Uganda will be one of the 11 African countries to benefit from a research programme on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which is funded by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.
GSK announced the third call for proposals as part of the Africa NCD Open Lab this week, strengthening the company’s commitment to much-needed scientific research into NCDs.
The other countries are Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, The Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal or Tanzania.
The Africa NCD Open Lab is part of a series of investments GSK is making across Sub-Saharan Africa.The Open Lab, launched in 2014,aims to work in partnership with African researchers and academic groups to conduct research into NCDs such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory diseases.
In 2014, NCDs were estimated to account for over one quarter (27%) of total deaths in Uganda, and across the country the probability of dying at a young age from an NCD is 21%.NCDs cause over half of all reported adult deaths in some African countries, suggesting that NCDs could become a leading cause of health issues, disability and premature death.
The third call for research proposals to address these growing challenges started on 7th November 2016 and will run until 12th January 2017 and successful applicants will be awarded £100,000 for up to two years, along with scientific support from GSK.
It is hoped that the vital research conducted by scientists across the continent will improve the understanding of NCDs, and inform best practice prevention and treatment strategies.
Dr. Davis Kibirige, Medical Advisor for GSK in Uganda, said “Whilst huge progress has been made in recent years to understand and combat infectious diseases, more work needs to be done to tackle the growing health concern presented by NCDs in Uganda and across Sub-Saharan Africa. When an issue is better understood it can be more effectively tackled. By collaborating with our research network across Africa through the Open Lab, Ugandan scientists can work to vastly improve our understanding of NCDs in Uganda and beyond.”
Dr. Mike Strange, Vice President and Head of Africa NCD Open Lab, said: “GSK is committed to tackling the huge burden that NCDs place on patients, communities and health systems in Uganda and across Sub-Saharan Africa and the Open Lab supports our efforts to address these challenges.I encourage scientists to consider applying for the funding and support that the programme offers and work to help us better understand NCDs across Africa.”