International cooperation for equity in health

May, 2015

In the article International cooperation for science and technology development: a way forward for equity in health, Priscila  Andrade and Denise Bomtempo, both professors at the “University of Brasília”,  analises the role of international organizations in building a sub-regime for research, development and innovation in health.

This article also discusses the priorities of developing countries in this field since the 1990s. It is a descriptive and analytical study that investigates the literature and contributions of key informants.

Calling for the end of global inequities in the support for science and technology in health, international organizations recommend that developing countries focus their efforts on neglected diseases and operational research, an insufficient agenda for science and technology cooperation to effectively overcome the vulnerabilities between countries.

Priscila and Denise analise the role of international institutions in the context of globalization. In this  multidimensional process that includes economic, political, cultural and social aspects,  knowledge and technology can also easily be spread by countries. Research, development and innovation (RD&I) in health is also part of this movement of global interactions, although an asymmetrical power structure in the ambit of international relations governs access to it and its management.

When it comes to international cooperation in this field, the most recent maps of global flows of resources, from 2007, estimate an investment of US$ 21.8 billion in the health sector in developing countries, US$ 1.1 billion of which is for funding Research Development and Innovation.

These investments are still incipient, but with the potential to contribute to reducing inequities in health, provided national health, economic and diplomatic priorities are aligned.

The authors conclude that the asymmetries in the power relations, especially in the economic, scientific and technological domains, between developed and developing countries tend to interfere in cooperation processes.

Read the full article:

Andrade, Priscila Almeida and Carvalho, Denise Bomtempo Birche de. International cooperation for science and technology development: a way forward for equity in health. Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, Mar 2015, vol.22, no.1, p.49-67. ISSN 0104-5970

For more articles about international cooperation in health, see the latest issue of HCSM: Bioethics and global health in the Americas.

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