When it comes to health, there are no borders. Health policies in one area of the world can have a profound impact in other areas of the world.
This week, the Government of Canada announced that it will donate doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to help fight the current outbreak in West Africa. Canada has donated 800 to 1,000 doses of the VSV-EBOV vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO). While the drug is still in the clinical development stage, the World Health Organization has indicated that it will offer untested treatments to consenting patients in order to help fight the outbreak. This is a great example of the importance of continuing to support the development of innovative treatments and vaccines.
Bill Tholl, President and CEO of HealthCareCAN, wrote a great blog post this week about Canada’s health research and innovation success stories. As he highlights, Canada has a proud tradition of research excellence – we have success stories including stem cells, insulin and vaccines – that should be celebrated. This includes stories like the one above, about the experimental Ebola vaccine, which was developed in Canada's national laboratory in Winnipeg.
As Mr. Tholl writes in his post, Canada’s history of research excellence also helps to set winning conditions for advancing health research to the delivery of care. These conditions must be supported by various stakeholders and partners, including academic healthcare organizations, the federal government and private sector partners. This includes ensuring there is sufficient funding to attract and retain talented researchers and maintaining a supportive policy framework to help accelerate innovative discoveries to patient care. As Mr. Tholl concludes, it is essential that these innovations be translated to ‘better care, better health and better value’ for Canadian patients.
Read his blog here: What does it take to success in health research and innovation?
As our world becomes more and more interconnected, we need to work together to ensure that people around the world and here at home continue to have access to the health care options they need to live healthy, active lives. Collaborations and partnerships will provide the best chance of realizing this vision of a healthier tomorrow.