Quality Research in Africa and Why It Is Important - 3/5 - Is There World-Class Research in Africa?

Excellent research in Africa is mainly related to biology and health.

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Thanks in significant part to AESA, there has been major science infrastructure, human resource, training, and education investment in the nations of Africa. Among AESA’s premier programs are DELTAS Africa and Grand Challenges Africa. The themes they are developing cut across major infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, “One Health” (the global initiative to coordinate improvements in human, animal, and environmental health), clinical research, social sciences and humanities, transdisciplinary natural sciences, climate sciences, and other areas.

A few examples of research produced by these and other AESA programs are:

  • the development of novel assays for point-of-care diagnostics to mainstream testing for subclinical maternal infections that cause adverse maternal outcomes;
  • innovative approaches to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants and transforming methanol output that can be blended with gasoline to improve air quality and used to make other clean-burning fuels within existing fuel distribution infrastructures;
  • revealing the coevolution of the human host and the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) pathogen genomes and how it contributes to different outcomes following MTB infection to map MTB genotypes alongside the genotypes of genetically distinct human populations;
  • performing genome-wide association studies to understand both susceptibilities of humans to disease and the adaptation of carriers of disease;
  • and crafting evidence-driven public health messaging on widespread issues such as health and nutrition security, mental health, antibiotic microbial resistance (AMR), and the effective care of the aging while under stress by the demographic trend toward urbanization.

Elizabeth Marincola & Thomas Kariuki

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This article was first published by ACS Omega (CC-BY)


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