Climate-influenced vector-borne diseases in Africa: a call to empower the next generation of African researchers for sustainable solutions

Infect Dis Poverty. 2024 Mar 14;13(1):26. doi: 10.1186/s40249-024-01193-5.


We look at the link between climate change and vector-borne diseases in low- and middle-income countries in Africa. The large endemicity and escalating threat of diseases such as malaria and arboviral diseases, intensified by climate change, disproportionately affects vulnerable communities globally. We highlight the urgency of prioritizing research and development, advocating for robust scientific inquiry to promote adaptation strategies, and the vital role that the next generation of African research leaders will play in addressing these challenges. Despite significant challenges such as funding shortages within countries, various pan-African-oriented funding bodies such as the African Academy of Sciences, the Africa Research Excellence Fund, the Wellcome Trust, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as initiatives such as the African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence and the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association, have empowered (or are empowering) these researchers by supporting capacity building activities, including continental and global networking, skill development, mentoring, and African-led research. This article underscores the urgency of increased national investment in research, proposing the establishment of research government agencies to drive evidence-based interventions. Collaboration between governments and scientific communities, sustained by pan-African funding bodies, is crucial. Through these efforts, African nations are likely to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of their systems and communities by navigating these challenges effectively, fostering scientific excellence and implementing transformative solutions against climate-sensitive vector-borne diseases.

Keywords: Africa; Climate change; Environmental justice; Pan-African funding initiatives; Research and development; Vector-borne diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Capacity Building
  • Climate Change
  • Humans
  • Malaria* / epidemiology
  • Malaria* / prevention & control
  • Research Personnel