Kenya scientists call for research support to speed up COVID-19 vaccine

A scinetist is doing research on a vaccine against COVID-19 in Shanghai. Photo:Yang Hui/Global Times

Kenyan scientists on Tuesday called on the international donor community to support the east African nation with more funding for scientific research to accelerate the ongoing global efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19.

The scientists, speaking in the capital Nairobi through a webinar organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a think tank, also called on various research institutes in the country to come up with proper needs-assessment plans to guide the government in knowing how much money they want and the expected outcomes for projects like vaccine development.

“One of the support areas we need is funding,” said Wanjiru Njugi, a research fellow at the Mount Kenya University.

“We need the national government and the donor community to scale up funding especially in the areas of research. What is often allocated to the ministry of health is not enough to run the agencies that conduct research. Most of this money to the ministry goes to paying health workers,” he said.

Fred Were, dean of the school of medicine at the University of Nairobi, said Kenya has adequate infrastructure to conduct research like vaccine development.

“We have evidence to show that our four laboratories in Kenya conform to the global standards. Kenya is well established in vaccine development. What we need is confidence in the local research processes,” said Were. Enditem

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