(Image: Lindsay Mgbor, DFID)
A new report, published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health at the end of June, highlighted the value of the UK’s role in global health.
The report includes four sectors that contribute to health internationally: public, academic, commercial and not-for-profit. The UK has played a major role both within and between sectors to promote collaborative working. Its global contribution is second only to the US, which it surpasses in some areas.
UKCDS member organisations have made significant contributions to health globally. DFID’s spending on health has led to over 36,000 maternal lives saves and over 64,000 neonatal lives saved since 2011.
Research councils and charities, including the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust also significantly contribute to health, spending over £7 billion per year on medical research.
These organisations, along with the Department of Health and the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs have also played key roles to address antimicrobial resistance.
The report also recognised the work of UKCDS and its membership, stating, “A key strength of the health research environment in the UK is collaborative working between these key funders, and UKCDS plays a key role in bringing them together to discuss research priorities in international health.”
Also noted was the rise in spending on development research, “the percentage of UK public R&D spending on international development has risen from less than 6% to 8.3% of public R&D funding between 2012/13 and 2013/14.”
Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said:
“This report shows how the UK is now leading the way in many aspects of global health and development, particularly in research and innovation, partnership with commercial and not-for-profit sectors, universal health coverage and emergency response. However, there are many challenges ahead, and barriers including immigration restrictions on health professionals, researchers and postgraduate students. The government needs to take a strategic, coordinated approach to address these, to ensure that we can build on the UK’s unique expertise and realise the opportunities for the UK economy and global influence, and our shared purpose improving health worldwide.”
This recent report echoes the findings of the UKCDS analysis, that the UK has a substantial and far-reaching impact on international development in general.
For the full report see the APPG on Global Health’s website.