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Dr. Victoria Olaiya’s Work in Oncology Clinical Trials in Africa Awareness Goes Beyond the Day-to-Day

Dr. Victoria Olaiya’s Work in Oncology Clinical Trials in Africa Awareness Goes Beyond the Day-to-Day
19 August 2020

Regulatory Operations Manager, Dr. Victoria Olaiya, is remote-based in the UK and has been with Synteract since 2015. While most of her time is spent contributing to the review, implementation, and maintenance of the regulatory submissions and regulatory documents, on top of serving as our customer’s primary regulatory contact and dealing with regulatory timelines and resources and customer deliverables, she’s somehow found time for a few extracurricular activities.

And by extracurricular, we mean, in the past year or so, Victoria’s co-authored and published two peer-reviewed papers, and participated in two forums focused on a topic near and dear to her heart, clinical trials in Africa.

Why Africa?

Africa is estimated to represent 40% of the world population by 2100, yet as of May 2018, just over 7,000 clinical trials were conducted or completed on the African continent, this was about 2.5% of the global total. Most clinical trials conducted globally do not have enough representation of Black population yet drugs once marketed are used by everyone.

In my past positions, and in my personal life, I have a lot of experience working in this region. When I look at Africa, I see clinical trial sites, a naïve patient pool, and opportunities – healthcare, pharmaceutical, clinical research, job opportunities – for both the locals and international community. At the same time, I see value in training and sharing experiences with Researchers, Investigators in Africa, who know and understand their local terrain.

That’s why I became involved in co-authoring two articles of the Oncology Trials in Africa series that was published in ASCO’s Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) Global Oncology:

Historical Perspectives on Ethical and Regulatory Aspects of Human Participants Research: Implications for Oncology Clinical Trials in Africa | JCO Global Oncology
https://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JGO.19.00196

Partnerships and Collaborations: The Right Alliances for Clinical Trials in Africa | JCO Global Oncology
https://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JGO.19.00194

Together, the first full series, focusing on emerging and operational issues can be found here:
Oncology Trials in Africa | JCO Global Oncology
https://ascopubs.org/go/special/series/clinical-trials-africa

In addition to delivering a presentation called “Clinical Trials and Translational Research in Nigeria” at the NIMR Humboldt Kolleg conference in Germany, attended by guest of honor, Dr. Stefan Traumann (German Consul General), Victoria also delivered a webinar on Conducting Oncology Clinical Trials in Africa II: Practical steps for conducting clinical trials in Africa on the ecancer website.

Finally, in speaking with Victoria to write this blogpost, we also found out an orphanage in Nigeria has also benefitted from Victoria’s efforts – she found that a few older, but still functioning, computer monitors were about to be discarded, and she asked if she could ship it to her contact at an orphanage she works with in Nigeria.

Victoria’s passion for clinical trials in a region often neglected is clear in her work beyond Synteract's offices, and her efforts to promote the growth and opportunities of clinical trials across the continent of Africa is such a great example of our #SynteractStrong values at work!

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