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Experts get £2m grant for African diabetes research

By Editor
18th July 2018

A £2 million grant has been given to diabetes experts to help them answer important questions about the condition in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Angus Jones and Professor Andrew Hattersley, of the University of Exeter Medical School, were awarded the money as part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded Global Health Research Programme.

They will be collaborating on improving diabetes research in Africa through better diagnosis and treatment.

Diabetes is major cause of death and disease in sub-Saharan Africa, affecting seven per cent of its adult population. Despite this, key clinical questions for effective management in this population remain unanswered.

Dr Jones said: “We cannot apply our understanding of diabetes in the West to diabetes care in sub-Saharan Africa, because both the diabetes and the environment in which medical care is provided are significantly different. This collaboration will allow us to start to answer fundamental questions about diabetes detection and treatment needed for effective patient care.”

The Exeter team will build on existing partnerships with leading partners in Uganda and Cameroon to form a collaborative, multi-disciplinary group that will investigate the detection and treatment of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Professor Moffatt Nyirenda, theme lead for chronic diseases research, MRC/UVRI Institute Uganda, said: “Diabetes is rapidly becoming a major health challenge in Africa, but with a lot of specific questions regarding its clinical course and what the right approaches to management are.

“We are therefore extremely delighted to collaborate with one of the best diabetes research teams in the world to address these fundamental questions. We are particularly happy because this partnership has been designed to create long-term scientific capacity in Africa.”

Professor Hattersley said: “The Exeter diabetes research team is one of the strongest worldwide for clinical impact and has an outstanding track record for training research leaders. Together with fantastic colleagues in Africa, we hope to train the next generation of clinical researchers, and build crucial research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. We’re delighted to have this opportunity.”

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