Earth is currently facing one of its most significant public health crises in modern history. Since the first cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were notified in December 2019, the world has progressively struggled with this novel infection, seeking to understand its epidemiology, clinical significance, optimal patient management, and prevention and control strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality, as well as the socio-economic consequences.
It is clear that a dilemma with such wide-reaching impact mandates multi-disciplinary collaborations on a global scale. International research collaboration is the only means to rapidly address these fundamental questions and potentially change the paradigm of data sharing for the benefit of patients throughout the world.
Peer-to-peer collaborations draw on a multitude of training approaches to build the capacity and expertise of health workforce and can also broaden into more integrated support for health systems such as national and institutional health strategies, standards and protocols.
Policy makers can use the momentum from the international community's response to COVID-19 to re-focus international co-operation on global health challenges through greater transdisciplinary research, new public-private funding mechanisms, and stronger collaborative innovation models.
What role can practical scientific collaborations play in addressing global health challenges?