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Wellcome Trust To Give $50M To Boost Health Research In Africa

The Wellcome Trust on Thursday pledged 30 million pounds or about $50 million to support health research at more than 50 African institutions, Nature reports (Nayar, 7/1).

The money will fund seven partnerships that aim to boost health research capacity in Africa. It was unveiled at the World Conference of Science Journalists in London, according to SciDev.Net (Nordlingx, 7/2).

The partnerships will be “led by an African research institution, and spread across 18 countries on the continent,” according to Nature. The funds will be used to “revamp laboratories, to train laboratory personnel and to fund grants. The trust hopes that the consortia will develop into thriving research communities that benefit public health by methods such as reducing infectious diseases and improving sanitation. Better-equipped labs and improved career prospects for researchers should also help to stem the brain drain of Africa’s most able scientists,” Nature writes.

“There are other collaborations and networks, but the lack of research capacity is a huge problem and it’s going to take more than one initiative to achieve this,” Jimmy Whitworth, head of international activities at the Wellcome Trust, said.

The Nature article includes additional information about how African research is funded (7/1). SciDev.Net includes a list of institutions that will receive funding (7/2).