Molecular genetics research in sub-Saharan Africa: how can the international community help?
Bekele E., Bodmer WF., Bradman N., Craig IW., Makani J., Povey S., Rotimi C.
BACKGROUND: Opportunities provided by rapidly increasing access to educational resources, clinical and epidemiological data, DNA collections, cheaper technology and financial investment, suggest that researchers in sub-Saharan Africa outside South Africa (SSAOSA) could now join the genomics revolution on equal terms with those in the West. FINDINGS: Current evidence, however, suggests that, in some cases, various factors may be compromising this development. One interpretation is that urgent practical problems, which may compromise motivation, aspiration and ambition, are blocking opportunity. CONCLUSIONS: Those wishing to help should support the SSAOSA scientists both at the level of extending collaboration networks and in stimulating academic leadership at national and institutional levels to ensure adequate resources are allocated. Members of organisations representing the international community of human geneticists, such as HUGO, have a significant responsibility in supporting such activities.