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[L'Oreal aids women in science in the countries of the South] L'Oreal aide la science au feminin dans les pays du Sud.
EQUILIBRES ET POPULATIONS. 2001 Mar; (66):4.The L’Oreal Award for Women in Science rewards 5 scientists annually with UNESCO support. As such, L’Oreal, a cosmetics manufacturer, is making an effort to support women’s role in research in both developed and developing countries. Professor Adeyinda Gladys Falusi, a 2001 award recipient, describes the difficult conditions in which she has studied, for 25 years, the molecular genetics of often seen hereditary blood diseases in Nigeria, such as falci-form anemia. In Africa, and especially Nigeria, a lack of resources frustrates research. When resources are available, the equipment is old and poorly maintained. Energy and transport problems also exist, including frequent power outages. It is common for lights and computers to lose power in the middle of an experiment. Regarding information sources, research centers and universities lack funding to subscribe to scientific journals. Although many of her colleagues have gone to work in countries with better research conditions, Professor Falusi prefers to remain in Nigeria with hopes of having a more significant impact upon her society. She hopes her research will directly and significantly help populations. Professor Falusi visits schools to help prevent the diseases she researches, such as anemia, affecting 3 million people in Nigeria and associated with multiple complications. She also researches malaria. Falusi and her colleagues lack the resources and support they need to properly teach the population about its health and provide access to health services. They depend upon international aid, which should be more forthcoming.