University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

New Website Answers What Works in Global Health

By Jason Bardi | | June 17, 2011

New Website Answers What Works in Global Health

James G. Kahn, MD, MPH

A team of researchers at UCSF and the Kaiser Family Foundation has launched a new web portal this month that aims to answer that most practical of public health questions: What works?

Think of it as Cliffs Notes for global health. The new website – Global Health Intervention Review (GHIR) – summarizes all of the interventions used to prevent and treat eight infectious diseases and other health conditions: Dengue fever, HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, waterborne diarrhea, maternal hemorrhage, maternal sepsis and unintended pregnancy.

Want to know how effectively insecticides control malaria or Dengue fever? Can’t recall the key antibiotic regimens for tuberculosis? Need to find out which is more effective at reducing water-borne diarrhea: vaccines or clean water efforts? Need to know which forms of birth control work best in avoiding pregnancy?

The website answers those questions and more, said UCSF professor James G. Kahn, MD, MPH, who led the effort to compile the information behind it. Kahn is an expert in policy modeling in health care, cost-effectiveness analysis, and evidence-based medicine used to inform decision-making in public health and medicine.

The website is designed to help policy-makers and funders sort through the best available information on prevention and treatment, find which have the largest effects and best supporting evidence and invest wisely in them to reduce the risk of death and disease in the developing world.

"The science can get both overwhelming and complex – even experts are inundated by the number of reports out there," said Kahn. "The point of the site is to make sure that the best available informationis actually available."