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Current state of health research on poverty-related diseases in sub-Saharan Africa

19 September 2014

Today, the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), RAND Europe and Baird’s CMC have published a report on the current state of health research and national funding commitments for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. The report, which includes an analysis of research capacity as well as health systems, is the result of a one-year study conducted in preparation for the second EDCTP programme.

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The study Africa Mapping shows the significant regional differences in the health research of sub-Saharan Africa: the volume of health research as well as extent of its development and funding varies across the health research landscape.

The report highlights the importance of political will in African governments to commit to financial contributions to the creation of an adequate and sustainable research environment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Currently, clinical research in the majority of sub-Saharan Africa countries relies heavily on international funding. According to many of the respondents interviewed, the main barriers to further development of health research capacity are lack of funding and limited understanding of the benefits and importance of research by most policy makers.

The study consisted of a combination of desk-based research and fieldwork. First, a literature review on health research and funding in sub-Saharan Africa was conducted, followed by fieldwork in 46 sub-Saharan African countries.

In total 303 people, including researchers, civil servants, policy makers, employees of multilateral organisations, and other respondents familiar with the health research and policy landscape of the various countries were interviewed between March and November 2013.

See also the RAND Europe website