On 28th May 2019, the project was launched, after a 2-days session held at “Hôtel de l’Amitié de Bamako”. Objective of the kick-off meeting:
- To determine all aspects of the project, strategic directions, actualized milestones and timelines, fund release and priorities;
- To regroup all the actors involved in the project to make contact before the start of the activities and to exhibit and discuss the project working groups and make amendments if needed.
The meeting was chaired by Prof. Kassoum Kayentao, the coordinating principal investigator. In his address, he welcomed all the foreigners on African soil of Mali. On behalf of the consortium researchers from Mali, the Gambia, Spain, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Netherlands, Burkina Faso and Mozambique, and on his own behalf, Prof. Kayentao particularly thanked the prominent guests, the Rector of USTTB, the representative of WHO in Mali, the Director of the National Malaria Control Program, the Deans of the Faculties of Pharmacy and Medicine, the Mayor of commune II, the Director of MRTC-parasitology and the Director of the MRTC-entomology for the interest brought on the one hand to the organization of the meeting and on the other hand, for the actual presence in these places.
Several high-ranking people expressed the relevance of the project in reducing the burden of malaria in pregnant women and the development of the capacities of researchers in the five African countries involved. The Consortium was honored by the presence of to the Minister of High Education and Scientific Research, a representative from Shinpoong Pharm and one from Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). The Head of the Trial Steering Committee, Prof. Feiko ter Kuile was also present. EDCTP representative and the Consortium members who could not make the trip, assisted by video conference. In addition to the speeches and the launching ceremony, there was a scientific session, during which project activities and milestones were discussed.
The kick-off meeting was successful and full of lessons learned. The participants left Bamako excited to see the beginning of the Project. Appointment was given in Banjul for the investigators’ meeting.