Innovation is the key to unlocking a healthier, more productive world. But leaving it up to luck is reckless.
In the poorest parts of the world, the heavy burden of disease is a heavy drag on progress.
Together, the five deadliest infectious diseases kill almost 5.5 million people per year and sicken millions more, predominately in low- and middle-income countries. For many of these diseases, we lack the drugs, vaccines, diagnostics or other tools to protect people at risk – whether it’s a one-month regimen for tuberculosis or a way to keep mosquitoes from transmitting dengue fever.
It’s easy to take for granted scientific breakthroughs that have already happened: the polio vaccine, the MRI machine, antiretroviral therapy. But none of them would have been possible without years-long public and private investments in research and development (R&D). The Lancet Commission on Investing in Health estimates that a “grand convergence” in health outcomes between rich and poor countries is possible, but only if the world doubles R&D spending to $6 billion a year.
If we want the next generation of game-changing technologies, we have to make science a priority. We work with our partners to make people aware of the need for additional funding, while supporting proven approaches – public-private collaboration, product development partnerships, and building scientific capacity in Africa and other places where disease burdens are highest.
We help clients advocate for a smart, ambitious R&D strategy for the world, while calling attention to technological breakthroughs that have the potential to transform global health.
At GHS, a day working on science and technology may mean:
- Drafting a policy paper on the success of a pilot technology to encourage support for scale-up
- Editing the script for an interactive display on the value of R&D against pandemics
- Designing an animation to illustrate the importance of complex technologies for millions of Twitter followers
- Designing a four-day agenda for a 1200-person meeting of scientists and funders
- Writing a concept note for a research partnership between a billion-dollar environment fund and an island nation endangered by climate change
- Penning an op-ed in Time on the need for a Zika vaccine