Research networks that support health care
Title: Research Networks for Health Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Country: Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Cameroon, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda
Overall term: 2016 to 2022
Health care in Africa is changing, with new challenges compounding the existing poverty-related challenges. While large parts of the population in many African countries continue to suffer from hunger and malnutrition, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and Ebola are able to spread faster than ever as a result of global trade, migration and tourism. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) diseases that largely occur in poorer countries or among poorer population groups continue to be widespread in Africa. In addition, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular diseases are becoming increasingly significant in Africa. As part of the Health Research Framework Programme being implemented under the Africa strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the funding concept for ‘Neglected and Poverty-Related Diseases’, the German Government has committed itself to strengthening its engagement in the area of research for global health. Here, a particular regional focus is placed on Africa.
The Research Networks for Health Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa funding initiative has intensi-fied the cooperation between German and African researchers. The networks are improving re-search on current health problems in the African partner countries and helping to improve both the academic training and the administrative capacity of the research institutions.
The project is being implemented in close cooperation with the project executing agency of the German Aerospace Center (DLR-PT). The main focus of the funding initiative is on financing the research activities. DLR-PT is responsible for supporting the German partners, while the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is providing support to the African partners. Ongoing, comprehensive technical and legal/commercial support for the 26 African grant recipients ensures that the academic and institutional capacities are strengthened. This support takes the form of workshops, webinars and feedback talks.
The project continues to enhance the performance of a cross-border network of academics, strengthen the institutions involved and help transfer the results into policy. Two of the extensive training measures carried out by GIZ have already led to improvements in the area of grant management. Around 30 partners have taken part in each of them. In addition, ten networking meetings held for the respective research networks and exchange visits of the 38 PhD and 33 master’s students funded by the project have strengthened the networking of the individual institutions.