African civil society initiatives to drive a biobanking, biosecurity and infrastructure development agenda in the wake of the West African Ebola outbreak.
Akin Abayomi, Sahr Gevao, Brian Conton, Pasquale Deblasio, Rebecca Katz
This paper describes the formation of a civil society consortium, spurred to action by frustration over the Ebola crises, to facilitate the development of infrastructure and frameworks including policy development to support a harmonized, African approach to health crises on the continent. The Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium, or GET, is an important example of how African academics, scientists, clinicians and civil society have come together to initiate policy research, multilevel advocacy and implementation of initiatives aimed at building African capacity for timely and effective mitigations strategies against emerging infectious and neglected pathogens, with a focus on biobanking and biosecurity. The consortium has been able to establish it self as a leading voice, drawing attention to scientific infrastructure gaps, the importance of cultural sensitivities, and the power of community engagement. The GET consortium demonstrates how civil society can work together, encourage government engagement and strengthen national and regional efforts to build capacity.The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24