The Union Africa Regional Conference on Tuberculosis and Lung diseases

Wednesday 9 August 2017

The Union Africa Regional Conference on Tuberculosis and Lung diseases (UARC-TLD) – 10th – 13th July 2017.

Dr. Wilber Sabiiti attended the UARC-TLD) where he presented his work entitled, “OMNIgene.SPUTUM: A pragmatic solution to the challenges of TB diagnosis in Resource limited settings”.  Made by DNA Genotek Inc. Canada, OMNIgene. Sputum (OM-S) is a novel reagent that maintains quality of sputum sample at ambient temperature and thus obviates the need for cold-chain transport, which is hardly available in resource limited settings.  Working with the Mozambique’s National tuberculosis reference laboratory, Dr. Sabiiti’s team found that OM-S was more effective at liquefying sputum, suppressing contaminants and preserving Mycobacterium tuberculosis viability than the standard of care procedure that uses N-Acetyl-L-Cystein-Sodium hydroxide solution.


While at the conference, Dr. Sabiiti also attended the research ethics workshop in which several critical ethical questions were raised, for example:

  • Should consent be asked in emergency situations e.g clinical trial in Ebola outbreak and or if the patient cannot speak e.g in comma?
  • Should researchers withhold information of public interest because they are waiting to publish in peer reviewed journals?
  • In case the government demands, should researchers release participant details?
  • International clinical trial protocols require that triallists provide the best of care to the participants: Is the best of care the same everywhere? What if you raise the standards during clinical trials but cannot be sustained by the country’s health system after the study?

He also used the opportunity to attend a research collaboration building meeting at the University of Health and Allied Health Sciences (UHAS) in the Ghanaian eastern city of Ho.  He met the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Gyampong and his research teams representing the schools of pharmacy and Biomedical sciences and the Institute for Health Research.  The team was very enthusiastic and keen to explore opportunities for collaborating with the University of St. Andrews.


 From left is Mr. Fedelis E.Y. Anumu, Asst. Registrar & Acting Head of Research Operations Office; UHAS, Prof. Margaret Gyapong, Director Centre for Health Policy & Implementation Research, UHAS and Dr. Wilber Sabiiti.

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