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Malaria research must be based in Africa
Date:2/22/2010

Gunilla Priebe has studied the international research alliance the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM), which advocates for malaria research in general and the strengthening of research environments in Africa. Malaria research has historically been controlled by interests located in areas outside Africa. This has led to a huge gap in knowledge in relation to the malaria problems that dominate everyday life in those areas where people are most affected by the disease.

Better opportunities for researchers on site

According to MIM, researchers based in Africa have a more comprehensive understanding of malaria and its effects on the population. In addition, a locally based researcher is often more motivated to solve problems that are of considerable significance for the majority of malaria patients.

"Proximity to the environment where the social, political, economic as well as the biological dynamics related to malaria are evident provides the researcher with better opportunities to formulate relevant research questions. If the research is based in Africa it increases the chances of the results being of some practical use," says Gunilla Priebe.

Africanisation brings fresh approach

Gunilla Priebe's analysis is framed by the concept of "Africanisation", which in relation to scientific knowledge production entails two integrated themes: the meaning of time and location with regard to researchers' ability to represent a study object correctly and in a relevant manner, and partly the impact of remnants of colonialism on the production of scientific knowledge.

According to Gunilla Priebe, the study of MIM shows that Africanisation of malaria research means investments in infrastructure, education and improved forms for research cooperation. In such a case, Africanisation will also lead to innovative approaches when it comes to research methods and arguments, as well as enhanced influence from both patient and
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Contact: Gunilla Priebe
gunilla.priebe@theorysc.gu.se
46-31-786-5298
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

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