The Yaoundé–Bielefeld Bilateral Graduate School Natural Products with Antiparasite and Antibacterial Activity (YaBiNaPA) is a collaborative project between Bielefeld University (Germany) and the University of Yaoundé 1 (Cameroon).
Microbial and parasitic diseases are a dramatic public health problem in tropical countries. Therefore, strategies for improving the health status of the population in a sustainable and affordable way are of prominent importance for economic development. Synthetic drugs are usually not affordable for a large percentage of the population. Medicinal plants are used locally to combat these diseases and some of them have so far been subjects of investigation in different African research groups. However, due to lack of network coordination, instrumental facilities, and specific training, most of the investigations have often been limited to preliminary screening or determination of the chemical composition.
The improvement of the training of doctoral candidates to become specialized experts and academic lecturers with broad knowledge of ethnobotany, phytochemistry, analysis, as well as the development of drugs for therapy of parasitic and bacterial diseases based on ethnopharmaceutical principles is urgently needed.
YaBiNaPA has the mission to overcome this problem by educating PhD students in an interdisciplinary and translational way and also to create a scientific communication platform between biologists, chemists, pharmacologists, the public, and traditional healers.
The training programme relies on concerted learning, a combination of introductory training, hands-on learning “on the bench”, teaching by peers, and training in additional skills. YaBiNaPA focuses on establishing timely research infrastructure in Yaoundé as a scientific platform equipped with appropriate high-end instrumentation for structure analysis and quality control (LC-MS) as well as biological screening methods with access to appropriate ICT media (scientific databases, literature, e-learning).
The Yaoundé - Bielefeld Bilateral Graduate School Natural Products with Antiparasite and Antibacterial Activity (YaBiNaPA) intends to exert impact in three dimensions:
YaBiNaPA closely collaborates with universities and institutions in Cameroon and other African countries: