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Community Talks

Community Talks is a monthly webinar where experts from Flanders and abroad can meet and share their knowledge & academic research.

With this platform, we aim to build sustainable research connections and increase local (societal) impact through knowledge sharing on a global scale.

  • 25 October (11 - 12 AM) - Diabetes detection and monitoring in Bukavu (DR Congo) - Joris Delanghe, UGent & Justin Cikomola, Antoine Kishabongo, Université Catholique de Bukavu.

To attend this Community Talks: Please register here.

  • 29 November (11 - 12 AM) - Directed Breeding Programs for Improved Poultry Livestock (Kenya), Dirk Valkenborg (UHasselt) & Sheila Ommeh (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology).

To attend this Community Talks: Please register here.

  • 20 December (11 - 12 AM) - PRIMAFAMED - Building Primary Health Care in Sub-Saharan Africa with VLIR-UOS support 2003-2023: looking back at the future - Jan De Maeseneer, Anna Galle, Bianca Da Silva, Ghent University.

To attend this Community Talks: Please register here.


CliMigHealth: Climate-resilient primary care? Integrating planetary health in African universities

27 September 2023

Climate change is described as the most important public health challenge of the 21st century. The impact of climate change on primary health care and the adaptations needed to be climate-resilient have not received much attention in the African region. For the primary care provider, this will manifest as changes in conditions such as heat stroke, gastroenteritis, malnutrition, asthma, malaria, schistosomiasis, trauma, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The VLIR-UOS Team collaboration between Ghent University and Stellenbosch University creates new evidence for African policy makers on how to develop climate-resilient primary health care and to embed principles of planetary health into the training of family physicians and primary care providers in the African region.

In this talk, we will discuss how the project is embedded in the International Thematic Network CliMigHealth, as well as our concrete actions taken and planned to build more climate-resilient PHC in Africa by integrating the emerging discipline of planetary health in education and research within African Universities.


  • Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Ghent University, Belgium


  • Christian Lueme, Postdoctoral lecturer at Stellenbosch University
  • Ilse Ruyssen, Associate Professor at the Ghent University
  • Charlotte Scheerens, Postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University


To attend this Community Talks: Please register here

Check out our previous talks

Breaking barriers in the prevention of adolescent pregnancies for in-school students in Kirehe district, Rwanda

The Rwandan government has invested heavily in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programs in high schools to prevent teenage pregnancies. However, these programs have not been as effective as expected. One major challenge is the discomfort and taboo surrounding SRH among teachers and students, making it difficult to address the issue. As a result, adolescents often turn to their peers for information, but this approach is unreliable since peers are often misinformed about SRH. Furthermore, not all adolescents have easy access to peers, leaving some needs unmet.

To address these issues, a sexual and reproductive health peer education program (SRHPEP) was created in collaboration with the University of Rwanda and the University Colleges Leuven-Limburg in Belgium.

In this talk, we will discuss our experiences in implementing the SRHPEP in Rwandan high schools as a strategy to prevent teenage pregnancies.


University of Rwanda
University Colleges Leuven-Limburg


Aimable Nkurunziza, PhD Assistant Lecturer at the University of Rwanda

Olive Tengera, Lecturer at the University of Rwanda

Jean Bosco Henri Hitayzeu, Assistant Lecturer at the University of Rwanda

Justine Bagirasono, Assistant Lecturer at the University of Rwanda

"Todos por Chaparri”: socio-environmental justice and community empowerment in the Chaparri Nature Reserve, Perú

In Peru, as well as in other Latin American countries, the challenge of balancing the goals of nature conservation with those of sustainable socio-economic development remains a topic of intense and passionate debate. Fervent calls for socio-environmental justice oppose a long history in which modernization has been associated with extractivist logics and practices that have irreversibly damaged nature and the peasant and indigenous world. Protected areas, alongside various other approaches and instruments for nature conservation, are at the heart of a complex debate in which the contemporary human-nature relationship is questioned.

In this community talk, we will delve into the multifaceted aspects of the Chaparri Ecological Reserve, which stands out as the first private protected area established and governed by a peasant community in northern Peru. We will explore significant landmarks, achievements, challenges, and social innovations that have made Chaparri a symbol of inspiration for activists, conservationists, academics, and other actors involved in the intersection of social and environmental issues. From our participatory action research project, carried out in partnership with the local community and other relevant actors, we highlight the pressing need for increased awareness and knowledge regarding the complex dilemmas and critical junctures faced by protected areas, such as Chaparri. Furthermore, during this community talk, we will engage in critical reflection on the need for socially sensitive cooperation and solidarity networks with vulnerable territories and communities. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the inherent limitations, constraints, and challenges associated with establishing and maintaining such multi-actor international collaborations.

Website of the project: https://ees.kuleuven.be/project/chaparri 


Vera Flores-Fernández, PhD researcher, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Division of Geography & Tourism, KU Leuven

Prof. Dr. Constanza Parra, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Division of Geography & Tourism, KU Leuven

Prof. Dr. Elke Hermans, School of Transportation Science, UHasselt

Prof. Dr. Pieter Van den Broeck, Department of Architecture, Planning & Development Unit, KU Leuven

Looking for more ?

Missed out a Community Talk, check our YouTube channel

Are you interested in getting in touch with one of our speakers? Or looking for more info on a particular project? Or even interested in presenting your own project?

Contact us at communitytalks@vliruos.be

Change towards an e-portfolio is not easy, it is a long learning process. But progress is even more satisfying when working on it together.

Olive Tengera, University of Rwanda

Finally we took the time and energy to bring all information together and present to a broader public

Leo Van Audenhove (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

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