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Amid Budget Woes, PEPFAR Is A Program Worth Saving

In this post in LA Progressive, Georgianne Nienaber, an investigative and political writer, examines the potential effects of reduced PEPFAR funding and highlights the non-denominational Christian ACTS clinic operating in South Africa as an example of a U.S. foreign aid success story. She writes, “At ACTS, PEPFAR funding supports a…

Adult Male Circumcision Not A Cost Effective Anti-HIV Tactic, Panel Of Economists Says

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.

Think Creatively To Financially Support Global Health And Development Goals

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.”

Humanitarian Aid 'Stolen' From U.S. Taxpayers Should Be Spent On Domestic Health Issues

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.”

GAVI To Purchase $1 Billion In Childhood Vaccines For Distribution In 37 Of The Poorest Nations

The Geneva-based GAVI Alliance, a fund backed by governments, the World Bank, the WHO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday that it will purchase more than $1 billion in vaccines against rotavirus, pneumococcal and other diseases through deals made with GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. to immunize children in 37 of the poorest nations, Bloomberg reports. “Wealthy nations donated $4.3 billion to purchase the vaccines as part of a plan to immunize 250 million children by 2015,” the news service notes (Bennett, 9/27).

World Bank Pledges $1.88B To Address Drought In Horn Of Africa; Additional Funding Announced At U.N. Meeting, By U.S.

“The World Bank said on Saturday it was more than tripling funding to $1.88 billion for a worsening drought in Horn of Africa countries affecting more than 13 million people,” Reuters reports. “World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the financing would help fill a $1 billion funding gap needed to tackle drought and a food crisis engulfing parts of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Uganda,” the news agency writes, noting the bank initially had pledged $500 million in July. Zoellick said the majority of the funding was to go toward long-term solutions to drought relief, with $288 million reserved for humanitarian aid through June 2012, according to Reuters (9/25).

GlobalPost Examines Country Ownership In GHI Rwanda Program

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.

Investing Now In Early Child Development Will Have Long-Term Benefits

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.