TDR history: making a difference since 1974
"TDR uses the tools of scientific investigation to understand why good drugs, good diagnostic tests, and good preventive strategies fail to reach people in need. In other words, to find the barriers to access, including costs, in impoverished settings and break them down.”
Dr Margaret Chan Director-General, the World Health Organization
TDR’s rich legacy began with the agreement at the World Health Assembly in May,1974 to set up the programme. This milestone was celebrated during 2014 with numerous events, including presentations by alumni on the impact on numerous diseases and regions, and a special PLOS-NTD collection of articles authored by former and current staff.
Special PLOS Collection on TDR 40 year history
In a special PLOS journal collection, TDR former and current staff provide their views on key challenges and lessons learned during the 40 year history, and explain how and why the approaches and workplans changed through time. This includes the type of research supported, the way it was conducted and even the diseases covered. As the needs in the countries evolved, so too has the Programme.
Related links and specific articles
Read the whole PLOS NTD collection on the TDR 40 year history
- What have we learned from 40 years of supporting research and capacity building?
- Shaping the research agenda
- A changing model for developing health products for poverty-related infectious diseases
- From bright ideas to tools: the case of malaria
- Vector research addressing countries’ control needs
- Applied research for better disease prevention and control
- Strengthening research capacity - TDR's evolving experience in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Find out more about TDR’s rich history
TDR has provided research evidence to five major elimination campaigns for neglected diseases and we've been part of the development of 12 new drugs. We’ve also helped to establish the effectiveness of insecticide-treated bednets and artemisinin combination therapy, now the mainstay of malaria control and treatment. Importantly, we've identified social and gender barriers that impede access to treatment and care, and provided evidence of the strength of communities in extending the health systems, starting with river blindness annual treatments, going on to diagnose and treat malaria, and to prevent dengue and Chagas disease transmission.
We've also trained thousands of researchers: in just about every low- and middle-income country, many of the scientific leaders and policy-makers are former TDR grantees.
Profiles of alumni
TDR wins the 2011 Gates Award for Global Health
Making a difference in tropical diseases
Making a difference: 30 years of TDR
Eliminating river blindness, highlights from making a difference
TDR’s contribution toward the development of ivermectin
Reaching Maturity: 25 years of the TDR