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African Health Scientists Need More Support, Funding To Address Shifting Priorities, Expert Says

With disease burden shifting from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) over the coming years, “African health scientists need more funding and support to overcome the barriers and deal with a changing health situation on the continent,” Olive Shisana, chief executive officer of the South African Human Sciences Research Council, said during a keynote address at last week’s World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany, SciDev.Net reports. “Many of these diseases can be prevented by putting scientific research and health technologies to work, said Shisana, adding that this ‘epidemiological transition is an opportunity for us to build capacity and to collaborate to tackle these diseases together for the benefit of the globe,'” the news service writes.

“She emphasized the importance of building up a strong scientific workforce in Africa and a strong infrastructure, without which, many of the highly skilled scientists migrate to other countries,” and “also suggested that international partners should work with African scientists to set the research agenda and priorities together, share research resources and cease making grant funds on conditions that scientists from the developing world cannot meet because of poor infrastructure,” according to SciDev.Net (Zorlu, 10/28).