IVI’s Director General, Dr. Jerome Kim was a member of the team of experts that looked at the underfunding of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) research.
RHD, a long-term consequence of Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A streptococcus, or GAS) infection, is estimated to affect at least 33 million people globally, causing approximately 300,000 deaths yearly. Despite this huge disease burden, RHD continues to receive relatively little attention from both researchers and the global health community. This translates into little funding, which limits the opportunities for innovations in disease control.
By comparing 16 major tropical diseases, using data from the Global Burden of Disease Study and funding from the G-FINDER database, the team established that RHD is the least-funded illness relative to its disease burden. The study was published in the Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene on March 30, 2019 and can be accessed at: https://doi.org/10.1093/trstmh/trz014