COHRED signs a Call to Action for G-20

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G20 must invest in research for the health of the poorest

Further to your editorial G20 must not forget the poorest, the Foundation Council of the Global Forum for Health Research, currently in session in Montevideo, Uruguay, urges the G20 to invest in research to improve the health of the poorest.

In the context of the current financial crisis, the Global Forum emphasises that: a. health research yields crucial evidence to ensure more effective, efficient and equitable  health expenditures – especially vital in poorer countries
b. research and science and technology underpin innovation and economic growth and the improvements of health necessary to contribute to such growth.

Without, for example, ongoing research to develop and deliver new drugs and vaccines to prevent and treat increasingly resistant tuberculosis, millions in both rich and poor countries may die from this global threat and major security concern. Similarly, without research for new drugs and vaccines for malaria, millions of children around the world will succumb to this age-old scourge and any hopes of eradicating malaria from our world will remain but a dream.

Research has led to historic interventions to improve health and save lives including, for instance, tobacco control, folic acid and vitamin A supplementation, the creation and effective delivery of new drugs for HIV/AIDS, and substantially better delivery of health services for poor populations.

Maintaining and increasing research and innovation for global health, via both the public and private sectors, is an economic and humanitarian imperative.

Yours faithfully,
Foundation Council, Global Forum for Health Research

  • Gill Samuels, Chair
  • Paulo Buss, FIOCRUZ, Brazil
  • Jie Chen, Fudan University, China
  • Maria G. Guzman, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Cuba
  • Carel IJsselmuiden, Council on Health Research for Development, Switzerland
  • Alejandra Lopez-Gomez, Mujer y Salud en Uruguay
  • Adolfo Martinez-Palomo, Center for Research and Advanced Studies, Mexico
  • Anthony MBewu, Medical Research Council, South Africa
  • Ravi Narayan, Society for Community Health Awareness, Research and Action, India
  • Ok Pannenborg, The World Bank
  • Sundari Ravindran, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, India
  • Judith Whitworth, Australian National University


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