In 2009, Bassirou Bonfoh, director of the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifique (CSRS) in Cote d’Ivoire joined forces with 10 other African institutions to collaborate on research into infections that pass between animals and humans, many of which are now sadly world famous including Ebola, HIV and Zika.
The collaboration enabled him to access data from as far afield as Tanzania and extend his remit to rift valley fever, an infection that has had several outbreaks since its first detection in 1931.
Crucially, in doing this he has avoided duplicating research. Even though most African countries face similar health and developmental challenges, researchers work in silos, wasting limited human resources and infrastructure.
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