Interviewing with journalists for articles in The Guardian and Le Courrier (with future articles in the works — stay tuned!)
Publishing a peer-reviewed scientific manuscript on the role that the WHO could play in implementing phage therapy in developing countries
Drafting guideline documents that developing country government leaders might refer to as they begin to make regulatory decisions about the phage products that are now being developed by our workshop participants
In drafting those guideline documents, Dr. Tobi Nagel has been meeting virtually with teams of experts from the US FDA who regulate phage products as antibiotic alternatives for food, animals and people. The goal is to compile advice from those experts, as well as from their counterparts in Europe, in order to share that knowledge with regulatory leaders in the developing world.
Since existing governmental regulatory systems were established to oversee traditional types of drugs — different from phages, which are naturally occurring viruses — officials in the US and Europe are now re-interpreting their regulatory schemes to accommodate phage products. However, this clarification process has not yet started in Africa. Thus, in partnership with African phage researchers, Tobi is now beginning to plan for a symposium in Africa through which they will share lessons learned from US and European regulatory officials. This will be an important and exciting step as we help to implement phage products in the developing world!
Last week one of the participants of our January 2020 East Africa Phage Workshop, Dr. Ritah Nakayinga, published an article about her experience in our training program and the impacts it's having on her work. We hope you'll enjoy reading her story and how your donation is helping drive innovation in Africa to tackle the antibiotic resistance crisis: https://phage.directory/capsid/phage-for-global-health#article
As the effects of COVID-19 continue to spread across Africa and Asia, our work will become even more important because the coronavirus crisis is expected to increase antibiotic resistance rates. Indeed, roughly 50% of patients who have died from COVID-19 had secondary bacterial infections, which typically require antibiotics. What's more, antibiotics are often used inappropriately to treat the viral infections in COVID-19 cases.
So we are more committed than ever to delivering additional training workshops as soon as international travel guidelines allow. Phages can play a critical role as locally-developed, sustainable treatments for both existing and emerging infectious disease outbreaks.
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