In its first decade, the GAVI Alliance has helped prevent the deaths of more than five million children by introducing more widespread vaccination in low-income countries, “[b]ut, going forward, the alliance is going to have to think more about getting parents to vaccinate their kids â€“ the demand side of health â€“ especially if it wants to repeat the huge victory of wiping out a disease” such as smallpox, Charles Kenny writes in his weekly column for Foreign Policy.
Programs, Funding & Financing
In this post in the Center for Global Developments “Global Health Policy” blog, Mead Over, a senior fellow at the center, writes that the Rush Foundation has asked the Copenhagen Consensus Centre to address the question of how to spend an additional, but hypothetical, $10 billion on HIV/AIDS programs in Africa…
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) announced Friday that the Oakland-based Public Health Institute will receive $209.5 million in “cooperative agreement” funding from USAID, NBC/Bay City News reports. “The award, nearly twice as large as previous USAID agreements, will go to support the Public Health Institute’s role in the Global Health Fellows Program,” which “recruits and trains health professionals for placement in Washington, D.C., and abroad to strengthen USAID’s public health outreach,” the news service writes (9/24).
Gordon Alexander, director of the office of research at UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre, writes in this post on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” that a series published in Friday’s Lancet on early child development (ECD) shows “that the payoff from concerted, integrated action around ECD would be enormous.” Additional focus on and investment in ECD, particularly in the areas of nutrition, maternal and family health, and poverty alleviation, would help children reach their full potential in adulthood, which means “investing in ECD now will quite literally yield billions of dollars in later years,” he says.
As part of its special report “Healing the World,” GlobalPost examines country ownership within the Global Health Initiative (GHI). The news service writes that Rwandan Health Minister Agnes Binagwaho told GlobalPost that a GHI focus on gender-based violence in Rwanda was a “curious” decision, which “[s]he said … wasn’t a priority and no one had asked her if that fit in with the national plan.” According to GlobalPost, “U.S. health officials in Kigali said they were only following Rwanda’s lead in their choice of programs.” “‘To choose gender equality reflected the fact that they’ve done phenomenally well in making it a priority,’ said Nancy Godfrey, GHI field deputy for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Rwanda. ‘Our focal area comes directly from the national gender policy … Rwanda’s national gender policy. So we didn’t make it up,'” GlobalPost writes.
In addition to “essential money,” “the right policies, government commitment and citizen accountability” are needed to decrease child mortality and improve other global health indicators, “[b]ut the sine qua non for effective health care delivery is health workers. Whether it’s prevention, treatment or care, it’s all about health workers,” Jonathan Glennie, a research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, writes in a post on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.”
A report by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that was commissioned by the G20 chair “proposes raising new funding for poorer countries by taxing financial transactions, tobacco, and shipping and aviation fuels, according to details of a G20 report obtained by Reuters,” the news service reports. “The Gates Foundation was tasked by current G20 chair, France, to look at how the governments of its member countries could raise new money for aid to developing nations, including plugging an estimated $80-100 billion funding gap to help the poor adapt to climate change,” the news agency writes. The report “suggests even a small tax of 10 basis points on equities and two basis points on bonds would raise about $48 billion among G20 member states, or $9 billion if only adopted by larger European countries,” Reuters notes (Wroughton, 9/23). “Longstanding proposals for a tax on currency transactions have often been met by skepticism by governments, which argue it would drive currency trading from one financial center to another,” the Financial Times reports (Beattie, 9/23).
In this New American opinion piece, Beverly Eakman, an author and former editor-in-chief of NASA’s newspaper in Houston, writes of humanitarian aid, “With the U.S. debt having surpassed 100 percent of gross domestic product August 3, to $14.58 trillion, it’s crudely entertaining to see how multimillionaire lawmakers in Congress and administrations both past and present find ‘compassionate’ ways to spend ever-more of taxpayers’ money,” asserting that “such expenditure is not specifically sanctioned by American taxpayers, and therefore constitutes theft by the U.S. government for what the State Department probably hopes will buy international good will.”
In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, and Gro Brundtland, a board member of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, the former prime minister of Norway, and the director-general emeritus of the WHO, discuss the notion of “innovative financing for development” and how, “[f]aced with impending fiscal constraints, the international community has devised several promising financing models to protect investments in global health.”
A panel of economists commissioned by the Copenhagen Consensus Centre who “conducted a first-ever cost-benefit analysis of the top AIDS-fighting approaches by comparing the costs of prevention and treatment options per lives saved … said Wednesday that adult male circumcision, a global priority for preventing HIV infection, is not nearly as cost-effective as other methods of prevention,” USA Today reports. “The World Bank and the U.S. State Department support a major push for adult male circumcision,” however the panel said that “more cost-effective ways to prevent the spread of the disease are an HIV vaccine, infant male circumcision, preventing mother-to-child transmission of the disease and making blood transfusions safe,” the newspaper writes.