Reuters examines how a worsening economic crisis in Greece is affecting the country’s health system, highlighting a 36 percent decrease in health spending by Greeks this year, according to the National School of Public Health, and an increase of more than 50 percent in new cases of HIV from the first five months of 2010 to the same period this year. The news service also notes a rise in depression and suicide, writing, “Greeks are swallowing 35 percent more antidepressants than they did five years ago, according to the National School of Public Health. The health ministry says suicides are up 40 percent so far this year.”
Programs, Funding & Financing
A new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation tracks the most recently available data on funding from donor governments, including the United States, and from multilateral institutions for health in low- and middle-income countries. The report examines funding data through 2009 for a variety of health efforts, including malaria, AIDS and…
As part of its U.S. Global Health Policy: In Focus webcast series, the Kaiser Family Foundation on Wednesday hosted a panel of experts to discuss outcomes of the Cannes G20 Summit meetings on infrastructure development, food security and innovative financing options for development and the implications for global health. Panelists also discussed the current state of global health funding from donor countries, including the United States and European community, as well as a range of new financing mechanisms under consideration to supplement funding from traditional channels.
The Guardian examines the origins of modern philanthropy in this “interactive timeline of important milestones from the late 19th century to the present day.” The timeline highlights when and how some of the world’s largest philanthropies began to take on a major role in global development and health (11/9).
As part of its series on innovation, the Washington Post features an interview with PSI Vice President for Corporate Marketing and Communications Kate Roberts, who answers several questions regarding PSI’s work in global health. Roberts discusses providing safe drinking water; creating partnerships between the private sector and non-profit organizations; being a “lone actor” for short periods in order to prove an intervention’s worth; investing in an Innovations Fund “that allows us to experiment with new ideas that PSI believes in but that donor agencies aren’t yet ready to support”; and social franchising, which is “a way of delivering health products and services that ensures that they’re accessible, affordable and desirable to all those in need” (Roberts, 11/8).
In this Forbes opinion piece, contributor Sarika Bansal examines “[w]hat needs to happen for the pharmaceutical industry, academic researchers, and other key players [to] begin investing more seriously in” efforts to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). She writes, “Since the term [NTD] was coined [in 2005], there has been considerable activity in the neglected disease space from governments, donors, pharmaceutical companies, and nonprofits alike,” but the status quo “has not yet changed nearly enough, and there is ample room for the pharmaceutical industry to invest more in NTDs.”
In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Sheila Nix, U.S. executive director of ONE, summarizes progress in the global fight against HIV/AIDS in the 30 years since the first cases were documented and writes that “as budgets constrict and leaders turn their attention inward, it’s easy to see why a renewed push on global AIDS doesn’t seem possible. Yet 2011 marks a critical inflection point in our fight against AIDS.”
Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg on Tuesday “urged donors to give generously to assist Nicaragua and El Salvador cope with the aftermath of the recent floods, saying that the scale of the disaster is beyond what the small Central American nations can handle on their own,” the U.N. News Centre reports. According to the news service, approximately 1.2 million people in the region are affected by flooding, “[t]housands of homes have been damaged and hundreds of schools, roads and health facilities are closed,” and [w]ater-borne diseases are spreading …, she added.” Bragg also said food security was a concern, as thousands of acres of crops were destroyed, “‘making it increasingly difficult for people to get enough food for the next six months,’ she stated,” the news service notes (11/8).
The U.N. and several other international aid groups, including Oxfam, Save the Children, Care and ACTED, on Wednesday “warn[ed] they are running short of money and supplies to help millions of people affected by floods in Pakistan,” the Associated Press reports (11/9). “Floods in August hit Sindh province in the south, killing at least 430 people and disrupting the lives of nine million. Many people are still camping out in the open with little food, water or shelter,” Reuters writes, adding “agencies fear flood victims could suffer from a major outbreak of dengue fever, malaria and acute respiratory infection” (Conway, 11/9). The U.N., which has raised just $96.5 million of the $357 million it wants for flood relief, called the appeal ‘distressingly underfunded,'” the Guardian notes (Ford, 11/9).
Frank Carlucci, former national security adviser and secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan; Lee Hamilton, a retired Democratic congressman and former vice chair of the 9/11 Commission; and Tom Ridge, former homeland security secretary under President George W. Bush — all members of the Advisory Council for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition — write in this Washington Times editorial, “At a time of economic distress and huge deficits that demand tough choices, it is tempting for elected officials to scale back this country’s engagement around the globe, in particular by making cuts to programs that support diplomacy and international development. Yet too much is at stake to diminish America’s leadership and competitiveness in a world that is growing more interconnected and interdependent — as well as more turbulent — virtually every day.”