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UK Government Awards £7.5m for Research into Communicable Diseases in Developing Countries

18 January 2011

London, 18 January 2011: The UK Government has signed an agreement to fund a £7.5 million project to help improve the health and lives of millions of people in some of the world’s poorest countries, whilst ensuring that it gets full value for its investment.

The multi-million research contract has been awarded to COMDIS Health Systems Delivery (HSD), a research programme consortium led by the University of Leeds, to conduct high quality research in low-income countries. The project, which commences this month and will run for seven years, will directly contribute to the UK Government priorities of eliminating world poverty and helping maintain progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
“We commend the UK Government through Department for International Development (DFID) for being one of the few organisations that recognizes the need for longer-term funding for research to help the poor people of the world.” said COMDIS HSD Co-Director James Newell. “We are delighted that DFID has awarded our consortium this contract.”
Following an international competition, the University of Leeds Nuffield Centre for International Health & Development successfully secured the contract to lead a multi-region consortium of partners in conducting priority health research with the overarching aim of helping to eradicate poverty.
The COMDIS-HSD consortium will conduct high quality research primarily in nine low-income countries – Bangladesh, China, Nepal, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, Southern Sudan and Nigeria.
“We conduct our research and health development together with the government health services. As a result the evidence of best practice influences national policy and treatment guidelines developed are used to train health workers and improve care across the countries where we work” said Professor John Walley, Co-Director of the COMDIS-HSD consortium.
Research partners include research and development non governmental organizations (NGOs) such as ASD Pakistan, international NGOs, such as Malaria Consortium which has a presence in Africa, Asia and the UK; and Universities such as Kumasi Ghana and Hong Kong China.
These and other partners will produce a coherent body of knowledge on how to deliver basic curative and preventative health programmes. In the process it will improve demand for, access to, and quality of prevention and care for common diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS and cardio-vascular and family planning.
COMDIS-HSD will target underserved populations such as in rural areas, peri-urban slums and fragile states. Consequently, poor people will have increased ability to provide for themselves and their families, and reduced vulnerability to disease.
By improving quality, demand and supply of health care for millions of poor people, the work of COMDIS-HSD will help to ensure every pound of UKaid is spent appropriately and effectively.
COMDIS-HSD is separate to COMDIS, a very successful five year RPC led by Leeds ending in March 2011 (see ), which has also been funded by the UK government.
DFID Research Agenda
UK Government health research focuses on building the evidence to deliver effective health services including the priority areas of malaria, reproductive, maternal and child health and nutrition. The UK Government has developed and supports research that contributes to a global pool of new knowledge and technologies for international development that:
- Strikes a balance between creating new knowledge and technology and getting knowledge and technology – both new and existing – into use;
- Makes the most of the UK Government’s ability to influence policy to make sure research makes an impact;
- Uses different methods of funding to join up national, regional and global research efforts, so that they are more relevant to what matters most to developing countries; and to achieve a bigger impact on poverty reduction;
- Strengthens developing countries’ capability to do and use research; and
- Helps the UK Government’s partners predict and respond to development challenges and opportunities beyond the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs.
Research Programme Consortia
RPCs such as COMDIS and COMDIS-HSD are centres of specialisation around a particular research and policy theme. They comprise a range of institutions, including those from developing countries, with a lead institution that has overall management and financial responsibility. Institutions may include academic, civil society and commercial organisations (including operational development and communications organisations).
For more information on COMDIS HSD or spokespeople, please contact Communications Manager Lara Brehmer on 020 7549 025 or by email at [email protected]


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