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UBC takes top marks for helping world's poor: study

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A new study puts UBC at the top when it comes to schools helping get rid of diseases in poor countries.

The report card written by Universities Allied for Essential Medicines in conjunction with Doctors Without Borders factors in how much research is devoted to neglected diseases, making drugs available to people in need, and the number of courses on global health. The study looks at universities all over North America.

“I don’t really look at this in terms of the rankings as much as I do the report card scoring an A-. That says we’ve done a pretty good job in this area,” says Angus Livingstone with UBC.

“We’ve been working away at developing our practices and created a neglected global diseases institute a number of years ago. It really is in recognition from that forward thinking and the fact that we’ve been at this a little bit longer.”

He says the school has been trying for years to wipe out illness in developing nations. “There’s a huge social burden there, a billion people worldwide are afflicted by diseases that really don’t attract a research and attention…[We’ve been working hard at] the practices that the university follows, in terms of trying to translate and transfer those from the university both in the industry and making it available to developing countries.”

And there will be more of this research in the future, as he says the school believes in being socially responsible for people here at home and abroad.

UBC beat out institutions like Johns Hopkins and Harvard.