sugar, cooking oil and flours available to the majorities of the population of many countries. More recently, USAID research on natural family planning has resulted in the development of two new methods, both of which have shown to be very effective when used correctly.
USAID supported large-scale efficacy trials of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) across Africa, which provided definitive data on the highly effective impact of ITNs for preventing malaria among the most vulnerable populations of women and children. This report further details the impact of research in many other areas.
USAID invests in research to identify and assess key health problems affecting populations in developing countries and to develop and introduce new vaccines, tools, and approaches to help resolve these problems.
The objective of almost half of USAID research activities is to find ways to “introduce” and make life-saving interventions accessible to those most in need—children under 5, mothers, people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and TB, and women and men of reproductive age. The other objectives of USAID research activities are to identify or assess major public health problems and develop a new tool or approach to help resolve these problems.
Other partners complement the different roles that USAID plays in the cycle from research to implementation.
In some cases, for example research to develop a malaria vaccine, the objective of U.S. Government partners is different from that of USAID—a short-term vaccine to protect troops versus a long-term vaccine to protect vulnerable women and children. In the case of Oral Rehydration Salts and Vitamin A, USAID’s role began with the identification of the problem and the development of the intervention, right up to wide scale introduction, working with WHO and UNICEF.
USAID’s research role in yet other cases is to provide information necessary to the private sector to carry out large scale commercialization of new products such as fortified foods and long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets.
USAID’s role in the development of microbicides, for example, is to focus research and development on safe, effective and acceptable microbicides to prevent HIV infection that have the appropriate cost and product characteristics for use in developing countries and, in some cases, offer dual-protection as a family planning method. USAID collaborates with NIH, CDC, and FDA to develop the U.S. Government’s Strategic Plan for Microbicides.
This report details research that USAID has supported and its results. In some of the newer areas of research the report also looks at ongoing studies. One example of these is a soon-to-be commissioned review by Brian Sharp, Medical Research Council, Durban, South Africa, and Christian Lengeler, Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland, to compare indoor residual spraying (IRS) and ITNs across a range of malaria transmission settings in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of cost-effectiveness, impact on health measures, and operational constraints. The report, expected in early 2006, should provide clear, evidence-based guidance to