One-stop shop: Prof Kelly Chibale says Africa needs to build capacity to tackle everything from TB to hypertension.
Africa Month is about celebrating our heritage, yes, but it's also a platform to showcase how UCT, through its research, keeps its promise of being an Afropolitan university.
It was in this spirit that Professor Kelly Chibale of UCT's Department of Chemistry delivered a lecture on 8 May titled Drug Discovery in Africa: Challenges, Status and Opportunities, which formed part of a Merck seminar series.
In his talk, Chibale - who also heads up UCT's Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3-D) - spoke to the need for increased Africa-based infrastructure and manpower to address Africa's burden of disease. "It's easy to get carried away with TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS and forget about the silent killers such as cardiovascular diseases like hypertension - one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century affecting 26% of the world's population."
The mission of H3-D, Chibale explained, is to provide Africa, and the world, with a one-stop-shop for the development of candidate drugs.
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