Go back

UK funders support coronavirus research in Africa

Projects will explore how the virus is spreading and how it affects different populations

Two United Kingdom funders are supporting projects to study Covid-19 in Africa. The projects range from modelling of prevalence and spread to the interplay between HIV and Covid-19. 

The projects are part of a £12 million (US$15m) round of grants announced by the Wellcome Trust and the Department for International Development on 16 April to combat the novel coronavirus in low- and middle-income countries. 

"We’re funding projects that will explore how the virus is spreading and how it affects different populations," the Wellcome Trust said in a statement. "The more knowledge we can gain in this are, the more of the jigsaw we can piece together to develop interventions."

Ten projects have been funded in total, six of which have co-investigators based in Africa. One will scale up testing in Malawi and bolster the country’s hospital preparedness. It is co-led by researchers based in Malawi and the UK.

Another project will support viral sequencing in Kenya, Uganda, and The Gambia, to study coronavirus biology and to support contact tracing and quarantine measures. 

And a project led by Cheryl Cohen from South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases will study transmission dynamics, clinical features and disease impact of Covid-19 in high HIV prevalence settings. 

The Wellcome Trust is also funding the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to the tune of £2m to improve collaboration between health ministries in Africa.