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Blog Covers Experts’ Comments At Country Ownership Roundtable

This post in the Ministerial Leadership Initiative’s (MLI) “Leading Global Health” blog is “the third of a series of perspective pieces on country ownership from the ‘Advancing Country Ownership for Greater Results’ roundtable organized last week by” MLI, a program of Aspen Global Health and Development. “This third of four pieces covers the comments from several participants,” including Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and co-moderator of the session; Mark Dybul, former U.S. global AIDS ambassador, and current co-director at Georgetown’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law; Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth; Paul O’Brien, vice president for Policy and Campaigns at Oxfam America; Salif Samake, director of Mali’s Health, Planning, and Statistics Unit in the ministries of Health, Social Development, and the Promotion of Women, Children and Family; and Francis Omaswa, MLI senior adviser, executive director of the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation, and co-moderator of the session (Donnelly, 1/19).

IMHE Researchers Present Update On Global Development Assistance

At a presentation hosted by the Global Health Council on Thursday at the University of Washington, Christopher Murray and Michael Hanlon from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation provided an update on global development assistance for health, the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports (Lubinski, 1/19). The data were based on a recently released report, titled “Financing Global Health 2011: Continued Growth as MDG Deadline Approaches,” which “offers a comprehensive view of trends in public and private financing of health assistance with preliminary estimates for health financing in the most recent years” and “shows that development assistance for health (DAH) continues to rise, albeit at a slower rate than before the recession,” according to an IMHE press release (December 2011).

Keeping Global Health Relevant As Part Of Sustainable Development Agenda

“In 2012 there will be a major strategic shift in global health, away from development and towards sustainability,” a Lancet editorial states. “Since 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), driven by a macroeconomic diagnosis of global poverty, have focused on investment in a small number of diseases as the most effective approach to decrease poverty, … [b]ut this approach is now delivering diminishing returns,” because of emerging challenges such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), climate change, and financial security, as well as a heightened focus on integration and accountability, the editorial says.

GAVI Says Ministries Of Health In Cameroon, Niger Cooperating To Reimburse Misused Funds

“Following separate investigations into the misuse of GAVI funding in Cameroon and Niger, both Ministries of Health have cooperated fully and confirmed their commitment to take all necessary measures, including the reimbursement of misused funds,” the GAVI Alliance said in a statement released on Thursday. According to the statement, “The findings suggest that up to US$4.2 million allocated for health systems strengthening (HSS) has been misused in Cameroon and up to US$2.5 million allocated for immunization services support (ISS) has been misused in Niger,” with approximately $1.8 million and $1.5 million of those funds under investigation for theft in the respective countries.

Resources Dedicated To Fighting HIV/AIDS Among MSM ‘Inefficient,’ Report Says

“Funding to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS consistently fails to reach programs designed to control the disease among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), according to a new analysis (.pdf) released Wednesday by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights (CPHHR) at Johns Hopkins University,” an amfAR press release states. The report, titled “Achieving an AIDS-Free Generation for Gay Men and Other MSM,” “finds that resources dedicated to addressing the epidemic among MSM are grossly insufficient, and that funding intended for this population is often diverted away from MSM-related services,” the press release says (1/18). The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog notes, “The report authors looked at reporting data related to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria HIV funding in eight countries — China, Ethiopia, Guyana, India, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ukraine and Vietnam” (Mazzotta, 1/19).

Cutting Military Medical Research Funding Would Jeopardize Health Of U.S. Troops, World’s Poorest

“In recent months, many politicians and presidential hopefuls have called for budget reductions, and many have specifically targeted military spending for cutbacks,” Peter Hotez and James Kazura, past president and president, respectively, of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, write in this Atlantic opinion piece. “[P]rograms such as the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) often find themselves low on the priority list despite their crucial role in saving the lives of our troops on the battlefield and here at home,” they write, adding, “Today, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan still face formidable tropical disease threats. … For over 100 years, WRAIR has been the U.S. military’s premier institution for preventing these types of tropical infections.”

Lives Lost In Horn Of Africa Because Of Late Response To Famine Early Warnings, Report Says

“Scientists and aid organizations gave the world plenty of time to prepare, but a late response by the world’s donor nations cost 50,000 to 100,000 lives during last year’s drought in the Horn of Africa region,” the Christian Science Monitor’s “Global News Blog” writes about a report (.pdf) released on Wednesday by Save the Children and Oxfam (Baldauf, 1/18). “The two agencies blame ‘a culture of risk aversion’ among donors and NGOs, which meant the specially-built early warning system, FEWSNET, worked but was ignored until it was too late,” GlobalPost’s “Africa Emerges” blog writes (McConnell, 1/18). “A food shortage had been predicted as early as August 2010, but most donors did not respond until famine was declared in parts of Somalia last July,” the Associated Press/New York Times notes (1/18).

Blog Covers Ethiopia Minister Of Health’s Comments At Country Ownership Roundtable

This post in the Ministerial Leadership Initiative’s (MLI) “Leading Global Health” blog is “the second of a series of perspective pieces on country ownership from the ‘Advancing Country Ownership for Greater Results’ roundtable organized last week by” MLI. “The second of four pieces covers the perspective of Ethiopia Minister of Health Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,” the blog writes, noting, “Minister Tedros said for many years he has been pushing for more country ownership. His approach is consistent: One vision, one set of priorities, and one group — donors, partners and countries — working together” (Donnelly, 1/18).

E.U. Doubles Humanitarian Aid To Sahel In Response To Impending Food Crisis

“Kristalina Georgieva, the European commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis response, arrived in Niger on Wednesday to see at first hand the extent of food shortages” in the country and announced the European Union (E.U.) “is doubling its humanitarian aid to the Sahel to nearly €95 million ($122 million) in response to the slow onset emergency in the region, where an estimated 300,000 children are affected by malnutrition annually,” the Guardian reports. Niger, a “vast landlocked country with an estimated 14.7 million people, most of whom live along a narrow border of arable land on its southern border, is bracing itself for a sharp rise in food insecurity in the ‘lean period,’ when food from the last harvest runs out,” the newspaper notes.

Blog Covers USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah’s Comments At Country Ownership Roundtable

This post in the Ministerial Leadership Initiative’s (MLI) “Leading Global Health” blog is “the first of a series of perspective pieces on country ownership from the ‘Advancing Country Ownership for Greater Results’ roundtable organized last week by” MLI. “The first of four pieces covers the comments of USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah,” the blog writes, noting, “Shah opened MLI’s meeting by saying that the U.S. government was committed to country ownership, but that it needed to find ways to improve its support of country-led plans” (Donnelly, 1/17).