Boehringer Ingelheim Lung Institute

Partnership Objective

The Boehringer Ingelheim Lung Institute at the University of Cape Town was set up as a center of excellence to support clinical trials in infectious diseases (tuberculosis, often a co-morbidity with HIV/AIDS) and respiratory diseases (including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and occupational lung disease). 

The Lung Institute operates as a not-for-profit financially self-sufficient public/private initiative, and continues to contribute meaningful clinical research. The Lung Institute operates as a not-for-profit financially self-sufficient public/private initiative, and continues to contribute meaningful clinical research. Copyright Boehringer Ingelheim

What are the health needs and challenges?

The idea of building an Institute was conceived more than 15 years ago, at a time when health cuts to academic centres was shrinking services and making research more difficult. Something had to be done to ensure that the speciality of pulmonology did not “go backwards”, but instead provide a resource to address the obvious growing burden of lung disease in South Africa. The concept was of a public benefit organisation that would be self-sufficient (not dependent upon University or government funding), yet address the threefold objectives of research excellence, teaching and learning, and community engagement. 

 

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Officially opened on 26 April 2000, it is dedicated to the improvement of the understanding of lung health and diseases relevant to the needs of Africa. Located on the campus of the Faculty of Health Sciences, it provides clinical services on an outpatient consultation basis as well as conducting research that is focused on epidemiology, allergy diagnostics, lung physiology, clinical pharmacology, evaluation of novel treatments and community-based interventions for improving disease management and improving health.

The Lung Institute operates as a not-for-profit financially self-sufficient public/private initiative, and continues to contribute meaningful clinical research into priority health issues for Southern Africa with the more than 380 scientific publications to date. In addition, the Knowledge Translation Unit has been able to improve the quality of primary healthcare through the implementation of evidence based clinical practice guidelines and training of more than 20,000 healthcare workers to date.

Eight active clinical trials in asthma, COPD and tuberculosis are underway. The knowledge transfer unit was established to educate South African healthcare workers on use and prescription of antiretrovirals, in light of the increased incidences of TB in people living with HIV/AIDS, and will be extended to workers in sub-Saharan Africa. Doctors from universities / public sector are trained on clinical trial related activities, including clinical trial design, performance and reporting.

To learn more about Boehringer Ingelheim capacity building in South Africa, click here.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Boehringer Ingelheim

Partner(s) University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases, Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Asthma, HIV/AIDS, Respiratory Diseases, Tuberculosis

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Outreach & Medical Services, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Research & Development - Development of Treatments

Targeted Population(s) Marginalised / Indigenous People, People with low income

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) South Africa

Start Date 1992

More information Lung Institute Lung Institute Annual Report

Anticipated completion date Ongoing