World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Local Research Essential to Universal Health Coverage

Local Research Essential to Universal Health Coverage, UN Agency Reports

New York, Aug 15 2013 - The United Nations health agency today called on countries to continue investing in local research as a step towards developing a system of universal and affordable health coverage.

Launching the “World health report 2013: Research for universal health coverage” in Beijing, China, the Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) called universal coverage “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.”

“Universal coverage is the best way to cement the health gains made during the previous decade,” Margaret Chan said, adding that it is a “powerful social equalizer and the ultimate expression of fairness.”

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.

More than $100 billion is spent annually on health research, with a majority spent on discovery and development of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, and a smaller proportion on health systems and delivery.

“Research for universal health coverage is not a luxury; rather, it is fundamental to the discovery, development and delivery of interventions that people need to maintain good health,” according to the report.

Domestic investment in research in low- and middle-income countries has been growing an average of 5 per cent each year, WHO highlighted. This trend is most visible in emerging economies such as Brazil, China and India, all of which have embraced the concept of universal health coverage. Meanwhile, research productivity among African countries has increased 26 per cent annually, driven by concern of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

The report also showed a rise in international collaborations on health research. From 2000 to 2010, the global share of Chinese researchers as co-publishers rose from five per cent to 13 per cent.

“All nations should be producers as well as consumers of research. The creativity and skill of researchers are the backbone of academic and public health programmes,” said Christopher Dye, lead author of the report and director of the Office of Health Information, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases.

“A wide range of basic and applied research studies is essential to reach universal health coverage, but gaps between knowledge and action are being closed very slowly. We need to accelerate the process of bringing scientists and decision-makers together to improve health service coverage.”

In its report, WHO also encourages international donors and national governments to support mechanisms for sharing information and data, to strengthen research training and institutions, and to measure progress against their own commitment to achieving universal health coverage.

For more details go to UN News Centre at


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: “COVID-19 Is Not Over”, Tedros Warns World Health Assembly

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told global health Ministers on Sunday that although reported COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined significantly, it is not time to lower the guard... More>>

UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>

ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...

Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>

UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>