The adoption of smart science and increased partnership between African governments and philanthropists to fund research have been recommended as the sustainable steps to eradicating malaria which kills millions on the continent.
Kelly Chibale of the Department of Chemistry and Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa made the call recently at the 7th World Conference of Science Journalists in Doha, Qatar.
“The question today is what are African governments and the rich individuals on the continent doing to build partnerships that could have far-reaching positive implications in the fight against malaria,” he said.
Chibale said African research institutions should not always hold out begging bowls for money from organisations in the west:“The solution could be discovered from within. If a few rich Africans would turn to philanthropy and team up with governments that currently do little, to build strong partnerships at home it will go a long way in addressing the menace of malaria” he added.
But it is not just research funding that is needed. There’s also the need to create capacity and use smart science to defeat the age-old disease,
“There are technology gaps that need to be fixed to enable Africa focus on different strategies in the fight against malaria,” he said.
Chibale who is currently working together with a team of researchers on a single dose drug candidate for malaria, said the road to drug discovery was long and expensive and Africa needed to investigate smart technologies such as those that use computer models to explore the response of the human body to a drug, to get a hit.
Author: Alex Abutu