Aug 31, 2012
Medical Research Council to reassess research prioritiesBack
Africa|Resources|Systems|Africa|South Africa|Systems|Disease|Pneumonia|Salim Karim|Diagnostic Tests
© Reuse this
The agency said on Friday that it had started a revitalising process in April in light of its funding constraints. Government funding increases for the MRC averaged 3.5% over the last four years, while inflation stood at 6% and costs of medical research continued to escalate.
“MRC’s funding crunch has in-turn compromised research in medical schools and hospitals due to a lack of research funding to universities by the MRC,” the council said in a statement.
One of the issues flagged, espcially in light of the funding constraints, was the lack of rational prioritsation and the duplication of in-house research.
The MRC is devoting resources to in-house research in some areas that have not featured among the common causes of ill health, while it has no in-house research unit on pneumonia or diarrhoea – the two most important causes of death in children.
The agency, which drew up a seven-point proposal as part of the reassessment process, said it would prioritise its in-house research to focus on the ten most common causes of death and disease in South Africa.
“As part of this process, some in-house research programmes may potentially be merged or closed. These proposals are being discussed widely with MRC staff and stakeholders in order to map out the best way forward. No decisions have been taken at this point and consultations are ongoing.”
The council would also focus on increasing funding to universities and medical schools to rebuild their health research, especially clinical research; creating new funding approaches for the development of new drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tests, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation’s administrative systems; improving the peer-review and quality of MRC research and tackling its laboratory and office space needs.
Further, it had identified the need to improve its in-house library to ensure MRC researchers have access to the latest medical journals.
“The MRC is pivotal to generating new knowledge, new treatments and disease prevention strategies to build a healthy nation” MRC president Professor Salim Karim said.
He noted that the council was setting a path to reestablish the MRC as a world-class research body with high impact against death and disease in the country.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Updated 1 hour 33 minutes ago In an update to shareholders, financially distressed civil engineering group Protech Khuthele Holdings, this week, said it was still awaiting the appointment of a liquidator. This followed after business rescue practitioner Gavin Gainsford, earlier this month,...
Updated 1 hour 58 minutes ago The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seisfa) on Tuesday reluctantly accepted a Ministerial proposal on wage offers, but would not back down on the need for Section 37 of the Main Agreement of the Metal and Engineering Industries...
Updated 2 hours 25 minutes ago The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will have a budget of R6.47-billion for the financial year 2014/2015, it was reported on Tuesday. More than half of this (R3.5-billion), Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor noted in her budget speech to...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Local aerospace company Denel Aerostructures (DAe), part of the State-owned Denel Group, has won a fourth contract to manufacture parts for the Airbus A400M military air transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft. The new contract, which was won in an international...
Although CEO Mark McChlery and chief marketing officer Bob Skinstad likened themselves to children in a playground when taking on the task of “reengineering and repositioning” the Seartec brand, the “young, dynamic and enthusiastic guys” were like proud...
An increasing number of buyers, in both the new and used car markets, are opting for finance structures that lower their monthly repayments, says asset financing company WesBank. These include the use of large balloon payments (also known as residuals), as well as...
Tertiary education institutions can use search engine giant Google’s Chromebook to provide secure mobile end-point devices for students on which they can share documents, work collaboratively on documents and access education materials and applications being used...
Local ceiling and partition company Abbeycon has beaten global competition at the Saint-Gobain Gypsum International Trophy competition, which was held last month in Berlin, Germany.