A database on global health research in Africa

The Lancet Global Health
Aug 2013  Volume 1  Number 2  e55 – 115

The good, the bad, and the neglected
Zoë Mullan
There is a lot to celebrate and applaud in this month’s issue of The Lancet Global Health, but also some sobering findings and a clear demonstration of the need for more research. To start with the positive, Osman Sankoh and fellow INDEPTH Network colleagues announce a new freely accessible repository of Health and Demographic Surveillance System data generated by its member centres across Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. This triumph of dedication, which currently holds data on around 800 000 individuals and more than 3·7 million person-years of observation, represents the first harmonised database of longitudinal population-based data from low-income and middle-income countries.

A database on global health research in Africa
Francis Collins, Alain Beaudet, Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, Peter Gruss, John Savill, André Syrota, Alice Dautry, Mats Ulfendahl, Mark Walport, James Onken, Roger I Glass
Over the past decade, global concern about the disproportionate burden of disease and mortality in low-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, has led to a substantial influx of funding for research by many donor and research agencies.1 This investment has energised in-country research; advanced the discovery and the use of new treatments for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria; and stimulated new research strategies for the prevention and control of these and other diseases. Questions have been raised about whether these international efforts could be better coordinated to increase efficiency and improve outcomes, while ensuring that research institutions and universities are supported with these funds.