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Current Research and Development in Developing Countries

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) research in developed countries has built a scientific base for defining disease risk and recognizing when to intervene. It has also provided a rationale for changing personal behaviors that increase the risk for CVD and for developing public health policy and programs. The scientific base can be transferred to developing countries, along with the experience of building R&D capacity. Establishing R&D capacity involves capacity building, technical assistance, and grants for research studies. Capacity building creates the trained human resources and appropriate technical approaches to assess the health needs of the developing country population. Technical assistance provides the experiential base to plan, conduct, and analyze research projects. Research grants can support the cost of conducting research projects.

The committee sought information on the levels and types of R&D currently supporting CVD prevention and treatment in developing countries. Since there are no published data on organizational funding flows, a questionnaire was sent to 26 international donors. Fifteen funders responded to the four questions, and their responses are summarized below:

Question 1: What is the total annual amount that your organization has spent for the past 10 years on the prevention and treatment of CVD in developing countries?

Only three organizations indicated supporting such programs during 1987—1996. Reported funding in 1996 U.S. dollars was approximately $635,000, $236,000, and $42,000. The other respondents indicated that they had no programs supporting CVD prevention and treatment in developing countries.



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4 Current Research and Development in Developing Countries Cardiovascular disease (CVD) research in developed countries has built a scientific base for defining disease risk and recognizing when to intervene. It has also provided a rationale for changing personal behaviors that increase the risk for CVD and for developing public health policy and programs. The scientific base can be transferred to developing countries, along with the experience of building R&D capacity. Establishing R&D capacity involves capacity building, technical assistance, and grants for research studies. Capacity building creates the trained human resources and appropriate technical approaches to assess the health needs of the developing country population. Technical assistance provides the experiential base to plan, conduct, and analyze research projects. Research grants can support the cost of conducting research projects. The committee sought information on the levels and types of R&D currently supporting CVD prevention and treatment in developing countries. Since there are no published data on organizational funding flows, a questionnaire was sent to 26 international donors. Fifteen funders responded to the four questions, and their responses are summarized below: Question 1: What is the total annual amount that your organization has spent for the past 10 years on the prevention and treatment of CVD in developing countries? Only three organizations indicated supporting such programs during 1987—1996. Reported funding in 1996 U.S. dollars was approximately $635,000, $236,000, and $42,000. The other respondents indicated that they had no programs supporting CVD prevention and treatment in developing countries.

OCR for page 42
Question 2: What is the total annual amount that your organization has spent for the past 10 years on research and development in support of total disease prevention and treatment in developing countries? Four organizations responded to this question. Their respective spending on R&D for total disease prevention and treatment in developing countries over the past 10 years amounted to approximately U.S. $4.8 million, $83 million, $123 million, and $2 million. Question 3: What is the total annual amount that your organization has spent for the past 10 years on research and development in support of CVD prevention and treatment in developing countries? One of the 15 respondents reported CVD research funding was approximately U.S. $42,000. Question 4: In view of the emerging epidemic of CVD in developing countries, what is the total amount your organization proposes to spend annually over the next 10 years on R&D in support of CVD prevention and treatment in developing countries? None of the responses indicated that a commitment had been made at the time to research support for CVD. Although results of this survey can capture information about grant or contract support, indirect support of capacity building (training on-site or in the donor country or technical assistance provided by donor country professionals) may not be captured. In summary, relatively little grant or contract funding is currently directed toward the support of CVD prevention and treatment in developing countries, and of this very little supports R&D.