Rizwana Mia, Senior Program Manager at the South African Medical Research Council, advocates for the African Personalized Medicine agenda. Personalized medicine entails tailoring treatments based on an individual's phenotype and genotype, often using genetic markers to select the most effective and safe treatment for each patient.
The lack of understanding of the African genome poses a significant risk of adverse effects or simply ineffectual treatments. To overcome this challenge clinical studies must encompass diverse population groups to produce more relevant guidelines. Initiating large-scale whole genome sequencing for Southern Africa has been a remarkable achievement in advancing this aim.
Collaboration with MGI, providing advanced sequencing platforms and technology, has been pivotal in advancing genomics in South Africa and Africa as a whole. Reducing the cost of genomic sequencing and the creation of infrastructure have empowered researchers to unravel the genomic diversity of Africa, paving the way for transformative healthcare through personalized medicine.