Almost 90% of deaths from HPV-related invasive cervical cancer (ICC) worldwide occur in developing countries and ICC is a main cause of morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, in SSA, we observe a significant lack of ICC knowledge among health care workers. Further, academic ICC expertise is also completely missing, undermining any effort to strengthen the health care capacities. Local academic expertise is also vital for National policy makers and public opinion.
In 2013, we established the WAKA network to train African based researchers till a post doc level, to stimulate international South South collaboration and to support local laboratory facilities (www.wakahpvafrica.com). Several students from SSA are in a doctoral trajectory and the WAKA network gained significant recognition (i.e. WHO). This proposal wants to continue, deepen and expand this network until a level of self-sustainability.