The Global Health Network is a University of Oxford programme working with frontline health workers in Africa, Asia and Latin America building lasting capabilities for research to address the diseases that they treat and manage in their patients.
Driving Better Research for Better health
To truly address the diseases of poverty that cause high mortality in low-income countries, research is needed to find better management and prevention practices, and to test treatments and vaccines. This research should be led by local teams comprised of nurses, doctors and laboratory staff as they know the priorities and understand the gaps.
Currently 90% of Health Research benefits just 10% of the global population; those fortunate enough to live in wealthy nations. Of the limited research that is undertaken in poorer countries, this is typically led by organisations from elsewhere and so lasting benefit is limited.
We are working to address this inequity; research should be determined by local priorities and delivered through local leadership. The Global Health Network is transferring skills and providing know-how that is enabling research, creating local teams and producing solutions that are changing health outcomes in these vulnerable communities.
Our work was highly impactful during both the Ebola and Zika outbreaks by supporting local research teams. Now we are working hard with our partners across Africa, Asia and Latin America to support rapid implementation of high-quality research during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative that research happens right across the globe to address all the unknowns and ensure that the findings are appropriate and can benefit every affected community and healthcare settings. Right now, there is a risk that low-income countries miss out, and this is what we are driving hard to mitigate.
Whilst our impact is clear and visible in outbreaks we work continuously to support research that tackles the everyday diseases of poverty where finding answers, addressing the unknowns is needed to make an impact on the lives of those families living daily with devastating diseases such malaria, dengue, yellow fever and malnutrition.
Listen to Trudie Lang in Covid-19: how are African countries coping? – Science Weekly Podcast recorded by The Guardian on April 8th 2020. Trudie speaks about the outbreak on the continent and how a history of responding to Ebola and other public health emergencies could help.