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Case Studies Offer Inside Look at Effective Ways to Address Global Health Challenges

November 20, 2009

Publication to Serve as Guide to Understanding, Building Productive Partnerships

November 20, 2009 – Washington, DC – Meaningful and lasting progress in addressing global health challenges cannot be achieved without partnerships and collaboration, according to a publication released today, Case Studies for Global Health. The collection of case studies, which focus on access to medicines and health services, discovery and development of new drugs and vaccines, health intervention and prevention programs, and health systems strengthening and capacity building, provide an inside look at the ways in which more than 30 diverse programs have sought to address these complex challenges and develop and deliver effective health care for the developing world.

Spearheading the development of the Case Studies project are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Health Progress (an initiative among research-based biopharmaceutical companies), the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) and Tropical Disease Research (TDR – the WHO-executed Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases). The group is known collectively as the “Alliance for Case Studies for Global Health.”

“The Alliance came together under a common goal – provide a resource to the broad range of stakeholders who have voiced an interest in understanding how to efficiently build and manage partnerships to address global health challenges,” said AUTM President Arundeep Pradhan, Associate Vice President, Technology Transfer and Business Development, Oregon Health & Science University.   “Our hope is that the case studies we’ve highlighted can now be used as tools for us and other stakeholders as we shape activities and structure future collaborations to help address other pressing health challenges.”

“Our purpose was straightforward – use the lens of a diverse range of global health initiatives to illustrate how people, organizations, companies and governments have worked together to address a wide range of global health concerns,” said Erik Iverson, Associate General Counsel, Global Health Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The case studies provide concrete information on current practices and the lessons learned; and serve as a reference tool for stakeholders as they more effectively develop future programs, activities and partnerships. 

“Some of the case studies are success stories, others are works in progress,” said Labeeb Abboud, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.  “In every case, valuable insight can be gained from frank and honest assessments of what was learned along the way.”

The case studies are divided into four categories – access to medicines and health care services, discovery and development of new drugs and vaccines, health intervention and prevention programs, and health systems strengthening and capacity building. Whether fighting well-known diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, or lesser-known diseases like dengue fever, hookworm and Japanese encephalitis, the case studies provide examples of how organizations and people work together to solve some of the toughest public health challenges facing the world today and how that work also helps to build networks and capacity, localize training of medical personnel, and foster novel research approaches along the way.

“Although they represent diverse causes, activities and partnerships, the case studies share a common theme,” said Christopher Singer, President, International, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a founding member of the Global Health Progress initiative. “Successful programs engage partners and policymakers early, communicate openly and frequently with relevant stakeholders, and empower and involve communities.”

The publication can be viewed in its entirety at www.casestudiesforglobalhealth.org.

About the Alliance for Case Studies for Global Health
The multi-sector Case Studies for Global Health initiative was conceived by members of the Alliance in December 2007. Representatives from each organization met many times to shape the collective vision regarding the scope and nature of this publication, and issued a call for case studies in journals, Web sites and newsletters in the fall of 2008 in an effort to identify the broadest set of global health activities possible from organizations, universities, companies and government agencies. Submitted case studies were reviewed by representatives from each Alliance organization.  The result is a collection of case studies that represent wide-ranging activities, stakeholders and approaches that are broad in scope and provide a balanced and insightful look at how programs act individually and collectively in the interest of addressing global health concerns.