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Studies detail triumphs, troubles of African innovators creating products for local health needs
Date:12/12/2010

each year, they must do so by unleashing the formidable talents of their own African scientists and entrepreneurs. In the long term, the sustainable solutions to Africa's health problems rest with the home team."

"The large firms of the developed world producing drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other health products are a great resource and partner. But many people will die if we wait for scientists from elsewhere to invent and market the health products Africa needs. These studies demonstrate that, with the right partners and incentives along with support from governments at home and abroad, Africans have the scientific creativity and entrepreneurial talent to improve local health and prosper at the same time."

"Our message to international agencies, donors and African governments: support these enterprises and nurture their potential, because they can make a major contribution to better health in developing countries and to their own health. At the end of the day, this is about enabling people to solve their own problems, not only using science but also combining it with entrepreneurship."

Since it began in 2004, the MRC has focused extensively on how low-income countries themselves can remedy diseases of poverty. With relatively little profit incentive, firms in rich, developed countries largely neglect such diseases. The MRC has documented the benefits of the homegrown science approach to health problems, which include, beyond affordable products, less dependency on international donor programs and much-needed new economic opportunities and job creation. This collection represents the MRC's largest contribution to date on product commercialization for improving health in Africa.

Examples of African innovation:

  • In Tanzania, local funding, economies of scale, technology transfer, and partnerships all helped the A to Z Textile Company become one of the world's largest producers of long-l
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
Source:Eurekalert  

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