The Italian National Institute of Health has recently published a report on Italian health research in partnership with African Countries. The report, which Penta has contributed to, is based on a survey that has mapped out the collaborative health research activities that currently exist between Italy and Africa. Four of our studies namely, EPIICAL, ODYSSEY, PediCAP and SMILE and two studies which we are partners in, EMPIRICAL and NeoAMR, were included in the report. Through them, we are supporting research activities mainly at the benefit of institutions based in Africa and the health of children in Africa.
These six studies involve seven Sub-Saharan African countries, thirty-two African health and research institutions and more than one hundred million children who, through the work of our studies, could potentially have improved access to medical treatment for infectious diseases.
The survey covered 39 ongoing projects in partnership with over 70 African institutions that conduct basic, preclinical, clinical and operational research mainly on infectious diseases. It revealed that the scientific knowledge in health research is vast and able to engage and encourage partnerships with laboratories and institutions of excellence throughout the African continent. While this may be true, the study also revealed that more could be done to promote public funding and support of Italy-Africa collaborative health research.
Penta has always and will continue to maintain that no man is an island. Without strong collaborations, achieving improved global health and access to medication for children whether in Europe, Asia, Africa or the Americas, will remain stunted. We are proud of our contribution and remain actively engaged in seeking out collaborations that will ensure that children are as equally protected against infectious diseases as their adult counterparts.