ACEGID-Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative Trains African Scientists in Next Generation Sequencing

Towards scaling up genomic sequencing capacity on the African continent, the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), in partnership with the Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative, is hosting Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) training for scientists involved in national Covid-19 sequencing efforts. This is the first in the series of NGS training workshops that will be organized by the partnership.

The goal of this training is to equip African scientists with knowledge and skills necessary to catalyze genomics-based diagnosis, surveillance, management and control of infectious disease in their respective countries, ultimately enhancing public health across the continent.

The training, which started on 14th June, will run till 2nd of July, 2021. It comprises a blend of virtual training sessions, followed by hands-on workshops at the Redeemers University, Ede, Nigeria 

The training was organized by partners including the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Africa Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO Africa Region) and the African Society for Laboratory Medicine and ACEGID, with generous support from Redeemer’s University and Illumina. 

Participants are being exposed to theoretical knowledge and hands-on training on Next Generation Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 as well as bioinformatic analysis of the sequence results. The training has participants from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo and Tunisia. Participants will sequence SARS-CoV-2 samples from their respective countries.

It will be recalled that the Africa CDC and WHO (Africa Region) made ACEGID a continental reference laboratory for the sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases. This training is part of our effort at delivering the mandate.

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Written by: Cassandra Ikegbune