This afternoon, Dr. Maria Luisa Aznar, specialist of the Unit of Tropical Medicine and International Health Vall d'Hebron-Drassanes and researcher at the Infectious Diseases group of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), was one of the guests invited to the welcome meeting of the President of Angola, João Lourenço, by King Felipe VI. The event was held at Palacio Real in Madrid.
"We have been involved in different initiatives with Angola since 2007, when we implemented telemedicine sessions that continue nowadays. And since then, we have worked together to promote different research and teaching projects", highlights Dr. Aznar. It is precisely because of her experience with Vall d'Hebron projects in collaboration with the African country that she was one of the guests at the event, which was attended by about 40 people. Political representatives and very different profiles in close relationship with Angola also attended.
Among the projects that Vall d'Hebron promotes with Angola are the exchange of professionals between the two countries, the organization of scientific conferences and the participation in projects focused mainly on infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria or schistosomiasis. Vall d'Hebron also supported the creation of the health research center of the Universidade Katyavala Bwila in 2018 in Cubal.
Currently, they are working on two projects funded by the European Union and being implemented in Angola by local and international partners. On the one hand, the CRESCER project, which is Component IV of the Strengthening Resilience and Food Security in Angola program (FRESAN Program), aims to generate scientific evidence to help fight chronic child malnutrition, i.e., the deterioration of growth experienced by children due to poor nutrition, lack of access to water and chronic infections, among other causes in the southern region of the country. On the other hand, the FUTURO project aims to strengthen the role of young people in the formulation of public policies on Sexual and Reproductive Health. In all cases, the research team is in direct communication with the Angolan government and other academic institutions to promote the transfer of scientific and technical knowledge, as well as the exchange of experiences through this applied research.