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Globalization and Health

, 9:50

First Online: 21 October 2013Received: 30 November 2012Accepted: 05 August 2013DOI: 10.1186-1744-8603-9-50

Cite this article as: Peprah, E. & Wonkam, A. Global Health 2013 9: 50. doi:10.1186-1744-8603-9-50


Traditionally, biomedical research endeavors in low to middle resources countries have focused on communicable diseases. However, data collected over the past 20 years by the World Health Organization WHO show a significant increase in the number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases e.g. heart disease, diabetes, cancer and pulmonary diseases. Within the coming years, WHO predicts significant decreases in communicable diseases while non-communicable diseases are expected to double in low and middle income countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The predicted increase in the non-communicable diseases population could be economically burdensome for the basic healthcare infrastructure of countries that lack resources to address this emerging disease burden. Biomedical research could stimulate development of healthcare and biomedical infrastructure. If this development is sustainable, it provides an opportunity to alleviate the burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases through diagnosis, prevention and treatment. In this paper, we discuss how research using biomedical technology, especially genomics, has produced data that enhances the understanding and treatment of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. We further discuss how scientific development can provide opportunities to pursue research areas responsive to the African populations. We limit our discussion to biomedical research in the areas of genomics due to its substantial impact on the scientific community in recent years however, we also recognize that targeted investments in other scientific disciplines could also foster further development in African countries.

KeywordsGenomics Biomedical Research Africa Development Policy  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Emmanuel Peprah - Ambroise Wonkam


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