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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2006/2007 Research Topic: 4-37
Health Service and Poverty: Making Health Services More Accessible to the Poor


Health is becoming an increasingly critical concern in the context of poverty reduction. Poor people suffer from worse health and diseases; by the same token, people who are in poor health are more likely to fall into poverty. Reflecting this vicious cycle of poverty and ill-health, health has become a focal issue in development. In fact, three of the eight of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) require substantial improvements in the health sector.

People need access to effective health services to improve their health. Effective health services, however, often do not reach people, in particular the poor, in developing countries, due to inappropriate health policies or health systems. Reforming and strengthening health systems is a core agenda. In addition to this institutional issue involving health systems, there is also a need for resource, such as human resource and medical materials, etc. In the area of resources, external influences are gradually becoming more significant. The outflow of nurses and doctors from developing countries into developed countries, i.e. the brain drain problem, has become a serious problem, which aggravates the shortage of such personnel in developing countries. Reforms in intellectual property rights under the WTO should have a significant impact on medicine markets as well as drug prices in developing countries. This is also a crucial health concern in development.

In this context, this research project focuses on the institutional and resource (external) issues of health service provision in developing countries. With this, it will distill lessons that are relevant to making necessary health services accessible to poor people.


April 2006 - March 2008



Members of the Research Project

KUBO Kensuke
YAMAGATA Tatsufumi
ITO Seiro
II Masako (Professor, School of International and Public Policy (IPP), Hitotsubashi University)
YAMANE Hiroko (Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS))
ITO Banri (Research Associate, Global Security Research Institute, Keio University)