Displaying 1-10 of 10 key documents
Source: The Department For International Development (DFID) | February 2012
This report looks at the contribution of models to identify the characteristics of livestock systems which are likely to lead to the emergence of zoonoses hotspots, with emphasis on developing countries.
It focuses on mathematical and economic models, and includes a short review of the current usage of models — and particularly network and agent-based methods — in studying zoonotic disease outbreaks.
The report concludes that most models capture outbreaks over a relatively short time and largely ignore socioeconomic and climate change drivers. It suggests that a new modelling framework is needed, along with improved data collection and uncertainty analysis and communication.
Source: Ramsar Convention and the WHO | March 2012
The report looks at the linkages between wetlands, human health and well-being, and examines the potential of to improving health while conserving wetland ecosystems. It aims to provide advice to wetland managers and decision makers, and to facilitate dialogue between wetlands and human health experts.
The report gives an overview of how wetland ecosystems influence health — benefits such as the provision of water, as well as hazards such as exposure to infectious disease. It outlines three approaches to harnessing the benefits of wetland ecosystems for human health. These include recognising the human needs satisfied by access to wetlands, such as water, food and social cohesion; medicinal plants and other health products; and the economic value of wetlands to improving socioeconomic conditions.
The authors call for a change in wetland management perspective, better policy development, and new instruments and approaches. They recommend stronger partnerships between sectors, governments and nongovernmental organisations.
Source: Working Group on Clinical Trials and Regulatory Pathways | November 2011
This report provides policy recommendations to help deliver safer and cheaper medical products to people suffering from neglected diseases in developing countries, where they are needed the most.
Although more drugs and vaccines are reaching late-stage clinical development, says the report, they are held back by a lack of funding to support clinical trials, as well as clinical research and regulatory capacity in settings where neglected diseases are endemic. This undermines safety and the validity of clinical data.
The report recommends a two-pronged approach to improving the quality and regulation of clinical trials in the developing world: establishing regional regulatory pathways for the oversight of clinical trials, and building quality and cost-efficiency into trial design and implementation. It also recommends practical steps that can be taken by donors, drug and vaccine developers, and regulatory authorities to begin implementing the changes.
Source: Médecins Sans Frontières | May 2011
This report, from medical aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières, explores the impact of and lessons learned from the use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV/AIDS since 2000, when it began providing this to people in need of urgent treatment. It presents results of a survey conducted in 16 countries with different prevalence levels of the disease, which together account for 52.5 per cent of the global HIV/AIDS burden, and outlines the progress, strengths and weaknesses of the international response to the disease.
The report provides an overview of key treatment strategies to improve care and reduce its cost for patients and health systems; discusses the impact of decreased donor funding; and suggests policies that can help lower drug costs, for example, or foster innovations for more effective and affordable treatment. Most HIV-prevalent countries still lack the capacity to treat more than 50 per cent of their population in need of ART, or to provide ART in more than 50 per cent of existing facilities — underlining the need for more domestic and external resources.
Source: The Overseas Development Group | July 2003
This report examines the impact of HIV/AIDS on people's livelihoods in rural areas of Africa, China, Central Asia, India and Russia.
The authors consider labour economising technologies, and set out the potential policy options. They conclude that providing anti-retroviral drugs would have an immediate, and a long-term effect on food security and is the only way of ensuring continued access to labour in the rural sector.
Source: The American Academy of Microbiology
This report summarises current understanding of antibiotic resistance, the scope of the problem, and the methods available for detecting and preventing it. It highlights unique challenges faced by developing countries including poor research infrastructure and counterfeit antibiotics.
The authors highlight the need to build laboratory capacity, improve diagnostic tools, establish surveillance programs and implement tighter controls on antibiotic use in these countries.
Source: WHO | 2005
This report from the WHO assesses the potential for creating early warning systems for vector-borne disease. It reviews the current state of research for several diseases such as dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria and West Nile virus.
The report includes an algorithmic framework for developing early warning systems, outlining data requirements and the different components of the system. It also contains two useful tables: one on the sensitivity of different infectious diseases to climate; and one summarising the existing research, identifying in which region the disease is most common, data availability and proposed actions.
A key problem in developing early warning systems, as highlighted by this report, is that non-climatic risk factors such as population immunity and food security strongly affect the potential for a disease outbreak. Equally challenging is the poor disease surveillance in many developing countries — the authors call on these countries to strengthen these systems, to help in the fight against climate change.
The report concludes that it will be important for researchers not to design these systems in isolation — health policymakers should be included at all stages of the design.
Source: Institute of Medicine | 2008
This extensive report from the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies takes on the considerable challenge of understanding how, and to what extent, climate change will affect infectious diseases.
The report provides detailed summaries of current knowledge on diseases such as cholera and rift valley fever. Several pages are devoted to reviewing the latest climate science to contextualise the effect on infectious disease; it also includes several maps on climate anomalies to show how they are linked to disease.
One section highlights methods to assess climate change impacts on infectious diseases. These include analyses of historical records; monitoring programs, especially those that track disease in wild animals; and comparisons of satellite-derived environmental measurements with epidemiological data.
The report concludes with an analysis of the challenges facing policymakers. In many cases, it says, the best public health measures against climate change are those that strengthen health systems in general, such as better training for professionals and better disease surveillance. Policymakers will need to move away from the traditional thinking of individual policies for individual diseases, towards a joined-up approach aimed at tackling "systemic, long-term" stresses that cause a range of effects.
Source: Global Forum for Health Research | 2008
This report, published by the Global Forum for Health Research, tracks global investments in health research and development (R&D).
The authors review global targets and commitments for R&D in health and evaluate how well these are being met. They highlight the differences in funding by region, including analyses from Argentina, China and the United States; and provide a breakdown of investments in R&D for cancer and 20 widespread infectious diseases.
They also describe the different sources of R&D funding, providing data on private, public and not-for-profit investments.
The authors discuss the implications of the current funding climate for future health research and make recommendations for improving research agendas, suggesting that R&D investments must match the health needs of developing countries now and in the future.
Source: World Health Organization | October 2005
This extensive report was one of the first to document the scale of the problem of chronic diseases in developing countries, and crucially, to offer guidance on feasible and practical methods of tackling them.
The document starts by laying out in detail the profiles of chronic diseases in different countries, projections for the future, and how chronic diseases are linked with poverty. It also examines in depth the economic costs of such diseases and the macroeconomic consequences of not tackling them quickly enough. The authors outline interventions — whether community, workplace, or school — that have robust evidence supporting them.
The report ends with a call for a unifying framework of global health experts and stakeholders, in which the government has a key role. It also specifies what policymakers need to do to ensure that measures to tackle chronic diseases are put into action.