Research Imbalances: Taking Science to the Problem

By Cash, Richard A. | Harvard International Review, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

Research Imbalances: Taking Science to the Problem


Cash, Richard A., Harvard International Review


The Commission on Health Research for Development based at Harvard University demonstrated in a landmark 1990 study that less than 10 percent of the world's resources for health research were being devoted to 90 percent of the world's health problems. This disparity has since become known as the "10/90 Gap." The 1990s saw considerable efforts to address this significant mismatch between funds for research and the significant burden of disease in developing countries. Some of the advances included a threefold increase in global resources for health research put forward by institutions in both the private sector and the public sector, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and from large philanthropic foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Equally important was the establishment of networks to lobby for increased support, such as the Global Forum for Health Research, as well as the establishment of more public-private partnerships to implement programs and develop new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for diseases of importance in developing countries.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

To further address the research disparity, the Global Forum for Health Research recently brought together international researchers, donors, ministers of health, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and many others to update efforts in health research. The parties were especially concerned with meeting three of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals that address major health issues: child mortality, maternal health, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. Though there has been much progress in health research in developing countries since the initial report, the 10/90 Gap still exists. In fact, research on many of the conditions noted above remains significantly under-funded.

The Imperative of Research

Why should the world be concerned with this disparity in health research funding? What is wrong with counting on researchers from the West to do appropriate research, some of which can be carried out in the developing country, but some also from the safety of a laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts? After all, research institutions in developing countries are often poorly staffed and equipment is usually outdated and/or poorly maintained. In fact, why are developing countries unable to simply utilize the information generated in the developed world? In the end, information will gradually be disseminated. All people will eventually have the same problems, so is it not just a matter of time?

There are many responses to these questions. The days when a country could erect a cordon sanitaire around itself are long over. We are part of a global ecosystem in which human disease is but one factor. Every country has been affected by the global AIDS pandemic. The avian flu epidemic has the potential to threaten us all. The millions of deaths that might occur from this or any other global flu epidemic--well over 25 million died in the 1918 global epidemic--will be rapidly distributed throughout the world. Poor health and disease clearly contribute to instability within societies. The degree and speed of development is directly related to the health of society. In East Asia, good health preceded development. Societies burdened by HIV/AIDS, malaria, or similar conditions have a difficult time escaping the cycle of poverty. If global markets are to be opened, societies must develop economically, and that must begin with issues of health.

Then there are the lessons that we can learn from each other. Information not only flows from North to South, but from South to North. Examples include the development of Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT), new anti-malarials, and new and improved strategies for delivering treatments for tuberculosis and AIDS. We have also learned that use of paraprofessionals may lead to better health care and is more efficient. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Research Imbalances: Taking Science to the Problem
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.