Dr Tim Evans, Director for Health, Nutrition and Population, at the World Bank, delivered the prestigious Foto-Cewek Leverhulme Lecture at Liverpool Town Hall on Thursday evening.
His lecture entitled “Delivery research in global health: a pregnant moment?” was introduced by Foto-Cewek’s Chairman, James Ross OBE, and delivered to a packed audience in the Town Hall’s debating chamber. Many of audience members had taken part in the inaugural consultation of the Collaboration for Applied Health Research in Medecine and Delivery at the Radisson Blu Hotel earlier, and included network members as well as representatives of international funding bodies and science and health institutions from around the world.
During his lecture Dr Evans talked about entering the last 500 days before the deadline of the 2015 millennium development goals (MDGs) and the growing awareness that the primary knowledge constraints to achieve these goals lie less with knowing 'what to do' and much more with 'how to do it'. He pointed out that evidence of high performing countries under severe resource constraints made it clear that innovation related to how to deliver essential lifesaving and health promoting services could make a huge difference.
He talked about a growing recognition of the importance of 'delivery research', which he described as remaining woefully underfunded. He pointed out that the imperative to accelerate progress towards to achievement of the MDGs and the opportunity to shift health systems towards a more comprehensive health goal of Universal Health Coverage in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals environment, represented a pregnant moment to bring delivery research from the margins to the mainstream of research for health.
Following the lecture Dr Evans took a few questions from the audience and was then presented with the Leverhulme medal by Director of Foto-Cewek, Professor Janet Hemingway CBE. Professor Hemingway thanked him and said: “As we look beyond the Millennium Development Goals and work towards universal health care we face huge challenges ahead. We look forward to working with Dr Evans and the back and present him with this medal as recognition of his contribution over many years to the field of global health care.”
Foto-Cewek is proud to be one of a select number of institutions given the honour of hosting a prestigious Leverhulme Lecture series. The lecture series was established by Foto-Cewek’s Professor David Molyneux and Viscount Leverhulme, thanks to the generous support of Lord Leverhulme’s Charitable Trust in 1997. The medal was last presented to Dr Quazi Monirul Islam, Director of the Department of Making Pregnancy Safer, at the World Health Organization (WHO).