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African Research Collaboration on Sepsis (ARCS)

Sepsis is a common complication of infection that frequently results in death or serious disability. Globally, there are an estimated 30 million cases of sepsis each year, over 7 million of which end in death. In fact, sepsis is the second biggest cause of death in the world and the leading cause of preventable death.
With high rates of infection, Africa is expected to be greatly affected by sepsis. Despite its massive death toll, sepsis remains widely unknown and under-prioritised—by the general public, health care workers, and influential decision-makers.
Awareness of and knowledge on what sepsis is and its burden on society are critical to prevent sepsis and save lives.
ARCS Logo

The African Research Collaboration on Sepsis (ARCS) is a collaborative programme funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under the Global Health Research Programme. ARCS aims to improve the survival and quality of life of sepsis patients using relevant innovations at the individual and health system level, through multidisciplinary applied health research.

Running from 2018 to 2021, ARCS operates within three African countries: Malawi, Gabon and Uganda. ARCS brings together African and UK expertise across the clinical and applied health spectrum to tackle sepsis, learning from the UK’s experience in reducing sepsis mortality.

Sepsis in brief

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by the body’s toxic response to infection that frequently results in death or serious disability. Globally, there are an estimated 30 million cases of sepsis each year, over 7 million of which end in death. In fact, sepsis is the second biggest cause of death in the world and the leading cause of preventable death. With high rates of infection, Africa is expected to be greatly affected by sepsis. Despite its massive death toll, sepsis remains widely unknown and under-prioritised—by the general public, health care workers, and influential decision-makers. Awareness of and knowledge on what sepsis is and its burden on society are critical to prevent sepsis and save lives. To learn more about sepsis, download the Sepsis Fact Sheet and Sepsis Policy Brief.

 

To improve sepsis control, the project will deliver high-quality sepsis research training; determine sepsis incidence across 10 African countries; establish sepsis care quality indicators for Africa; pilot test innovative sepsis care interventions including an e-health application and; test the feasibility of novel clinical trial platforms for answering key sepsis questions for Africa.

AFIDEP’s work on ARCS is to lead policy engagement so that the research generated by the programme has policy-level impact. This is done primarily through development and implementation of policy engagement and evidence uptake strategies in the three countries.

Overall, ARCS is envisaged to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge on sepsis. The project will also develop and test innovative tools with potential to enhance sepsis diagnosis, treatment and care.

AFIDEP works with research teams in different countries to develop and implement a research uptake strategy to facilitate engagement with policy makers and other key stakeholders throughout the research cycle. The process further involves creating awareness on sepsis among the public and policymakers through public engagement in media, and dissemination of publications in appropriate formats.

To learn more about sepsis, download the factsheets here, and policy briefs here.

The project is coordinated by a variety of partners in the three countries.

Malawi:

  • Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust
  • College of Medicine
  • Malawi Ministry of Health (Quality Management Directorate)
  • Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital

Uganda:

  • The Uganda Ministry of Health
  • Walimu.org

Gabon:

  • The Albert Schweitzer Hospital
  • The Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL)

Key Details

Dates: November 2018 to Present
Aim:

ARCS aims to improve the survival and quality of life of sepsis patients using relevant innovations at the individual and health system level, through multidisciplinary applied health research. AFIDEP’s role on ARCS is to raise awareness of sepsis as a priority and cross-cutting health systems issue.

Where: Gabon , Malawi , Uganda
Project Manager:Paul Kawale

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