Scientists at the University of Liverpool and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) will work with universities across Africa as part of a £30 million initiative to strengthen research into science and health on the continent.
The Wellcome Trust initiative will see the formation of seven new international consortiums that will focus on developing and sustaining high quality research into the health and wellbeing of African people. More than 50 institutions from 18 African countries will participate in the programme and lead on partnerships with scientists from Europe, the US and Australia.
Africa is affected by some of the world’s deadliest diseases, including HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. Many African universities need help to drive forward research into these conditions and nurture young researchers at the beginning of their careers.
The University and the LSTM will work with universities in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe as part of the SACORE consortium which aims to support African medical schools in creating a vibrant research environment for students and research leaders. The collaboration will also help create postgraduate scholarships to allow students to research health-related issues in their home country.
Professor Peter Winstanley, from Liverpool’s Wellcome Trust Tropical Centre, said: “This initiative is built on 20 years of University and LSTM collaboration and shows the major impact that such global networks can have. Within the SACORE consortium we will create a joint Malawi-Liverpool PhD programme as part of our contribution to the training of biomedical researchers in a region that needs excellent science to underpin developments in healthcare.
“The most pressing problems in Africa right now are infectious diseases. Falciparum malaria remains one of the highest priorities in children. In adults HIV-related pathogens, such as TB and Salmonellae, demand the most attention. This new initiative will improve the capacity of African medical schools to develop research careers and secure essential funding for long-term commitment to studies in health sciences.”