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Building the Case for Systems of Health Innovation in Africa

Chataway, J; Wield, D; Hanlin, R; Mugwagwa, J; Smith, J; Chaturvedi, K; (2009) Building the Case for Systems of Health Innovation in Africa. In: Kalua, F and Awotedu, A and Kamwanja, L and Saka, J, (eds.) Science, Technology and Innovation for Public Health in Africa. (pp. 7-52). New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Green open access

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Abstract

Science, technology and innovation are vital to poverty alleviation and improved health. Improving immediate access to health care and existing health technologies is essential but simply importing technologies and products is not enough to create sustainable health care systems. Countries also need to build the capacities and institutions to develop their own innovations which are tailored to local needs. For innovation to meet local needs, countries need urgently to develop dynamic and integrated health innovation systems. This would enhance understanding between those in the world of healthcare and those who work in health innovation and production of pharmaceuticals, as well as promoting networking between researchers and producers with local users and consumers. Secondly, improved innovation capacity that responds to the needs of users does not occur in isolation – it is not the product of one-off scientific inventions, heavy investment in science or one-off policies. Rather it is dependent on networks through government institutions, private companies and a wide variety of end-user groupings at national, international and sectoral levels. Finally, knowledge is not accumulated and built up in one set of institutions and transferred to another set – it results instead from the interplay between different organisations and institutions. There is now an unparalleled opportunity both to address the issues of neglected diseases and to develop such integrated health innovation systems. Huge investments are currently being made in global health programmes which seek to improve health services and health innovation systems. The challenge for African policymakers, as we discuss in this chapter, is to adopt strategies for integrating global programmes with local and regional health innovation systems.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Building the Case for Systems of Health Innovation in Africa
ISBN: 1-920550-08-9
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086727
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