Health research is key for universal health coverage: WHOListen /
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on countries to continue investing in local research in order to develop a system of universal health coverage tailored to each individual country's situation.
In its World Health Report 2013 launched in Beijing, China, on Thursday, WHO says through universal health coverage, countries can help ensure that citizens obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them.
The report shows how countries, when developing a system for universal health coverage, can use research to determine what health issues should be addressed, how a system should be structured and how to measure progress according to their specific health situation.
Dr Christopher Dye is from the WHO Office of Health Information.
"Research is done all around the world, but what we want to emphasize is that research needs to be done in low income countries as well as in high income countries. Because low income countries have many special problems that they need to work out how to solve themselves. We need to build better systems for doing research, and that includes institutions and infrastructure and granting mechanisms, but above all the message from this report is that we need to invest in the people who do research. We need to set up better mechanism for financing research internationally and nationally. We need to set up a mechanism for what research is going on so that we can build on the data that is in this report and we have a comprehensive picture of how much research is being done around the world."
The report reveals that, on average, domestic investment in health research in low- and middle-income countries has been growing at 5 per cent each year.
This trend, it adds, is most visible in emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India, all of which have embraced the concept of universal health coverage.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.