In this Atlantic opinion piece, Amanda Glassman, director of Global Health Policy at the Center for Global Development (CGD), and Denizhan Duran, a research assistant at CGD, outline the macro- and microeconomic effects non-communicable diseases (NCDs) can have on countries and families, noting that “80 percent of NCD deaths occur in developing countries, mostly the middle-income countries.” However, they write that NCDs “can be substantially reduced with simple, low or no-cost interventions,” but “middle-income countries are not implementing these simple interventions at scale” for reasons that “have little to do with money.”
Programs, Funding & Financing
U.S.-based pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company on Tuesday announced it will spend $30 million over five years to fight the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in developing nations, the Indianapolis Star reports (Swiatek, 9/13). According to a Lilly press release, the company is launching the Lilly NCD Partnership “to identify new models of patient care that increase treatment access and improve outcomes for underserved people” (9/13).
“The United States and British governments have launched a four-year, Shs213.5 billion [US$75 million] project to increase the use of contraceptive services among Ugandans,” Uganda’s Daily Monitor reports. “Through the project, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) will provide family planning services in all parts of Uganda,” with Britain contributing 35 million Pound Sterling (US$55 million) and the U.S. contributing US$20 million, the newspaper reports.
European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs announced during a visit to South Africa on Monday that the European Union (E.U.) “will contribute 126 million euros to South Africa’s fight against AIDS and tuberculosis (TB),” money that “will be used to improve South Africa’s primary health care system, increasing access for patients,” Reuters reports (9/12).
Several news sources have published opinion pieces regarding the ongoing famine in Somalia and hunger situation in the Horn of Africa, some of which are summarized below:
A VOA News editorial says U.S. support to Haiti since the early days of an outbreak of cholera, which has affected more than 439,600 people since it was first detected almost a year ago, “remains unfailing.” The editorial continues, “To date, the U.S. government has spent more than $75 million on improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, … has established and operated treatment centers and trained Haitian health care workers in preventing, diagnosing and treating cholera,” among other treatment, prevention and monitoring initiatives. “While some humanitarian groups are gradually reducing their operations in Haiti, the U.S. remains focused on giving the Haitian government the aid and tools needed to prevent and treat this potentially deadly disease,” the editorial says, adding, “The medical and public health response has been effective in limiting deaths associated with the disease” (9/12).
Worldwide, the number of malaria deaths has “fallen by a fifth over the past decade, reflecting an influx of funds to fight the disease with better drugs and mosquito nets, Roll Back Malaria (RBM) said” in a report (.pdf) released on Monday, Agence France-Presse reports. “In a press release, [RBM] claimed a 38 percent reduction in deaths over the decade, a figure based on world population growth and what would have happened if the mortality trend in 2000 had been maintained to 2009 without anti-malaria intervention,” according to the news agency (9/12).”The WHO, which helped set up the RBM partnership, has also said the world can stop malaria deaths by 2015 if massive investment is made to ramp up control measures, but this is seen by some experts as an ambitious target,” Reuters writes (Kelland, 9/12).
“An acute government funding crisis in Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, is disrupting supplies of HIV/AIDS drugs and hampering the fight against the virus in the country with the world’s highest infection rate, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) said Friday,” Reuters reports. “Stocks of testing kits and related chemicals were ‘almost dry,’ making it next-to-impossible to chart the progress of the 70,000 patients on therapy or more than 130,000 other people carrying the virus, the aid agency said,” according to Reuters.
At an event on Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, co-hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institute, House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) unveiled a discussion draft of the Global Partnerships Act of 2011, aimed at “reshap[ing] foreign assistance, making it more relevant ‘by incorporating the best practices and lessons learned over the last half century,'” he said, the Malaria Policy Center’s “Malaria Watch” blog reports (Todd, 9/9). Released as a draft instead of a numbered bill in order to spur discussion, the document covers “the full spectrum of foreign aid — development, democracy promotion, arms transfers and nuclear nonproliferation — but doesnâ€™t include spending levels,” according to AEI’s “The Enterprise Blog” (Johnson, 9/8).
Though President Barack Obama signed an executive order on his third day in office to “lif[t] the odious ‘global gag rule’ that denied federal money for family planning work abroad to any group that performed abortions or counseled about the procedure, even with its own money,” he left standing a policy that is “an overly restrictive interpretation of the  Helms amendment.” The policy “imposes similar speech restrictions and bans using foreign aid money for abortions — even to save a woman’s life or in cases of rape in war zones like Congo, Sudan and Burma,” a New York Times editorial states.