June 15, 2023

Tita represents the Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health during trip to South Africa

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tita ahriDr. Tita, Dr. Wong, and the AHRI teamAlan T. N. Tita, M.D., Ph.D., director for the Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health (MHIGH) and associate dean for Global and Women’s Health, recently visited South Africa to attend the International Maternal Newborn Health Conference (IMNHC) 2023 and visit the facilities of the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI).

“I attended IMNHC 2023 in Cape Town to present our RCT (A-PLUS) of azithromycin to prevent maternal sepsis in low/middle-income countries (LMICs) and used the opportunity to visit UAB faculty, Drs. Emily Wong and Adrie Steyn, and host organization, AHRI,” said Tita. “I also met leaders of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. There is a lot to follow up on as we continue building important partnerships in South Africa.”  

At IMNHC 2023 in Cape Town, Tita witnessed the release of “Improving maternal and newborn health and survival and reducing stillbirth – Progress report 2023,” among other important updates on priorities for maternal and newborn health. The report, released by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), highlights global progress on maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, and stillbirths as well as efforts to meet targets for these challenges. Besides networking on future opportunities, Tita met Albert Manasyan, M.D., associate professor in the UAB Department of Pediatrics, located in Zambia, who also attended the conference.

Dr. Tita with Prof. Sebitloane (middle), and faculty and colleagues who attended the grand rounds at UKZN Dr. Tita with Prof. Sebitloane (middle) and faculty and colleagues who attended the grand rounds at UKZN Tita subsequently visited the AHRI campuses in Somekele and in Durban, and met with Emily Wong, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases, and Adrie J. C. Steyn, Ph.D., professor in the UAB Department of Microbiology. Wong and Steyn are hosted by AHRI, where their labs are engaged in groundbreaking basic and translational research to advance our knowledge of tuberculosis and other infections. Tita also met with selected AHRI leaders, including the executive director, Professor Willem Hanekom.

Additionally, Tita visited the University of Kwa Zulu Natal (UKZN) and delivered grand rounds on “Sepsis and Hypertension in Pregnancy” at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine. Meetings with the head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Motshedishi Sebitloane, MBChB, M.Med, Ph.D., and Mosa Moshabela, MBChB, M.Med, M.Sc., Ph.D., deputy vice chancellor of Research and Innovation, focused on research and training collaborative opportunities with MHIGH, UAB, and the different institutions.

MHIGH is co-hosting the upcoming hybrid global health symposium on Promoting Equitable Global Health Partnerships, Sept. 28-29. Register to attend and learn more.