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New Report On Child Health, Education Shows Development Aid’s Effectiveness

“In an age of austerity, when everyone is feeling the pinch, some question whether we should continue giving aid to poor countries,” Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children U.K., writes in a Telegraph opinion piece. He says “[t]he resounding answer is yes, according to a new report [.pdf], … which for the first time presents quantifiable evidence of the impact of aid on child survival, health and education” (4/17). The joint report, by the Overseas Development Institute, Save the Children and UNICEF, “analyzes the improvements to children’s lives during the past two decades in five sectors: health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, and child protection,” according to the report website (4/17). The report’s “findings are inspiring,” Forsyth writes, noting, “Four million fewer children aged under five died in 2010 than in 1990.”

Integrated Programming Necessary To Address Root Causes Of Poverty, Poor Health

“From the rural villages in northern Uganda to the bustling city of Kampala, the poverty-fighting programs I visited last week have something notable in common: they demonstrate how integrated programming can help achieve sustainable changes in the lives [of] women, men and their families,” Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, writes in the Huffington Post Blog. “Issues such as health care, education and economic empowerment cannot be addressed in a vacuum. Thus, effective programs need to tackle the multiple root causes of poverty,” she writes, adding, “There is no doubt that a woman’s economic empowerment is very much interconnected to her health and the well-being of her children.”

Malawi’s Mutharika Left ‘Positive Legacy’ By Showing How Africa ‘Can Feed Itself’

Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died April 5, may be remembered for corruption and mismanagement, but his “positive legacy” is his creation of “an agriculture-led boom in Malawi, one that pointed a way for Africa to overcome its chronic hunger, food insecurity, and periodic extreme famines,” Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, writes in a New York Times opinion piece. Despite “resistance” from the donor community, under Mutharika, “Malawi used its own paltry budget revenues to introduce a tiny [agricultural] subsidy program for the world’s poorest people, and lo and behold, production doubled within one harvest season. Malawi began to produce enough grain for itself year after year, and even became a food donor when famine struck the region. Life expectancy began to rise, and is estimated to be around 55 years for the period 2010-15,” he says.

‘Political Will, Dogged Organization’ Needed To Maintain Momentum Of Deworming Campaigns

In this New York Times opinion piece, journalist Amy Yee examines the cost-effectiveness of and challenges to deworming treatment campaigns in the developing world, deworming campaigns in India and Kenya. She writes, “Intestinal worms are pervasive in the developing world and can have devastating effects. But there is growing awareness about how easy and inexpensive it is to treat worms, as well as surprising longer-term socioeconomic benefits. Research shows deworming to be extremely cost-effective.” Yee provides statistics from previous studies on the various benefits of deworming school-aged children and asks, “If giving deworming pills to schoolchildren is so easy and effective, why haven’t more large-scale programs taken off?”

Comprehensive Approach Needed To Combat Typhoid In Africa, Worldwide

Though the focus on typhoid fever traditionally has focused on Asia, where the disease is endemic, “[s]ince early November 2011, there has been a surge of typhoid fever outbreaks in central and southern Africa, affecting children and adults alike,” Christopher Nelson, director of the Coalition against Typhoid (CaT) at the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and Ciro de Quadros, executive vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, write in this Atlantic opinion piece. “Apart from the illness, severe complications, and death that accompanies these typhoid outbreaks, disruptions of local water supplies interrupt the daily activities of entire communities and cities. Despite this large burden, typhoid has remained on the back burner of the global public health agenda, allowing the cycle of endemic disease and episodic outbreaks to continue, particularly in Africa,” they write and discuss the activities of CaT, which advocates for people with the disease and supports research, prevention, control, and surveillance programs.

Opinions: Questioning WHO’s Relevance; Reforming Foreign Aid; Efforts To Prevent Child Marriage

Reviving WHO As World’s Foremost Health Authority “The WHO – for 62 years the world’s go-to agency on all public health matters – is today outmoded, underfunded, and overly politicized,” Jack Chow, former assistant director-general on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria at WHO, writes in a Foreign Policy Argument where he outlines some…

Given The Chance, World's Poor, Underserved Communities Could End Hunger, Poverty

In this post in Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Eric Holt Gimenez, executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, reflects on the global implications of a drought in the U.S., writing, “[I]f the 2008 and 2011 food price crises are any guide, the global effects of the U.S. drought are fairly predictable.” He continues, “The failure of the U.S. corn harvests spells a disaster for the world’s poor, but not because the poor eat our corn. … The poor will suffer the third global food disaster in four years because the price of corn will push up the price of other food commodities, like wheat, soybeans and rice …, push[ing] up food prices overall.” He writes, “The global response to food crises is also well rehearsed,” and makes a number of predictions as to how USAID, the United States Department of Agriculture, “seed and chemical monopolies,” and “the mega-philanthropies” will respond to the crisis.

International Community Must Address Challenges To Food, Water Security In A Systematic, Coherent Manner

“New ideas and approaches to the water and food nexus will be addressed at World Water Week,” which will take place in Stockholm, Sweden from 26-31 August, Anders Jagerskog, an associate professor and director of knowledge services at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), writes in this post in the AlertNet Blog. He highlights a report (.pdf) being launched by the institute called “Feeding a Thirsty World: Challenges and Opportunities for a Water and Food Secure Future,” noting it is aimed at “provid[ing] an overview of the areas that relate to food security and water” ahead of the event.

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