“The U.K. government has announced a fivefold increase in spending on combating neglected tropical diseases [NTDs] as part of an international effort to help rid the world of a group of infectious diseases that currently affect one billion people and kill more than half a million every year,” BMJ reports (Moszynski, 1/23). “International Development Minister Stephen O’Brien said funding for [NTDs] is to increase from Â£50 million to Â£245 million [approximately $381.5 million] between 2011 and 2015 as part of a global push to eradicate diseases including river blindness and elephantiasis,” the Press Association writes.
Programs, Funding & Financing
In the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Prosperity Wonkcast,” Lawrence MacDonald this week interviews Amanda Glassman, a CGD research fellow and director of the center’s global health policy program. Glassman “offers four recommendations for how major health donors — mainly the GAVI Alliance and the Global Fund — could better-target aid to poor people,” including “dropping country-income thresholds as the main criteria for allocating global health funding”; “setting up regional pooled procurement or pricing mechanisms”; “building evidence-based priority-setting institutions”; and “establishing increased accountability mechanisms,” according to the blog (1/23).
Commenting on the latest data on global health spending from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in this post on the Global Health Council’s (GHC) “Blog 4 Global Health,” Craig Moscetti, a policy manager in the council’s policy and government relations department, writes “some of the latest tracking data shed light on some interesting trends, prompting many key questions.” He poses several questions, including, “Are developing countries stepping up?” and “Is health sector spending the more efficient and effective way to produce health?,” and answers each (1/19).
A funding shortfall led the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to announce in November that “it won’t make any grants to fund programs for at least two years,” a Deseret News editorial notes and calls on the U.S. to take a leadership position in saving the fund. The editorial states, “Few worldwide initiatives have the success record of the Global Fund …, but those breakthroughs may not have much chance to save many lives,” and notes that the non-profit lobbying group “Results is calling for the Obama administration to assemble an emergency meeting of donor nations this spring to find ways to ensure that the fund and its programs are able to continue and to provide new medicines where they are needed most.”
International HIV/AIDS Alliance Releases Report Examining Potential Effects Of Global Fund Shortfall
The non-governmental organization (NGO) International HIV/AIDS Alliance has released a new report in response to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s announcement in November that “no new grants would be approved until 2014,” VOA News reports. According to the news service, the report, titled “Don’t Stop Now,” “examines the potential effects of the funding shortfall in five countries.”
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).
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).
“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.
“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.
“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).