This year, the programme launched four new projects. One aims to develop and validate a rapid test for the early recognition and management of febrile patients at risk of severe disease (EChiLiBRiST). The VH-COMSAVAC project focuses on increasing viral hepatitis testing, vaccination, and linkage to care among migrant and refugee populations in Greece, Italy and Spain. A third project will develop a digital platform to educate young people and provide real-world data for collaborative research on pandemics (Science4Pandemics). Finally, the Neosonics project is validating a diagnostic device for infant meningitis that is faster, safer and cheaper than the standard technique.
In the area of bacterial infections, the EXULTANT clinical trial, which is part of a larger EDCTP-funded project, kicked off in Mozambique to evaluate novel TB diagnostic interventions. Also on TB, we provided data that will help design new, shorter and more effective treatment regimens for children (1). And our antimicrobial resistance team, in collaboration with Hospital Clínic, designed a synthetic molecule with potent antimicrobial activity and low toxicity (2).
Our work on COVID-19 continued with the analysis of immune responses upon infection and vaccination (3-5) as well as vaccine effectiveness in LMICs (6,7) and global vaccine acceptance (8). A Delphi study provided recommendations on how to end COVID-19 as a public health threat without exacerbating socio-economic burdens or putting the most vulnerable at greater risk (9).
Finally, a study based on data from the Global Burden of Disease 2019 reveals that Spain could outpace Japan, the USA and the EU in achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (10).