The current Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Fernando García Casas, and the director of cooperation with Africa and Asia at the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Cristina Díaz Fernández-Gil, visited ISGlobal Campus Clinic on June 20, to discuss the role of research as a key element in development aid in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. The visit, which took place one day after ISGlobal’s Board of Trustees meeting where García Casas also participated in institutional capacity, aimed to review the strategic collaborations between ISGlobal and the Spanish Cooperation in Bolivia, Morocco and Mozambique..
Following an overall presentation of the institute by its general director, Antoni Plasència, the director of Global Development Leire Pajin and the general manager Gonzalo Vicente analysed the current situation of the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM), one of the most emblematic projects of the Spanish Cooperation that has received AECID’s support since its launch more than 22 years ago. The speakers stressed the need to continue supporting a cooperation model based on research and training that has not only benefited Mozambique and Spain but the global health community as a whole with contributions including the clinical development of the malaria vaccine RTS,S or the development of new strategies to prevent malaria in pregnant women, and which have provided the basis for current WHO recommendations.
The meeting, which was also attended by the director of Policy and Global Development, Rafael Vilasanjuan, also served to present the latest updates of the joint projects in Bolivia and Morocco. These include the Bolivian Platform for the Comprehensive Care of Adults with Chagas Disease, launched in 2009 as the result of a collaboration between ISGlobal and CEADES with support from the Spanish Cooperation and Bolivian health authorities, and that has become a model of success that has attended over 25,000 patients in the country and that is being replicated by the Bolivian health system. In Morocco, ISGlobal together with the Moroccan Ministry of Health and the AECID, have established a Mediterranean Health Observatory in the country, with the goal of identifying and working on global health issues of special interest for the Mediterranean region and that are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.