Infectious diseases remain key agents of the debilitating poverty afflicting so much of
the world today. Each year these diseases kill almost 9 million people, many of them
children under five, and they also cause enormous burdens through life-long disability.
Stepping up research into their causes and how to effectively treat them and prevent
them from spreading could have an enormous impact on efforts to lift people out of
poverty and to build a better world for future generations.
The global report for research on infectious diseases of poverty is an independent
publication comprising different viewpoints written by expert authors in each chapter.
It was initiated and facilitated by TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training
in Tropical Diseases, supported by the European Commission, and based on wide
contributions from stakeholders at various stages of the work. It offers new ways of
improving public health in low and middle income countries, with research as the
compelling foundation and driver for policies.
The first chapter sets the context and outlines ten areas where research on infectious
diseases of poverty can make major improvements; these form the framework for the
rest of the report. The next three chapters take these ten areas forward by focusing on
specific themes: the environment, health systems, and innovation and technology. A
fifth chapter discusses the research funding landscape while the final sixth chapter
considers the issues and evidence presented in the rest of the report to propose high
level actions, including the best research strategies against infectious diseases of
Implementation of the actions proposed in this report should help improve current
research prioritization processes, guide investment strategies and enhance commitment
to using research to promote global health equity. If, like the Millennium Development
Goals, these options for action are focused on by policy-makers, funders and
researchers, they should lead to well-planned, effective, and powerful health
interventions and have a real chance of saving millions of lives in years to come.