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Our Programmes

Science Collaboratives for Pandemics,
Epidemics and Endemic Diseases (SCOPE R&D)

The SCOPE R&D programme contributes to measurable, inclusive and sustained growth of individuals, institutions, and social and economic systems, in Africa and globally.

Broad science area: Global Health Challenges for Endemic, Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases
The Covid 19 pandemic presented a profound challenge to the world, especially the continent of Africa. The initial focus was naturally on the burden of disease and impacts on fragile health systems and vulnerable populations. Two years into the pandemic, the focus is widening to recognise the deep psychological, societal and economic consequences of the pandemic, including decreased production, increased unemployment rates, reduced family incomes and consumption, stressed agricultural production and food supply, and impacts on education and societal interactions.

At any one time, the African continent sustains 100 or more ongoing disease outbreaks. These risks will increase as Africa undergoes rapid demographic growth, the continent becomes increasingly connected, and environmental degradation continues. Africa must lead the evolution of its health security agenda to reflect these realties. Investment in African pandemic sciences will protect and enhance the healthcare system, improve public health and reinforce African economic stability through the mitigation of projected adverse socioeconomic impacts from epidemic and pandemic diseases.

The development of a thriving pandemic sciences sector and the preparation of a new generation of scientists and health care leaders in Africa will enhance health security and economic prosperity. There is a lot to be learned from Africa’s resilient and innovative responses to major infectious disease outbreaks. A vibrant Africa-centred pandemic sciences ecosystem is an opportunity to share African solutions with the world. This is important both for the continent and for the development of a global, sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future for all.

For these reasons, the SFA Foundation and its partners are implementing the Science Collaboratives for Pandemics, Epidemics and Endemic Diseases (SCOPE R&D) programme to focus on both the emergent scientific needs around all aspects of pandemic preparedness, and the wider responses to the developmental challenges of the continent as it builds back from the initial phase of the pandemic. The programme supports the development of research excellence, continental knowledge exchange networks and a substantial cohort of exceptional leaders to feed an ecosystem of research excellence. The SCOPE R&D programme contributes to measurable, inclusive and sustained growth of individuals, institutions, and social and economic systems, in Africa and globally.

Under SCOPE R&D, the SFA Foundation provides:

  • Research funding and grants: to scientists and institutions engaged in groundbreaking research on endemic, emerging, and re-emerging diseases to enable them to conduct essential studies, develop innovative solutions, and contribute to scientific advancements in the field.
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing: to facilitate collaboration among African researchers, institutions, and international partners through networks, conferences and knowledge-sharing platforms to foster scientific exchange and accelerate progress in addressing global health challenges.
  • Capacity building: to empower young African scientists and researchers through training programmes, workshops, and mentorship opportunities that will cultivate a new generation of experts who can lead the fight against endemic, emerging, and re-emerging diseases in Africa.
  • Advocacy and policy influence: to engage policymakers, governments, and international organisations to advocate for increased investments in science, research, and healthcare infrastructure across Africa and for evidence-based decision-making processes for effective disease management.
  • Community and public engagement: for robust a public and community engagement approach to identifying, alerting and dealing with endemic, emerging and re-emerging diseases in Africa.
  • Technology and innovation: to support the adoption and use of new technologies and innovative solutions in healthcare systems throughout Africa to enhance disease surveillance, improve diagnostics, and develop more effective treatments by leveraging advancements in telemedicine, data analytics, vaccinology, and biotechnology.

Initiatives from this Programme

Genomics H3Africa
The medical field is increasingly shifting from a one shoe fits all approach to personalized medicine. These developments are informed by new data resulting from improved advances in the genomics field. Unfortunately, although the African continent is home to more than 1.3 billion people with the greatest genetic diversity globally, this diversity remains understudied.
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