In May 2003, while Dr. Alvin Zipursky was Editor-in-Chief of the international biomedical journal, Pediatric Research, he held a discussion forum within the annual Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting . At that session, individual researchers and clinicians and those representing national and international paediatric societies and other organizations, came together. They focused their discussion on the fact that diseases affecting children in developing countries were not being presented and studied at the PAS Meetingthe largest annual meeting of paediatric researchers . The situation was a reflection of the broader problem that had come to be known as the "10/90 Gap".
"10/90 Gap": In 1990 The Commission on Health Research for Development estimated that 5% of the worlds health research dollars were being spent on research into the health issues affecting low and middle income countries where 93% of the world's preventable deaths occurred. The Global Forum for Health Research later coined the term "10/90 Gap" as short-hand for this inequity.
Experts at the May 2003 meeting agreed that this situation needed to change. Dr. Zipursky subsequently founded The Programme for Global Paediatric Research (PGPR) as an instrument to facilitate this change. PGPRs initial mission was to bring the diseases and issues affecting children in developing countries to the large community of researchers and clinicians gathered at the annual PAS Meeting to educate those researchers; engage them in the work needed in developing countries; and help begin collaborations between researchers in high, middle and low income countries.
Over a brief time PGPR's role as an educator expanded from a North American setting to symposia and workshops around the world and PGPR evolved into a network facilitatorhelping groups of experts collaborate to identify research gaps; devise evidence-based solutions; and implement sustainable strategies to save and improve the lives of children in low and middle income countries.