Infectious diseases remain major causes of ill health among poor people. Almost 3 billion people live on less than US$ 2 a day, and they continue to be at the greatest risk for these diseases. How can this be possible when global health funding is increasing and new drugs and other health tools are being developed? How is research being prioritized to meet these needs, and can it be done better?
The Global Report is an important tool in raising these questions and providing some ideas. Its value is in its cross-disciplinary perspective, bringing together issues from environmental changes, lack of innovation support in low and middle income countries, poor health systems and inequitable funding patterns. While the report focuses on infectious diseases of poverty, many of the issues raised are also relevant for other communicable and non-communicable diseases. It is essential reading for policy-makers, funders and research leaders.
TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, which initiated this independent report and brought together worldwide experts to author it, is one of two Special Programmes based at and executed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The Global Report provides valuable contributions to meet the goals of WHO’s Research for Health Strategy, which was adopted at the 63rd World Health Assembly in 2010.
National, regional and international stakeholders were invited by TDR to come together to identify research priorities so that they can own these priorities and take them forward. My hope is that the discussions generated from this report will help make important changes, so that we break the terrible cycle of poverty and disease and start to experience the real power of research to improve lives.
Read the full report on the TDR website.