Project: Towards an African platform for congenital abnormalities and birth defects
The 2015-2016 ZIKV epidemic in Latin America revealed ZIKV associated congenital malformations, including severe microcephaly. There is little or no surveillance for microcephaly or congenital anomalies in sub-Saharan Africa. It remains unknown, whether a similar epidemic could occur in Africa, the cradle of Zika virus. This pilot study aims to demonstrate the feasibility of generating (baseline) data on the frequency of congenital anomalies in rural Africa, including on the variability of head circumference measurements, and for the development of first-line laboratory testing for infectious agents related to congenital anomalies. We believe that, the potential of this study goes way beyond Zika and infectious diseases and will help to establish knowledge that currently does not exist in sub-Saharan Africa.