n South African Medical Journal - Growing genomic research on the African continent : the H3Africa Consortium : editorial

Volume 105, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Africa is disproportionately burdened by communicable and non-communicable diseases and their consequences. The 2010 - 2015 life expectancy at birth is 58.2 years for people born in Africa compared with 77.7 years in more developed regions, with a world average of 70.0 years (United Nations, World Mortality Report 2013). The Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Consortium is unique in its objective to promote human genomic research and health in Africa, led and managed by African investigators and their collaborators. In line with the vision articulated in the H3Africa White Paper published in 2011, the H3Africa Consortium aims to build capacity for genomic research in Africa, promote research on both communicable and non-communicable diseases and improve our understanding of the complexities of their coexistence in African populations, generate data and knowledge to promote an understanding of the health and epidemiological transition across the continent, and improve the health of its people. It provides a platform of integrated resources for biomedical research on the continent and is developing an extraordinary wealth of data. In addition it will host biorepositories with samples from over 75 000 African participants, many of whom have provided broad consent for sharing their data and samples through a managed access approach, to the benefit of the African and international research community.

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