Funding for medical research into chronic diseases

Five university researchers in Côte d’Ivoire have been awarded funding for medical research into chronic diseases, with projects including pharmacological studies into plants used for treating breast cancer, investigating new plant-based foods for health supplements to treat diabetes and high blood pressure and, it is hoped, that will be effective in fighting illnesses associated with COVID-19.

The awards were made by Fonds pour la Science, la Technologie et l’Innovation (FONSTI), a fund which supports research and innovation in national projects that will have a positive impact on the socio-economic development of Côte d’Ivoire, reported Fraternité Matin.

It allocates financial resources to researchers and academics from higher education institutions and research institutes, with principal beneficiaries from the disciplines environment, biodiversity, agriculture, food security, humanities, languages, mathematics and computer sciences, reported Fraternité Matin.

It was set up in 2018 under PASRES, the joint Swiss-Côte d’Ivoire Programme d’Appui Stratégique à la Recherche Scientifique.

The theme of this second FONSTI call for bids was the “fight against chronic diseases (transmissible and non-transmissible) in the framework of pharmacopoeia and of traditional medicine”, reported, which said it was hoped the research would contribute to combating COVID-19.

The five successful applications, out of 26 submitted, were announced at a ceremony attended by Adama Diawara, the Ivoirian minister for higher education and scientific research.

Funding ranged from XOF29,700,000 ($54,500) to XOF18,150,000 ($33,307), and the research will be financed for between 24 and 36 months.

The awards were made to Professor Faulet Meuwiah Betty Ahonzo of Nangui Abrogoua University, for research into prevention of metabolic syndrome; Dr Bamba Abou of Félix Houphouet Boigny University (FHBU), for pharmacological studies of plants for the treatment of breast cancer; Dr Ouattara Hadja Djeneba of FHBU, for development of new supplements from wild fruits and vegetables to treat diabetes and high blood pressure; Professor Eric Balayssac of FHBU for preclinical evaluation of potentially anti-diabetic natural substances; and Professor Elise Solange Kakou-Ngazoa of the Pasteur Institute in Cia, for studies into recombinant viral genomes in molecular observation of COVID-19 in Côte d’Ivoire.

Diawara said: “By financing projects under this theme, FONSTI has given our researchers the opportunity to contribute to tackling transmissible and non-transmissible chronic diseases which are real factors of comorbidity of COVID-19,” reported

Compiled by Jane Marshall.

This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.