Tackling Infection to Benefit Africa (TIBA)

Year established 2018
Sectors NHS
Country Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Overall goals

TIBA’s aims are as follows:

i. Improve the diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases in resource-poor settings. Diagnostics development is focussed on the provision of portable kits employing biomarkers, electrochemical and bio-sensors or sequencing technologies. Surveillance research includes optimising technologies, surveillance system design and eHealth.
ii. Improve the deployment of existing drug treatments and enhance local capacity to develop new ones.
iii. Improve the deployment of existing vaccines and enhance local capacity to develop new ones.
iv. Improve the management of both endemic and emerging infections by i) strengthening health systems, with special attention to ethics and governance; ii) improving policy development and implementation (e.g. drug procurement, local licensing, regulatory harmonization); iii) enhancing capacity to respond to infectious diseases emergencies, while protecting capacity to manage endemic diseases concurrently.

Key UK Colleagues and Partners

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, University of Edinburgh

International Partners

The suggested proposal will be to join an already established project which is collaboration with Woolhouse and Mutapi in the context of an NIHR grant called TIBA (Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa). The project involves 9 African countries including South Africa where Prof Chimbari is based.
The proposal will be to consider the impact of the irrigation scheme to control schistosomiasis on children and women’s mental health and wellbeing.
The above projects are already established by prof Chimbari. Our plan will be to use my expertise in mental health and wellbeing to assess impact of such an intervention on family wellbeing.

Sustainable development goals

  • SDG 2 - Zero hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good health and well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean water and sanitation
  • SDG 13 - Climate action
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the goals

Funding source

TIBA funds were obtained in a competitive manner through responding to an NIHR call

Project origin

TIBA partnership arose from many years of individual collaborations on vector borne diseases. When the call was announced my University of Edinburgh collaborators approached me to work with them on a joint project. We then identified 8 other African partners and developed the proposal jointly.

Evidence of need


Project areas


Project activities

TIBA started in 2017 and we hosted an Annual General Meeting in May 2018 which brought together all the 9 participating countries, stakeholders and funding agencies. This was hosted in Durban South Africa.


TIBA is making impact at policy level and at community level by contributing to national, regional and international policies and guidelines and reducing population risk to neglected tropical diseases.

Next steps

Discussions as to how to incorporate assessment of wellbeing in the current project are ongoing

The use of global wellbeing questionnaires such as Strength and Difficulties Questionnaires’ before and after intervention will be a way forward.
The number of cases of schistosomiasis before and after intervention.
Measurement of Quality of life for children and mothers.
Measurement of General functioning eg school attendance (where school are readily available)



Mitigating challenges

All the projects I implement use the ecohealth (ecoproblem) approach which puts health/problem in the centre to address that in the context of the total environment including social/cultural/polictical. The major challenge associated with this approach is limited funding as the approach requires genuine engagement with communities and stakeholders who may have divergent expectations.

Partnership principles

  • strategic
  • harmonised
  • effective
  • respectful
  • organised
  • responsible
  • flexible

Project gains

  • leadership
  • teamwork
  • academic
  • patient
  • resilience
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