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GCRF Inclusive societies: How to link industrial and social innovation for inclusive development: lessons from tackling cancer care in Africa

Aim

ESRC logoThis new project is supported by the ESRC under the GCRF Inclusive Societies initiative.  It aims to demonstrate the benefits for inclusive development of linking local industrial and social innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It will do this by addressing the “hard case” of increasing access to cancer care.

Investigators

Maureen Mackintosh (Principal Investigator), Cristina Santos, Dinar Kale, Charlotte Cross (Open University); Joanna Chataway, Chux Daniels (University of Sussex); Geoffrey Banda (University of Edinburgh); Mercy Karimi Njeru, Veronica Manduku (KEMRI, Nairobi, Kenya); Fortunata Makene (ESRF, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania); Smita Srinivas (ICRIER, New Delhi, India)

Funding

The support of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), UK, is gratefully acknowledged. Grant reference ES/S000658/1.

Summary

This project aims to link innovation in industrial and health sectors to improve access to cancer care in two East African countries, Tanzania and Kenya. Cancer is an emerging health crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a rising disease burden, poor diagnosis and treatment, and many excluded by ability to pay. Meanwhile however, innovative technologies and off-patent medicines offer potential for lower cost care: many of these are being developed in India, while a number of African countries have a pharmaceutical industry that is actively upgrading. The project creates an African-Indian-UK research collaboration to explore the scope for linking innovation in industrial production and in health care to increase the accessibility of low cost cancer care in Kenya and Tanzania. The team will work across the public/private, industry/health, and India/Africa boundaries to generate and evaluate a number of scenarios for lower cost prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of a range of cancers; and the scope for further innovation and for Africa-based industrial production of relevant technologies. Working in collaboration with health and industrial policy makers, clinicians, industrialists and researchers, we aim to demonstrate how equitable growth can be promoted via moves towards universal access to care with sustainable industrial development.