02:21am Tuesday 26 May 2020

New ways to fight disease and poverty

A field visit to Bangladesh

Low- and middle-income countries would benefit from the establishment of a new indicator that uses the impact of poverty-associated disease to measure social and economic development, a new report has found.  

This was one of five recommendations proposed to funders and policy-makers in the newly published Global Report on Research for Infectious Diseases of Poverty by the World Health Organization’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR).

The report outlined new ways of improving public health in low- and middle-income countries in three themed chapters on environment, health systems and innovation and technology. It also reviewed the research funding landscape, examining key challenges and identifying specific values for funding decisions.

Under the leadership of the TDR, Monash University researchers collaborated with international experts on the project.

Professor Lenore Manderson from the School of Psychology and Psychiatry at Monash University said the report could have a profound impact on breaking the cycle of poverty and disease.

“As stated in the report, this is essential reading for policy-makers, funders and research leaders on a global level,” Professor Manderson said.

“Implementation of the proposed actions should help improve current research prioritisation processes, guide investment strategies and enhance commitment to using research to promote global health equity.

“The task now is to develop and focus attention on key actions that are most likely to have a significant public health impact on poor populations.”

Infectious diseases associated with poverty kill almost nine million people every year, and also cause enormous burdens through lifelong disability.

Monash University researchers from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences involved in the project included Professor Manderson, Professor Ajay Mahal, Dr Bianca Brijnath and Dr Michaela Riddell.

Monash University.

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