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African medical research and training receives Wellcome boost
Date:4/10/2008

The Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest medical research charity, has today announced a 20 million investment in research and training in Africa. Its Strategic Awards are aimed at ensuring that local researchers are equipped to tackle the most pressing problems in their region.

The awards, which will fund research programmes across sub-Saharan Africa, will ensure that talented researchers in some of the world's poorest countries can access the training and experience needed to conduct research at a world-class level. With improved training and career incentives it is hoped that African scientists will remain or return in order to build sustainable research programmes that are initiated and led by Africans.

"The future for science in Africa depends on providing the best training opportunities for the brightest young African scientists," says Dr Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust. "These important awards will provide first class training opportunities for the potential scientific leaders of the future in Africa. But excellent scientists also need outstanding facilities in order to pursue their work and careers. That is why we are also working with African universities and research institutes to develop programmes to support the institutional infrastructure that is essential to provide a thriving environment for research and for the education of future generations."

The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, one of the Trust's major overseas programmes, based in Kenya, has received almost 9 million to train researchers, including increasing capacity in the specific areas of translational research, social science research and clinical trials. Importantly, the strengthening of social sciences research within East Africa offers the opportunity to contribute to meeting the health and development goals of the region, whilst strengthening equity in access to health care at household and district levels.

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Contact: Craig Brierley
c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7329
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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