COVID-19: Vaccine is Africa research priority
[NAIROBI] Africa’s research community says vaccine development should be a priority, a regional study has found.
Africa’s distinct research needs go beyond the global COVID-19 recommendations of the World Health Organization, and controlling the pandemic in Africa requires research and development that reflects the realities of its impact on the continent, the study suggests.
According to the findings of the survey conducted by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), Africa needs to prioritise research and development areas such as infection prevention and control, including healthcare workers’ protection, as well as epidemiological studies and clinical management.
Ethical considerations for research, the virus onset and progression, transmission and diagnostics, and social sciences in the outbreak response should also be prioritised.
“It is clear that the context in many African countries, and indeed in low- and middle-income countries globally, is very different.”
Kevin Marsh, African Academy of Sciences
The World Health Organization convened a global meeting of experts in February at its Geneva headquarters to create a blueprint on COVID-19 R&D, but the study’s findings suggest that African researchers have priorities that were not captured in the WHO blueprint, says Kevin Marsh, senior advisor of the AAS.