Future of African Healthcare Series: In conversation with Dr Tariro Makadzange

Kudzai Makomva
Kudzai Makomva
March 23, 2023

This edition spotlights Dr Tariro Makadzange, CEO and Founder, Charles River Medical Group and Mutala Research.

From diversifying clinical trials to investing more money into R&D to setting our own research agendas in Africa, our conversation with Dr Makadzange delves into the challenges and opportunities that key players – governments, philanthropy, private sector, and rising scientists – face in driving healthcare systems change across our continent.

On diversifying clinical trials to include more Africans…

“It's absolutely critical if we want to understand human health in general. How can you do that while excluding the most genetically diverse population on the planet? There's a lot of potential for exciting innovation scientific discoveries to come from diversifying research in general, and certainly diversifying clinical trials more specifically. It makes scientific sense. It makes health sense. It makes business sense”.

On building clinical trials capacity in Africa…

“So there are some advantages to working in Africa and developing clinical trials capabilities inAfrica. And we've seen this with HIV. As the epidemic dynamics shifted, there was a lot of effort invested by US research organizations such as the NIH to build up clinical trials capacity. And that was instrumental in helping us understand everything from the role of antivirals in prevention, the role of antivirals in clinical outcomes, and by engaging and developing these multinational clinical trial sites and clinical trials, it's enabled much more rapid discovery and development within that space. And those were globally beneficial. Whether you were in Italy or South Africa, knowing that antivirals prevents transmission was incredibly beneficial”.

On getting a seat at the table…

“We need to figure out how to get Africa at the forefront of the key decision makers within the pharmaceutical industry”.

On building local capacity in Africa

For us as Africans, if we don’t build our own local capacity, nobody will. Yes we have pressing primary healthcare needs, but if we don’t study the things that really affect us, we’re always going to be behind the problems as they emerge.

Learn more about the Market Access Africa team and our mission to design and deliver transformational healthcare solutions across. Africa

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