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Research Collaborations Can Improve Health Care, Policy In Africa

PLOS Medicine: Building Research Capacity in Africa: Equity and Global Health Collaborations
Kathryn Chu of Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Sudha Jayaraman of Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center; and Patrick Kyamanywa and Georges Ntakiyiruta of the University of Rwanda

“…Global health partnerships and international research collaborations have enormous potential to improve health care and policy in Africa. The growing field of global health brings a wealth of [high-income country (HIC)] research experience and funding to African countries. Power imbalances and inequity exist in these processes and for successful research partnerships to occur between HIC and African individuals and institutions, several steps need to be taken for relationships to be both equitable and long term. The transfer of research skills, from HIC collaborators to local partners, is a key objective in every collaboration, in order to build local capacity for investigators to define and coordinate their own research agendas. African countries must take control of their research agendas and coordinate HIC collaborators. Otherwise, African countries risk repeating history and becoming victims of ‘scientific colonialism'” (3/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.