Isala wants to break the taboo around vaginal health. That’s why all our research kits contain great conversation starters  (also online available). Use these cards as inspiration for interesting chats with friends and family, and find out how much there is to say about vaginal health.

You can also start a conversation online by clicking on a question and adding your response. You can do it anonymously – your first name is fine. The Isala researchers will answer your question. This way, we can increase knowledge about the female microbiome and break the taboo together. That’s our dream at Isala. Feel free to add comments and ask questions – let’s start the conversation together! 

Meet Dora: our sister project for vaginal health in Nigeria

As sisterhood projects are spreading like harmattan fire across the globe, Nigeria is not left behind. Get to know the Dora project! We are thrilled to introduce this Nigerian sister project to you. While following the Isala project for three years already, we were inspired to set up a sister project in our home country. It was our main coordinator, Dr. Kingsley Anukam from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria, that linked us with the Isala team in Belgium and that is exactly where our journey started. In this blog, we would like to take you on our amazing trip so far. 😊  

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The Leke project: A journey to the Isala sister project in Cameroon

The core mission of the Isala project is to spread awareness on how the vaginal microbiome is key to women’s health. Beneficial microorganisms present in the vagina, depending on their type, contribute to the prevention of certain diseases. However, data on  the specific types and taxa of vaginal bacteria that are protective and how lifestyle and other factors can promote their occurrence, is still scarce in many parts of the world. This limited availability of data is a severe hindrance for the optimal design of strategies for prevention of undesired vaginal conditions. In addition, discussing vaginal health is still taboo in many places across the world, including Cameroon, my home country. For these reasons, we are addressing some of the gaps in women’s health research by establishing the Leke project, as Isala sisterhood citizen-science project in Cameroon, Central Africa.

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Meet Fatima: our brand-new sister project to study vaginal health and HPV in Morocco

The Isala project is currently expanding worldwide, resulting in an international sisterhood of Isala-inspired citizen-science projects. The upcoming adventure will start in a North-African country, Morocco. As one of the project coordinators, I am delighted to write about this brand-new Isala sister! We chose to name it the Fatima project, inspired by Fatima Al-Fihriya. She was the first female founder of a university in Morocco. The Fatima project intends to provide the Moroccan society with evidence-based information on vaginal health and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, more specifically tailored towards women living in rural areas. Get to know more in this blog!

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Nerdland Festival: all nerds reunited!

On the last Saturday of May, during the Pentecost weekend, our lab, including the Isala team, was represented at the Nerdland Festival. Nerdland is an awesome science festival at ‘Domein Puyenbroeck’ in Wachtebeke (East-Flanders). Of course, we were more than happy to be there. 😊 In fact, it is the largest outdoor science festival in Belgium, spread over three days! More than 20,000 visitors, large and small(er), were welcomed to get a taste of the nicest and coolest things science has to offer (and yes, that’s a lot!). Over 200 shows, talks and demos were organized, thereby completely transforming ‘Domein Puyenbroeck’ into a real science paradise with a lot of experiments and topics such as space travel, hacking, robots, dinosaurs, insects, virtual reality and so much more!

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