Information is a vital resource during an emergency. Yet, COVID-19 is sparking significant fear and misinformation across the world. To promote access to reliable evidence and information, local experts must be ready, available and prepared to speak credibly in ways that resonate locally. Currently, significant misinformation around the research and development of new tools, from vaccines and therapeutics to diagnostics and disease surveillance, is hampering the ability for Africa to proactively shape its research agenda. Moreover, misinformation could slow the development and delivery of innovation – impeding clinical trial recruitment and the acceptability and uptake of new tools and measures to prevent, treat and diagnose diseases that hamper the development of our continent.
The COVID-19 crisis has continued this trend, at a time when it’s vital for local experts to be providing sound, factual information to help people interpret data and guidance, understand risks and appropriately respond to their local context. From public health to scientific research to the economy, there is a great deal of misinformation and speculation being spread via traditional and social media.
However, innovations in medical research over recent years have led to incredible achievements for public health in Africa. The African Voices of Science initiative aims to provide a platform for trusted African science leaders and health experts to share reliable information with African populations. Covering topics ranging from COVID-19 vaccine trials, to emerging new research in infectious diseases, we need to hear from credible voices, their perspectives and potential solutions to our health concerns.
Speak Up Africa is committed to promoting research and development (R&D) and encouraging scientific innovations as part of public discourse in Africa.
Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck
Minister of State of Senegal and Chair of the scientific committee for the Galien Forum Africa
Professor Samba Sow
Director General of the Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), Ministry of Health, Mali
Professor Christian T. Happi
Director of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases
Doctor Clement Meseko
Veterinary Research Officer at the National Veterinary Research Institute, Nigeria