Female researchers from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will brief the media on the latest innovative research and technology solutions to respond to health and nutritional challenges in Africa.


The media briefing is scheduled to take place at the CSIR International Convention Centre (ICC) in Pretoria on Wednesday, 24 August 2022. Hosted under the theme: “Women in Science: Proactively responding to health and nutritional challenges impacting underserved communities”, the briefing session forms part of celebrating the role of female scientists in using research innovations to improve the lives of ordinary people during Women’s Month.


The ravaging effects of malnutrition, breast cancer and diabetes, as well as communicable diseases like tuberculosis (TB), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and Covid-19 have been felt the most in rural parts of Africa, particularly where access to affordable healthcare services, therapeutics and nutritious food is severely limited.


In response, CSIR Research Group Leader for Biophotonics (CSIR Future Production: Manufacturing cluster), Dr Patience Mthunzi-Kufa will share more details on the smartphone medical diagnostic tool, which tests for Covid-19, HIV and TB at point-of-care. This multi-screening technology converts a smartphone into a spectrometer to detect illnesses in bodily fluid samples such as urine, saliva and blood.


Senior researcher, Dr Bathabile Ramalapa, will showcase drug delivery systems for diabetes, breast cancer and antimicrobial resistance. This platform technology addresses some of the most crucial challenges encountered with the current drug treatments prescribed for diseases with a rising burden in Africa. Her research work entails reconfiguring drug treatments in such a way that they demonstrate higher absorption and bioavailability, which means, making sure that the prescribed drug has the right concentration for the body to respond positively, so that the side effects are reduced and, possibly, the dose. Her drug delivery system also ensures that it is suitable for Africa’s climate conditions.


On the other hand, Dr Nomusa Dlamini, Acting Research Group Leader for the CSIR’s Food Safety Programme, will share how she works with industry, communities and small, medium and micro enterprises to explore indigenous biodiversity for the development of safe nutritious food products.


The presentations and exhibitions will also include the work done by CSIR’s Biomanufacturing Industrial Development Centre to support black female entrepreneurs in developing market-ready nutritional food products.


The media and public are invited as follows:


Date: Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Time: 10:00 - 12:00

Venue: CSIR ICC, Meiring Naude Road, Brummeria, Pretoria

Live streaming: MS Teams: https://bit.ly/3CpJEKQ

YouTube: https://youtu.be/jmp90UBe14s