North American universities ranked mostly poorly for global health research

The University Global Health Impact Report Card evaluates top research universities on their contributions to global health innovation, access and empowerment.

Physician-activist Paul Farmer has endorsed this new ranking of 54 academic institutions in Canada and the U.S. when it comes to their focus on global health. The University Global Health Impact Report Card evaluates top research universities on their contributions to global health innovation, access and empowerment.

The University of British Columbia got the best grades, above that of Harvard and Johns Hopkins. The University of Washington is in the upper-middle. Go the link for the full ranking. Below just a screen grab.

Universities Global Health ranks

The report card is a project of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines and uses publicly-available and self-reported information to evaluate three key questions:

  1. Are universities investing in innovative medical research that addresses the neglected health needs of low-income communities worldwide?
  2. When universities license their medical breakthroughs for commercial development, are they doing so in socially responsible ways that ensure those treatments reach developing world patients at affordable prices?
  3. Are universities educating the next generation of global health leaders about the crucial impact that academic institutions can have on global health through their research and licensing activities?

Here’s a related story from Inter Press contending Universities are not living up to their missions in global health.

Another story, by Health Affairs, which seems to be saying just the opposite – that universities doing much more on global health.

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Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at]humanosphere.org or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.

  • David Fedson

    In an Op-Ed article in the Washington Post (January 16, 2015), Paul
    Farmer of Partners in Health noted the recent Port Loko Accords and its call for better fluid and electrolyte management for Ebola
    patients. The goal of the Accords is to reduce Ebola case fatality rates to less than 10%. This might be achieved by
    treating the underlying physiological derangement in these patients –
    endothelial dysfunction – using inexpensive generic drugs that target the host
    response to infection instead of the virus itself. Six months ago, this
    suggestion was made to Ebola scientists and health officials who have defined
    the international Ebola response, but it was ignored. However, in recent months
    we’ve learned that local physicians in Sierra Leone have used a combination of
    a statin (atorvastatin) and an angiotensin receptor blocker (irbesartan) to
    treat at least 100 Ebola patients, 25 of them in the Port Loko Government
    Hospital. All but two of these patients are reported to have survived. These
    results were not obtained in randomised controlled trials, and they need to be
    rigorously validated. Moreover, for unknown reasons, physicians in Sierra
    Leone have not released information on their treatment experience. Nonetheless,
    it’s possible that this dramatically simple treatment could reduce Ebola case
    fatality rates to less than the ten percent called for in the Port Loko Accords.