A pan-African consortium, Human Health and Heredity in Africa (H3Africa), was initiated in 2010 to build research programs and infrastructure in genomic medicine on the African continent. A key component of this initiative is making Biospecimens and data collected during the initial H3Africa research studies available to external investigators for future research. To this end, biorepositories have been established in Nigeria (IHVN H3Africa Biorepository [I-HAB]), Uganda (Integrated Biorepository of H3Africa Uganda [IBRH3AU]), and South Africa (H3Africa Biorepository at Clinical Laboratory Services, University of the Witwatersrand). The biorepositories preserve the consortium’s DNA and other sample collections and also facilitate their distribution to support additional research efforts by African scientists and eventually the global biomedical community. Each H3Africa principal investigator (PI) contributes a portion of the DNA collected in his/her H3Africa study while retaining the rest for his/her own future research. All Biospecimens available for distribution from the H3Africa biorepositories were collected under appropriate informed consent with institutional and regional or national ethical review.
In line with H3Africa consortium vision, The H3Africa Biorepository program vision is, facilitating African scientists and research institutions in the use of genomic and new approaches to address African health problems and disease.
To develop, maintain and sustain state-of-the-art world class biorepositories for the responsible storage, maintenance, and custodianship of well-annotated high-quality Biospecimens and to make these specimens available to researchers for genomic discovery and other biomedical research.
- Providing a framework for state-of-the-art biorepositories in Africa
- Developing the local expertise in biorepository operations in Africa.
- Demonstrating capacity for biobanking and biorepository activities in Africa
- Supporting H3Africa Consortium and other local, national, and regional research projects.
- Encourage high professional standards in biorepository science and management.
- Provide high value membership services for key actors in the biorepository field.
- Provide a strong united voice for biorepositories in Africa and globally.
- Partner with other organizations involved with, or related to biobanking.
- Encourage and support public-private biorepository-related partnerships
- Promote stakeholder support for biorepositories