Genomic Research in Africa

Article By Samantha Trolli IN News - 17th June, 2022

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     Genomics is a new approach to medicine that studies your genes (DNA) and the influences they have on our health. It is used to make genetic diagnoses in a more efficient way than ever before. The benefits to this form of testing provides the patient with improved assessment results, personalized ways of treatments, and more accurate selections of interventions. Genomics will likely be the key to pivotal advancements in future healthcare. Due to this, there is a global effort to increase the understanding of health and disease through the study of genomics. 

     Africa has large amounts of genetic diversity within its continent, providing an opportunity to study genomics like no place on earth. Researchers’ in Africa recognized their rich genetic diversity and have already begun to head into an era of genomics medicine. Some medical professionals have started to see healthcare in Africa improve. This diversity has not gone unnoticed by researchers across the globe. Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D, a physician-geneticist noted for his discoveries of disease genes, was one of the first to see the benefits in promoting genomics research in Africa.  

     In 2011 Dr.Collins helped launch The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa). From the start, this association has aimed to empower African researchers to lead the genomic revolution and discover unique data that can be used to improve health care globally. H3Africa facilitates groundbreaking genomic and environmental research, helping develop the foundations needed to support an African research enterprise. The end goal of H3Africa is to improve the health of the African populations. With 51 projects already supported and 30 African countries involved, H3Africa has successfully obtained 615 publications. The possible outcomes of genomic research being done in Africa are endless. We should expect to see developments of new drugs, personalized medicine, and more accurate diagnosis.

Resources:
    https://h3africa.org
    https://www.science.org/content/article/africans-begin-take-reins-research-their-own-genomes

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