Bringing a new medicine to market in Africa requires 54 separate applications to each country on the continent, a time-intensive process that could be costing lives. African leaders are now trying to move toward a regional and eventually continentwide approach to speed the process.

Margareth Ndomondo-Sigonda, a former director of Tanzania's Food and Drugs Authority, said Africa could see a continentwide equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration in a decade. African leaders are first working through regional economic communities to "harmonize" the regulation of medicines on the continent.

More than 400 scientists and health experts met in Kenya this week to push for more medical funding and research in Africa.

James Macharia, the secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Health, said Africa needs to spend more resources on home-grown research.