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Building capacities in research for blood services in Africa

Mapako, Tonderai, Tagny, Claude Tayou, Laperche, Syria, Bates, Imelda ORCID: and Murphy, Edward L (2021) 'Building capacities in research for blood services in Africa'. Transfusion Clinique et Biologique, Vol 28, Issue 2, pp. 171-174.

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Background: Capacity building of African based blood services researchers has been identified as key in developing a sustainable programme of generation local evidence to support sound decision making. There are a number of research training programmes that have been instituted targeted at blood services in Africa. The article shares programme experiences of building research capacities for blood services in Africa.

Methodology: The Francophone Africa Transfusion Medicine Research Training network, the NIH REDS-III and NIH Fogarty South Africa programmes and T-REC (Building research capacities in Africa) have been the key research capacity programmes targeting blood services in Africa over the last decade. Data were drawn from research outputs, publications and end of programme reports. The focus was to understand their experiences on the implementation of the capacity building programmes highlighting the success, challenges and the main research outputs from their initiatives.

Results: The Francophone research network achievements included more than 135 trainees and in excess of 30 publications. The NIH REDS study the achievements included more than 12 research publications with South Africa junior investigators as lead authors. The NIH Fogarty program currently includes 56 short course trainees, 5 Masters and 6 PhD candidates. The four year (2011-2015, funding period) T-REC research capacity has as of 2020 managed to produce 4 PhDs, 42 in-service Diploma in Project Design and Management (DPDM), and supported bursaries for 60 Masters/undergraduate research. The main common challenges in the running of the research programmes include shortages of in-country mentoring and identified needs in high quality research grants writing.

Discussion and conclusion: It has been noted that the key achievements for the blood services research capacity building include a mix of short courses, medium-term (epidemiology & biostats) and MS/PhD degree training. Also, having a train the trainers to develop in-country mentors has been instrumental. Overall, the key recommendations for blood services research capacity building include the need for research collaborations with high-income countries which can jump-start research. For a sustainable research programme, eventually there is need for in-country grant-writing capacity building.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > WH 100 General works
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > WH 20 Research (General)
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > Hematologic Diseases. Immunologic Factors. Blood Banks > WH 460 Blood bank procedures
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Rachel Dominguez
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2021 11:38
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2022 02:02


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