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Science-based health innovation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Abstract

In recent years emerging markets such as India, China, and Brazil have developed appropriate business models and lower-cost technological innovations to address health challenges locally and internationally. But it is not well understood what capabilities African countries, with their high disease burden, have in science-based health innovation.This gap in knowledge is addressed by this series in BMC International Health and Human Rights. The series presents the results of extensive on-the-ground research in the form of four country case studies of health and biotechnology innovation, six studies of institutions within Africa involved in health product development, and one study of health venture funds in Africa. To the best of our knowledge it is the first extensive collection of empirical work on African science-based health innovation.The four country cases are Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The six case studies of institutions are A to Z Textiles (Tanzania), Acorn Technologies (South Africa), Bioventures venture capital fund (South Africa), the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA; Madagascar), the Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI; Kenya), and Niprisan's development by Nigeria's National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development and Xechem (Nigeria).All of the examples highlight pioneering attempts to build technological capacity, create economic opportunities, and retain talent on a continent significantly affected by brain drain. They point to the practical challenges for innovators on the ground, and suggest potentially helpful policies, funding streams, and other support systems.For African nations, health innovation represents an opportunity to increase domestic capacity to solve health challenges; for international funders, it is an opportunity to move beyond foreign aid and dependency. The shared goal is creating self-sustaining innovation that has both health and development impacts. While this is a long-term strategy, this series shows the potential of African-led innovation, and indicates how it might balance realism against opportunity. There is ample scope to learn lessons more systematically from cases like those we discuss; to link entrepreneurs, scientists, funders, and policy-makers into a network to share opportunities and challenges; and ultimately to better support and stimulate African-led health innovation.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, at the University Health Network and University of Toronto, MaRS Centre, South Tower, Suite 406, 101 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1L7, Canada.

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    Source

    BMC international health and human rights 10 Suppl 1: 2010 Dec 13 pg S1

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    21144069

    Citation

    Al-Bader, Sara, et al. "Science-based Health Innovation in sub-Saharan Africa." BMC International Health and Human Rights, vol. 10 Suppl 1, 2010, pp. S1.
    Al-Bader S, Masum H, Simiyu K, et al. Science-based health innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. BMC Int Health Hum Rights. 2010;10 Suppl 1:S1.
    Al-Bader, S., Masum, H., Simiyu, K., Daar, A. S., & Singer, P. A. (2010). Science-based health innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 10 Suppl 1, pp. S1. doi:10.1186/1472-698X-10-S1-S1.
    Al-Bader S, et al. Science-based Health Innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. BMC Int Health Hum Rights. 2010 Dec 13;10 Suppl 1:S1. PubMed PMID: 21144069.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Science-based health innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. AU - Al-Bader,Sara, AU - Masum,Hassan, AU - Simiyu,Ken, AU - Daar,Abdallah S, AU - Singer,Peter A, Y1 - 2010/12/13/ PY - 2010/12/15/entrez PY - 2010/12/15/pubmed PY - 2010/12/15/medline SP - S1 EP - S1 JF - BMC international health and human rights JO - BMC Int Health Hum Rights VL - 10 Suppl 1 N2 - In recent years emerging markets such as India, China, and Brazil have developed appropriate business models and lower-cost technological innovations to address health challenges locally and internationally. But it is not well understood what capabilities African countries, with their high disease burden, have in science-based health innovation.This gap in knowledge is addressed by this series in BMC International Health and Human Rights. The series presents the results of extensive on-the-ground research in the form of four country case studies of health and biotechnology innovation, six studies of institutions within Africa involved in health product development, and one study of health venture funds in Africa. To the best of our knowledge it is the first extensive collection of empirical work on African science-based health innovation.The four country cases are Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The six case studies of institutions are A to Z Textiles (Tanzania), Acorn Technologies (South Africa), Bioventures venture capital fund (South Africa), the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA; Madagascar), the Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI; Kenya), and Niprisan's development by Nigeria's National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development and Xechem (Nigeria).All of the examples highlight pioneering attempts to build technological capacity, create economic opportunities, and retain talent on a continent significantly affected by brain drain. They point to the practical challenges for innovators on the ground, and suggest potentially helpful policies, funding streams, and other support systems.For African nations, health innovation represents an opportunity to increase domestic capacity to solve health challenges; for international funders, it is an opportunity to move beyond foreign aid and dependency. The shared goal is creating self-sustaining innovation that has both health and development impacts. While this is a long-term strategy, this series shows the potential of African-led innovation, and indicates how it might balance realism against opportunity. There is ample scope to learn lessons more systematically from cases like those we discuss; to link entrepreneurs, scientists, funders, and policy-makers into a network to share opportunities and challenges; and ultimately to better support and stimulate African-led health innovation. SN - 1472-698X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21144069/Science_based_health_innovation_in_sub_Saharan_Africa_ L2 - https://bmcinthealthhumrights.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-698X-10-S1-S1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -