Africa needs massive investment in science,
research to tackle pandemics says DSaT
By Alfonso Kasongo
Zambia’s science advocacy Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) says COVID-19 pandemic should trigger the new down for African governments, scientists and researchers as the continent cannot con-tinue to be terrorized by pandemics.
Dziwa Science and Technology (DSaT) challenges African governments and other concerned NGOs that provide support on scientific research to immediately consider investing massively in research to protect life in Africa.
DSaT Founder and Executive Director Veronica Mwaba says COVID-19,Ebora and HIV/AIDS pandemics are ravaging the African continent and must be treated as ‘enemies in the house’ that need local solu-tions which are informed by research.
Mwaba stresses “it is a call to biotechnologists, health experts, other scientists in various disciplines to engage on one platform to give direction for the continent in as far as devastating pandemics are con-cerned.
It is in this regard that DSaT is calling for well-wishers including African governments, international co-operating partners and others to invest by providing resources to make the proposed US $60,000 Spe-cial Science Engagement Indaba a success.
And Mwaba notes with concern the silence over prioritizing increased resource allocation in research in Africa.
She, however, bemoaned the lack of African research based solutions to tackle the challenges the conti-nent faces.
Mwaba said African researchers have not performed well in playing the leading role of finding solutions to pandemics that have and continue to damage the continent.
“We are not hearing solutions, governments should prioritise research because we need local solutions and we have not heard from our own experts,” Mwaba said.
Meanwhile the Science advocate observes that ‘New COVID -19 Variant Omicron’ needs to be stopped by experts with the urgency it deserves and that Africa must provide local solutions before people perish.
“It’s shocking to learn that there is NO MENTION of increased resource allocation towards research in Africa to be specific. There must be a deliberate move to push the agenda for the benefit of all. Massive investments are required to save humans. The rest will fall in place to champion the developmen-tal agenda that will alleviate poverty,” Mwaba said.
“This business of saying Oh! ..the variant is moving fast, or this – that is not in the best interest of Afri-can people. The movement of people cannot be stopped for too long. They need to put food on the table. The majority are wallowing in poverty and cannot stock food for a day. The women and children get affected most. There are other diseases affecting people, the list goes on….the economy needs to run.”
Special Science Engagement Indaba by DSaT seeks to provide a platform for science champions, re-searchers to pour out researched based solutions to the current pandemics.
The Indaba is estimated to cost – US $60,000 with two follow up meetings broken down as US$50, 000 advocacy meetings and campaigns while US $10,000 is estimated to provide for logistics.
“Questions must be asked now! Are governments committed towards investments in research? COVID 19 should not be looked at as an upcoming event – it’s an enemy in the house that should be stopped by everyone. The indaba will bridge the gap and there must be a solution to this COVID-19 that is in-formed by Research. This is a call to biotechnologists, health experts, and other scientists in various dis-ciplines,” she said.