It has been a long standing challenge to help the developing world to battle disease, and while examples of progress have been made, including the eradication of smallpox, and the near eradication of polio, developing nations are still disproportionately burdened by infectious diseases that devastate lives and livelihoods, and put a continuous drag on struggling economies.
Some nations are making progress in public health, but a new unexpected burden of chronic, non-communicable diseases has emerged with changes in lifestyle and increasing life expectancies – including diabetes, cancer and asthma. Healthcare systems in these resource-limited regions are ill-prepared to deal with the long term needs of a population trying to treat and manage these conditions.
How do we create a new scenario in which every nation in the developing world has the power to improve the health of its population in the face of these challenges? Innovative solutions exist, but not necessarily where we have been looking for them until now.
In this year’s Health Equity Symposium, we challenge the common global division of labor in innovation, in which biomedical research is undertaken in industrialized countries ‘for’ developing countries, while technology and results are transferred ‘to’ the developing countries. The symposium will focus on a new, more effective approach of increasing science and technology capabilities within the developing world. By building an infrastructure of research spaces, organizational capabilities, and a highly skilled workforce of scientists and clinicians, we ensure a path toward more sustainable, locally informed creative solutions.