Bringing researchers around the world for faster delivery of benefits from science and research.
"In the near future two thirds of the patients will be in developing and under developed countries, but with only 5% of the global resources for disease management or control"
Dr Jan Stjernsward MD, PhD,
Former Chief, Cancer and palliative care. WHO
Radiotherapy in Cancer Management: A Practical manual-WHO Publication Publisher: Chapman & Hall, Medical 1997
IRPC- An Overview
Dr Costas Giannakenas MD, PhD
Dept of Nuclear Medicine,
Regional University Hospital of Patras,
26500-Patras / Greece
The roots of IRPC spring from the necessity to counter the problems related to research in developing and underdeveloped countries. The vast majority of the population of this planet are living in the erstwhile Third World, as are the majority of undiagnosed, or at best under diagnosed, cases of serious diseases.
Yet only a small part of the global health care resources are channeled towards meeting these grave and demanding needs for medical and related support. Morbidity and mortality rates in most of the developing and underdeveloped countries are unproportionally very high and lives are being lost for lack of basic healthcare.
The problem is more evident in the very young and the elderly who often succumb to the advanced stages of illnesses that are easily preventable or readily curable in any developed country. These inequalities have obvious economic foundations.
Most of the struggling economies are unable to meet the demands for preventive medical practices and are equally unable to meet the cost of appropriate health care for the people. In view of all these inadequacies, medical and scientific research is understandably a matter of low priority.
And although there is an increasing population of qualified scientists, many of whom are trained abroad there is a lack of such trained professionals as many follow their quest for knowledge or even their ambitions to developed countries where greater opportunities are possible. It is neither acceptably adequate nor satisfactory to be able to simply provide basic health care to the people of the under developed economies. Not when the new technologies and recent advances in disease management are readily accessible to people in developed countries. People in the developing economies have the same and even greater needs and there is a discernable urgency for immediate research strategically aimed at the endemic and demographic incidence of serious diseases characteristic of each region. But this research has to be in conjunction with the efforts being made to provide preventive as well as adequate health care for these populations.
The urgency and the needs are obvious enough but the appropriate means towards meeting these goals are yet to be secured.
These circumstances are what make the IRPC such a commendable effort. By striving to draw global attention to the many unresolved problems facing the majority of the world's population, the IRPC is opening new frontiers and finding new approaches to meeting the challenges presented.