Ugandan State Minister for Health Sarah Opendi will be one of the resource persons at an interactive webcast to deliberate on Ebola and other emerging infectious diseases, slated for 19-20 October in Geneva, Switzerland.

The summit is being organised under the auspices of the UNESCO Merck Africa Research Summit – MARS and will be attended by about 100 scientists and researchers from Africa.

Other co-hosts on the panel include Mr Stefan Oschmann, Vice Chairman of the Executive Board and Deputy CEO of Merck, President of International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA); Mrs Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO and Mr George Godia, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Kenya to UNESCO.

At the summit Merck Living Innovation will announce the five African winners of the awards for Emergent Young Researchers, with the first three award winners having a fellowship program for six months in Merck R&D hub in Germany and Switzerland.

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‘The UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit – MARS aims to bring together researchers from across Africa (more than 30 countries) to discuss the generation, sharing and dissemination of research data and to prepare for the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for research excellence and scientific innovation,’ a release by the Africa Press Organisation states in part.

The release adds: ‘The annual Summit aims to contribute to building research capacity in the African research community, with special focus on Ebola and emergent infectious diseases. The Summit will also showcase innovative research taking place in projects, programs and initiatives across African universities, and by the wider African research community. It also aims to Identify Scientific Research Priorities for Evolving Health Needs, and identify opportunities to Capitalise on HIV Research Capacities for Emerging Infectious Diseases in Africa such as Ebola’.