In Sub Saharan Africa, the job roles of women in the health sector form the foundation of health, well-being, and delivery of health systems. Women comprise 70% of job roles, of which 80% are nursing and midwifery. Despite this major contribution by women to our health sector, only less than 25% women occupy leadership roles in health research.
The West African Network for Tuberculosis, AIDS and Malaria (WANETAM) has a vision to shift the gender gap paradigm in clinical research and is committed to attaining women-based research leadership in the sub region. For a start, it now implements the EDCTP-funded TALENT program of sponsored MSc and PhD for women in clinical research on emerging infectious diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa, with women’s inclusion as a core value.
The TALENT fellowship is managed by the MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM) and the programme coordination is provided by Professor Dorothy Yeboah Manu, Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) at the University of Ghana.
The overall objective of the Fellowship is to develop world-class, technically competent and multi-disciplinary women scientists, equipped to advance clinical and laboratory research on endemic and emerging infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria and COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The recruited fellows work on infectious diseases with an opportunity to acquire multi-disciplinary and soft skills, including in bioinformatics, biostatistics, health systems research, epidemic preparedness, clinical trials, grant and manuscript writing and mentorship etc.
At the end of their academic training, TALENT fellows will be supported to transition into the WANETAM Post-Doctoral Stream through researcher leadership development efforts.
This programme is a strategic partnership among WANETAM Institutions to develop fellows’ research capabilities in addressing health challenges through peer support, mentorship, and tailored training.
The partners create a supportive environment for fellows to succeed in their research goals, leading to solutions for health issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and building research capacity for global health problems.
Fellows are supported to register for post-graduate studies offered by any one of the following WANETAM member institutions:
- Réseau Africain de Recherche sur le SIDA, Senegal
- Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, The Gambia
- University of Ghana
- Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar
- Université des Sciences, des Techniques et des Technologies de Bamako, Mali
- Institut National de Santé Publique, Burkina Faso
- Institut Pasteur de Dakar
- Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria
- Hôpital National (DONKA), Guinea
- Fondation mondiale Recherche et Prévention Sida, Côte d’Ivoire
- Université de Lomé, Togo
- Centre National de Recherche Scientifique et Technologique/Institut de Recherche en Science de la Santé (IRSS), Burkina Faso
- Groupe de Recherche Action en Santé, Burkina Faso
- Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Nigeria
- College of Medicine – University of Ibadan, Nigeria
- Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
- Centre National Hospitalier de Pneumo, Benin
- Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France
- Forschungszentrum Borstel Leibniz-Zentrum fur Medizin und Biowissenschaften, Germany
- Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
- Fondation pour la Recherche Scientifique, Benin
- European Vaccine Initiative EWIV, Germany