Special Viewpoints

Harnessing Genomics and Biotechnology to Improve Global Health Equity

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Science  05 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5540, pp. 87-89
DOI: 10.1126/science.1062633

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Abstract

With decisive and timely action, genome-related biotechnology can be harnessed to improve global health equity. In June 2002 in Kananaskis, Canada, leaders of the G8 industrial nations will develop an action plan to support implementation of the New African Initiative. By extending their discussion of health issues raised in the New African Initiative to include genomics, G8 leaders could signal their intention to increase global health equity by preventing a health genomics divide from developing. There are already some early and growing examples of genome-related biotechnology being applied successfully to health problems in developing countries. But how can genomics be systematically harnessed to benefit health in developing countries? We propose a five-point strategy, including research, capacity strengthening, consensus building, public engagement, and an investment fund.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed at 88 College Street, Toronto, Canada M5G-1L4. E-mail: peter.singer{at}utoronto.ca

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