoine University of Agriculture will provide:
– health messages for national TSCT/NCC public health education
Tanzania II (National Institute for Med. Research) will provide:
– a web-based virtual one-health platform/centre
– an improved data management with bar code system
– an electronic data collection tool (mobile technology)
– clinical/neurological examination software.
– teaching and possibility to engage in stakeholder meetings
The University of Zambia (UNZA; Zambia) will provide:
– knowledge of establishment of a new experimental NCC pig model
– knowledge/skills through the upgraded Regional Reference Laboratory for TSCT diagnosis
– a“project finder tool” and online lectures for integration into virtual one-health platform
Eduardo Mondlane University (EMU; Mozambique) will provide
– knowledge on treatment of patients with NCC
– an “electronic case management tool” and online lectures for integration into virtual one-health platform
– teaching and possibility to engage in stakeholder meetings