CDT-Africa Stresses Need to Bolstering Partnership to Exploit Indigenous Knowledge

CDT-Africa Stresses Need to Bolstering Partnership to Exploit Indigenous Knowledge
CDT-Africa Stresses Need to Bolstering Partnership to Exploit Indigenous Knowledge

Africa-Press – Ethiopia. CDT-Africa has stressed the need to strengthening partnership among pertinent stakeholders to explore and exploit indigenous knowledge to address access to medicine challenges in the continent.

A three-day training workshop on Leishmaniasis jointly organized by COMSTECH, a Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) and Center for Innovative Drug Development and Therapeutic Trials for Africa (CDT) Africa, Addis Ababa University, opened today.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a major health and economic burden in most low- and middle-income countries as the growing cases of leishmaniasis around the globe, particularly in the African region, is a major health challenge, which needs to be addressed at various levels.

Leishmaniasis is a disease of the tropical and subtropical regions caused by an intracellular parasite, Leishmania. Bite of infected sandfly causes its transmission to humans. This infectious pathology is found in the vast majority of tropics across all continents.

In Africa, leishmaniasis is endemic to countries mostly in the North, Central, East and the Horn of Africa.

Following the opening of the workshop, Head of CDT-Africa Professor Abebaw Fekadu said eliminating Leishmaniasis required improving access to available care, enhancing detection of disease and prevention, and making new safer and treatments available.

“This training is extremely important. The primary focus of the training is in building capacity, on how drugs are made from natural resources or from chemical resources,” Abebaw affirmed.

According to the UNECA report of 2021, 94 percent of drugs that Africa used are imported, 95 percent of diagnostic and almost 100 percent of vaccines were also imported.

Access to medicine is a huge problem broadly, he added more broadly, within Africa, making modern medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics is a big challenge.

Stressing the need to explore and exploit indigenous knowledge to resolve such challenges, he said for that reason, partnership becomes very critical and the role of the governments in strengthening those partnerships is paramount.

Addressing the workshop, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Mian Atif Sharif said that it is very important for Pakistan and Ethiopia to collaborate in scientific field especially in the healthcare sector to develop treatments and diagnosis for neglected tropical disease as well as other healthcare issues.

Both countries are important players in the region and they are playing important role, he said, adding both countries have a lot of talent in education, scientific community, and in medical community.

Noting that Ethiopia is the headquarters the African Union and very important player in the continent, the ambassador said “we have to bring different regions together to join our resources, our researches, and our knowledge and to find solutions to different problems.”

For the ambassador, such partnership will promote friendship. “We have very good pharmaceutical companies. We are producing 80 percent of our pharmaceutical products, and are ready to share that knowledge with the friendly countries in Africa.”

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affects over 1 billion people globally, it was learned.

CDT-Africa is a research institution under the Addis Ababa University College of Health Sciences.

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