through fellowship programs sponsored by governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), and international aid agencies.
More trained investigators are needed for CVD-relevant research. The unfinished health agenda of the developing world and the emergence of the HIV-AIDS epidemic have restricted the number of epidemiologists available to investigate CVD epidemiology. Nutritional research on NCDs has not engaged attention due to continuing and justified concerns about deficiency disorders. Clinical investigators have been more preoccupied with applications of high-technology interventions than with testing widely needed, low-cost, clinical algorithms for diagnosis and management of CVD.
Hence, there is a growing need to train individuals and equip institutions to undertake research relevant to CVD control. Regional training programs, modeled after the ISFC seminars and the INCLEN program, could be established in developing countries to focus on the control of CVD and other NCDs. Institutional capacity for conducting integrated, problem-oriented research could be strengthened with training and equipment for institutions that have the potential to undertake epidemiologic, clinical, and policy research.
Much of the research methodology already developed, tested, and applied can be transferred to developing countries. Agencies such as WHO can facilitate this process, both as a central repository of information and by providing subsidized pharmaceuticals. There are mutual benefits to be derived from twin-center programs between developed and developing countries. Regional research networks can effectively link institutions within and among developing countries to leverage scientific expertise and financial resources.
In summary, the committee recommends establishing or expanding the following capacity-strengthening capabilities in developing countries: (1) training programs in cardiovascular epidemiology, clinical research methodology, health policy research, and health economics; (2) the institutional capacity for undertaking integrated research relevant to CVD control; and (3) channels of collaboration through twin-center programs and regional research networks.