What does equitable global health research and delivery look like? Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (TIBA) partnership as a case study

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Abstract / Description of output

There is a current global push to identify and implement best practice for delivering maximum impact from development research in low-income and middle-income countries. Here, we describe a model of research and capacity building that challenges traditional approaches taken by western funders in Africa. Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (TIBA) is a global health research and delivery partnership with a focus on strengthening health systems to combat neglected tropical diseases, malaria and emerging pathogens in Africa. Partners are academic and research institutions based in Ghana, Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and the UK. Fifteen other African countries have participated in TIBA activities. With a starting budget of under £7 million, and in just 4 years, TIBA has had a verified impact on knowledge, policy practice and capacity building, and on national and international COVID-19 responses in multiple African countries. TIBA's impact is shown in context-specific metrics including: strengthening the evidence base underpinning international policy on neglected tropical diseases; 77% of research publications having Africa-based first and/or last authors; postgraduate, postdoctoral and professional training; career progression for African researchers and health professionals with no net brain drain from participating countries; and supporting African institutions. Training in real-time SARS-CoV-2 viral genome sequencing provided new national capabilities and capacities that contributed to both national responses and global health security through variant detection and tracking. TIBA's experience confirms that health research for Africa thrives when the agenda and priorities are set in Africa, by Africans, and the work is done in Africa. Here, we share 10 actionable recommendations for researchers and funders from our lessons learnt.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere011028
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Humans
  • Global Health
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Ghana


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