A lack of capacity is one of the major restrictions to development and human security in low income countries (LICs). Only 10% of the world’s research is done on the disease burden shouldered by the worlds poorest. Building and retaining the human skill sets needed by LICs is one of the great challenges of our time.
There is a way to tackle this problem by utilizing the highly skilled individuals in universities in the West to train people in LICs. I have a proposal for universities in the West to develop Centers for International Health and Development (CIHD) in their institutions. These centers will act as a conduit to link their universities with institutions in the south and facilitate North/South and South/South partnerships. By using a multidisciplinary approach, doctors, nurses, engineers, public management specialists, social scientists, and others, our universities can be used to develop these skill sets in LICs. The private sector, NGOs and government institutions can also be brought together to fund and implement these activities.
Building and retaining the skill sets needed for a competent and incorrupt public service, judiciary, and private sector is essential for any country to develop. Guided by the recipient nation our universities can play a crucial role to make this happen and in so doing will help developing nations break the shackles of poverty.
Hon. Keith Martin, M.D., M.P.
Parliament of Canada