How clinical research can contribute to strengthening health systems in low resource countries

by Mbo F, Mutombo W, Ngolo D, Kabangu P, Valverde Mordt O, Strub-Wourgaft N, Mwamba E. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases 2020, 5(48). doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed5020048

Summary: The authors describe the process of conducting clinical trials in the Democratic Republic of Congo in compliance with international standards, and the role of the trials in strengthening health system functions. They conclude that conducting high-level clinical research in endemic areas has, in addition to the primary aims, brought lasting benefits to researchers, staff, hospitals, and broader health systems, with a positive knock-on effect on patients outside of the clinical trials. They also raise concerns about sustainability, dependence on international input and external technical support, and the difficulties African investigators face in directly accessing sources of international research funding.

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