The University of Cape Town (UCT) in conjunction with the University of Aberdeen in Britain has established the world’s first international research center for tackling fungal infections.
Fungal infections kill around 1.3 million people globally every year, with the majority of the deaths taking place in Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa.
“This initiative will also contribute to the training of a new generation of African scientific leaders, who will produce high-quality research to combat the scourge of fungal infections in Africa,” Bongani Mayosi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT, said Wednesday.
In Africa, fungal infections contribute to between 600,000 to 1 million deaths, more than deaths caused by malaria and around the same number of deaths caused by tuberculosis.
In 2008, there were 1 million cases of cryptococcal meningitis in patients with HIV/AIDS, resulting in more than 500,000 deaths. In sub-Saharan Africa, about 50 percent of people diagnosed with invasive fungal infections die of the infection.
“Fungal infections are understudied and under-diagnosed compared with other infectious diseases, despite their contribution to so many deaths every year. Fungal infections kill more people in Africa than anywhere else on the planet,” said Gordon Brown from the University of Aberdeen. Enditem