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Direct funding to Africa

In April, African health experts working at research institutions on their own continent and overseas published an open letter in the journal Nature Medicine, addressed to international funders of studies on health problems in Africa. The document was headed by epidemiologist Ngozi Erondu, from Georgetown University, USA. The authors asked Western governments and international institutions to review their funding models and consult with scientists and health authorities from the African countries targeted by research. Resulting actions, they say, would have a better chance of success if they were managed by local agencies and research institutions. Current funding dynamics result in institutions outside Africa receiving more funding than the countries where the problems actually occur, perpetuating a reliance on grants (Nature Medicine, April 15).