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2nd African International Conference on Immunity (Nov. 3-7, 2011)

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe,
November 3-7, 2011
“Immunity in Infectious Diseases & Allergies”
Organizers: Elopy N Sibanda and Rudolf Valenta

The Immunology and Allergy Societies in Zimbabwe, in collaboration with the Division of Immunopathology, Dept. of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Medical University of Vienna, Austria, hosted a conference on Immunity in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.A previous conference was held in 2007. This meetingis an activity of the clinical immunology committee of FAIS and has the support of the FAIS executive. The meeting discussed conditions of defective immunity (AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Opportunistic infections, other infectious diseases, tumors etc.) and excess immunity (autoimmunity and allergy etc.) with reference to how these interact with each other at molecular, cellular and clinical levels.
There are few immunologists in the region, and the Conference series provides mentorship opportunities for the many young people who are seeking career paths but are uncertain where to turn for guidance. The meeting allowed the young Africans, to come face to face with seniors that they only knew about from publications. In the previous conference, this interface motivated a few students who then embarked on training in immunology related disciplines and returned from various institutions to present their work at the second conference. We view this as very important as it allows the development of the critical manpower base that is needed regionally to strengthen academic institutions, to increase research capacity and possibly impact on patient care.

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Poster prize winners (from left to right): Keabetswe Bedi (Botswana), Yvonne Dube (Bulawayo), SheronDzoro (Botswana), Paul Noah (Zimbabwe) and Supervisor Professor Taka Mduluza (back); far right Professor Elopy Sibanda.

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