Experts Call for Elimination of Health Inequity in Africa


…As Impact Africa Sets to Hold 3-Day Summit in Lagos

L-R: Joseph Onyeanu, senior clinical research associate, Xcene Research; Dr Nneka Onyejepu, lead, Clinical Trials Management Unit, NIMR; Dr Faramola Ogunkoya, project manager, Xcene Research and Moralake Imoisili, clinical operations manager, Xcene Research, at the press briefing.

Towards fostering dialogue and exchange of diversity and inclusivity in clinical research in Africa, the Impact Africa Summit, the largest pharmaceutical research and development summit is billed to hold from 1 to 3 December, 2022, at the Lagos Oriental, Nigeria.

The conference, with the theme: “Clinical Trials Diversity with Inclusion of Africa – Achieving Clinical Research Equity, a key step towards healthcare innovation in Africa” will be organised by IAS, in partnership with Global Blood Therapeutics and Chinook Therapeutics, will feature three scientific symposiums, four workshops, with over 20 speakers, to foster necessary dialogue in eliminating health inequity in Africa.

Speaking at a press conference, Executive Director, IAS, Adebukunola Telufusi, said the summit's theme was apt, adding that it has become more prominent with the patient community’s perspective as a key consideration to achieving the best interventions across Sub-Sahara Africa.

According to her, the summit will assemble a broad range of international subject matter experts, regulators, government officials and key stakeholders across Sub-Sahara Africa, Europe and the USA, adding that it will be led by thought leaders and exceptional individuals who will speak to the crucial role of clinical trials as a critical enabler of health promotion and most importantly, inclusiveness of the African demography and its associated improvement for better interventions.

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Also speaking, Dr Faramola Ogunkoya, project manager, Xcene Research, said eliminating health inequity calls for a holistic and concerted approach across the clinical development ecosystem with urgent action of diverse stakeholders across the public and private sectors.

According to her, there has never been a more critical time than now to work collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure studies represent the intended patient population likely to use a medicine approved.

Xcene Research, organisers of the IAS Pharma 2021, is a leading Contract Research Organisation (CRO) providing full-service and support to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, as well as academic research institutions across Sub- Saharan Africa.

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Also speaking, Dr Nneka Onyejepu, lead, Clinical Trials Management Unit, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), noted that the summit is timely, saying it is coming up at the appropriate time when the issues of clinical research and trials are on the front burner in the healthcare industry, with vaccine development as a major discussion across the globe.

She said the 2021 summit was a great development for the healthcare sector, adding that Africa and Africans are now being celebrated as far as clinical research is concerned. “On  the clinical trial landscape, it is high time we changed the negative narrative on clinical trials in Nigeria to a positive one, such that when you talk about clinical research, when you talk about research and development in Africa, Nigeria will readily come to mind”.

“We have the resources, we need to work with other stakeholders, private-public, to drive the outcome of clinical research into policies that will be beneficial to all. If you’re talking about changing the healthcare landscape, it has to do with clinical research”.

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In his remarks, Joseph Onyeanu, senior clinical research associate, Xcene Research, noted that the 2022 Summit will assemble a broad range of international subject matter experts, regulators, government officials and key stakeholders across Sub-Sahara Africa in driving equity in clinical trials with a diversity- first mindset.

He said, collaborative research has become more prevalent globally over the years and researchers are increasingly required to work across disciplines, institutions and borders.

He added, “The summit will focus absolutely on the approach to embedding diversity and inclusivity in the clinical research and trials ecosystem which is key to building trust in the coloured community, removing barriers to clinical trial enrollment and acceleration of population-specific medical advances and precision medicine.






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