Emory University is taking the initiative to decrease the child mortality rate in suffering countries, setting an example for future research endeavors.
“The Child Health and Mortality Prevention and Surveillance Network,” or CHAMPS, is a global health surveillance program created to gather data through a faster, more accurate, and more effective process than current methods.
By identifying the most common causes of death for children in high-risk areas, leaders hope to improve health and quality of life, help local health officials address the root problems earlier, and prevent unnecessary deaths,” reports Emory magazine.
The $75 million program is being led by Emory’s Global Health Institute and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Emory was selected out of twenty-four proposals submitted by other institutions to spearhead the program.
Not only will the program provide technology and resources to areas that are in great need (namely, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, which have the highest child death rates), it will seek to study the causes of child death through extensive data retrieval and analysis.
This project is a great example of how we should go about aid through its recognition of the fact that finding a cause is the first step to solving a problem.
Another project that has embraced this methodology is the Duke Global Health Institute, which also received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in July.
The $20 million grant will go toward researching how to reduce health disparities, as well as expand learning opportunities for students at Duke to become educated about global health issues, says the Duke Global Health Institute.
Brown University’s Global Health Initiative received two grants in July: the Brown Moi Partnership for Biostatistics Training in HIV and the Training Program in Tuberculosis and HIV Research in Ghana.
Totaling $1.45 million over five years from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health, the funds will aid the research of HIV and tuberculosis in Ghana, “building on years of previous medical education collaboration” (with the University of Ghana), reports News from Brown.
Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health is currently conducting 350 global projects in 100 countries across 6 continents, 210 of which taking place in Africa and 47 in Asia.
These universities demonstrate the good news in the U.S. and hold standards that all research universities should meet. What constitutes important research? ROI, awards, and recognition are not answers to that question.
What makes research valuable is if it has a positive impact on the world, and, to that end, that it is focused on providing something that otherwise would not be available to a public.
Medical advancements in the way of improving global health are perfect examples of valuable research.
Emory and all other universities that are taking steps to end urgent health problems in developing countries are small-scale efforts compared to what the U.S. government has access to, and these endeavors should be taken to levels as big as the White House.
The 2015 budget lays out $65.9 billion for non-defense research and development (R&D) but does not list exactly what “non-defense” entails.
Looking at U.S. spending more closely, the priorities of the White House are clear. $33.7 billion is assigned to foreign aid for FY 2016. Military spending totaled $598.5 billion in 2015, more than half of federal discretionary spending.
Global health problems are only going to get worse if we do not get to the bottom of why these problems keep arising. Emory is doing great work to recognize and prevent this reality.
– Ashley Tressel