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A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology by Vincent F. Hendricks, Stig Andur Pedersen, Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis

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Cases of S&T Applied to the MDGs

There have been several reports outlining the contribution of S&T to the MDGs.17,18,19 Some recommendations seem out of reach, in light of the lack of basic infrastructure in the world’s poorest regions. For example, how can genomics play a role in diagnosing illness early on, if there is not basic medicine and doctors in many rural areas? Yet, in their optimism, they give us a picture of what the future should be. There has been a call for a “global genomics partnership,” with high participation and leadership from the global South, to focus specifically on development needs.20 Many argue that without advanced technology for developing countries they will only continue to lag behind.21

Local technology development is essential to building long-term capacity and appropriate solutions for developing countries.22 For example, an Indonesian research team developed a real-time immunochemistry-based assay that detects Salmonella typhi, the causative agent of typhoid fever.23 This test can be performed without laboratory facilities, as the reagents are stable and it is simple to conduct. The Indian company Shantha Biotechnics developed a recombinant hepatitis B vaccine, which sells for twenty times less per dose than the US vaccine.24 Medical and healthcare technologies developed locally are more likely to take into consideration local financial and infrastructure challenges and conditions of affected communities.

Environmental sustainability is lagging ...

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