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Project update

We have now completed the first year of the DESTINE project and work is well underway.

Analysis of blood samples at EPHI (Ethiopian Public Health Institute) is in progress, with results expected by the end of 2022. This will enable work to begin on Work Packages Two and Three.

 All five DESTINE PhD students have been recruited and two are already working from the University of Bristol. The first annual conference will take place in Addis Ababa during the week beginning 7 November 2022.

I am Getahun Molla Kassa from the University of Gondar. I am a PhD student at the University of Bristol and my supervisors are Dr. Aaron G Lim, Dr. Josephine G Walker, Dr. Elias Ali Yesuf, Dr. Dagmawi Tewolde, and Professor Matthew Hickman. I hold a BSc in Public Health, MSc in Clinical Tropical Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine, and MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

In my PhD project, I plan to undertake detailed epidemiological studies to improve our knowledge of the prevalence, disease progression, and risk factors associated with HCV infection in Ethiopia. This work will help the country’s effort to eliminate HCV as a public health problem. Moreover, the results of this study will be used as a base to inform the modelling component of the DESTINE project. By conducting data analysis and systematic review I will work on the following objectives:

1. Estimate the prevalence of HCV infection in Ethiopia across regions and overall.

2. Identify risk factors associated with HCV infection in the Ethiopian context.

My name is Melaku Tileku Tamiru, and I work at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. I received a Master of Science in Pharmacy Practice from this university. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the DESTINE project at the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine. This is a 4-year Ph.D. program run in collaboration between University of Dundee and Addis Ababa University under the supervision of Prof. John Dillon, Dr. Wondwossen Amogne and Dr. Andrew Radley.

My Ph.D. research focuses on developing and evaluating HCV treatment pathways in Ethiopia in order to contribute to the evidence base guiding the global response to the elimination of HCV as a public health concern. It also intends to demonstrate how its research findings contribute to policy development processes through knowledge translation. Over the course of my term, I will address the following objectives:

1. Develop sustainable public health strategies to prevent further HCV transmission

2. Develop treatment pathways suitable for Ethiopian HCV strategy and health care system, that enable greater access to treatment of HCV

3. Pilot the efficacy and effectiveness of treatment pathways to inform modelling in different environments in Ethiopia.

The first annual DESTINE conference will be held in Addis Ababa during the week beginning 7 November 2022. This will be attended by members of the UK team as well as all Ethiopian project members and key government and healthcare stakeholders within Ethiopia and the wider region. This conference will promote partnerships within and beyond the project team, publicise the project and also increase community awareness.

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