Look to African universities, says Whitworth

May - June, 2009 | Volume 8, Issue 3

Photo: Dr. Jimmy Whitworth

Dr. Jimmy Whitworth, international director
of the Wellcome Trust, Great Britain's
largest charity

Dr. Jimmy Whitworth, international director of the Wellcome Trust, Great Britain's largest charity, told Fogarty and other NIH global health advocates that efforts should be made to bolster the capacity of African universities to train researchers.

Whitworth said too many donor institutions avoid dealing with African universities because they feel they are too bureaucratic or otherwise unable to conduct effective research.

"This is where the young researchers of tomorrow are going to come from ... To divorce teaching and service from research is not going to be successful" in training African scientists to excel, he said. "If we want to get a flow of African scientists into research, we have to embrace African universities."

The Wellcome Trust, which spends about $1 billion a year on global health, has invited African universities to become involved in various consortia, he said.

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