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Recent Releases: Attention To Global Health Issues, African Health Financing, Health Worker Survey, Global Health Magazine, Blogs

WHO Bulletin Examines Rise And Fall Of Attention To Global Health Issues

The Bulletin of the World Health Organization examines “why some global health issues such as HIV/AIDS attract significant attention from international and national leaders, while other issues that also represent a high mortality and morbidity burden, such as pneumonia and malnutrition, remain neglected.” According to the journal the “rise, persistence and decline of a global health issue may best be explained by the way in which its policy community … comes to understand and portray the issue and establishes institutions that can sustain this portrayal” (Shiffman, 8/09).

Lancet Comment Calls For Development, Use of Health-Systems Impact Assessments

“Despite unprecedented increases in global health funding in recent years, major challenges remain for reduction of global health disparities,” write the authors of a Lancet comment that appeals for the development and use of health-systems impact assessments (HSIAs) before the implementation of global health initiatives. “Without HSIAs, initiatives targeted at specific diseases will probably, at best, continue to duplicate efforts within health systems and divert personnel and resources; or, at worst, erode long-term capacity … The time has come for the use of HSIAs, an idea that will lead to worldwide sustainable improvements in health,” the authors concludes (Swanson et al., 8/8).

Lancet Comment Examines Health Financing, Development In Africa

A Lancet comment examines how the G8 can improve its performance and impact in global health, as highlighted in the findings of European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) Special Report on European Commission development assistance to health services in sub-Saharan Africa. While keeping “health at the top of development agendas,” the authors write, donors “could rethink health strategies to match the priorities of a country, produce a higher level of expertise to accompany strategic design, health-systems strengthening and operational research, and ensure synergy through simplified procedures and division of labour to ascertain how innovative mechanisms for global financing translate into best practices, efficiency and, ultimately, health impact” (Kerouedan, 8/8).

Health Affairs Studies Examines Health Worker Dissatisfaction, Shortages In

Africa

A Health Affairs study forecasts a growing health worker shortage in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the author’s estimates in 31 countries, by 2015 “needs-based shortages of doctors, nurses, and midwives [will total] approximately 800,000 health professionals.” The authors outline policy changes that could help pay for health care workers, while reducing the shortage (Scheffler et al., 8/6). A separate Health Affairs study examines job satisfaction and morale among members of the Ugandan workforce, finding that “[a]bout one in four would like to leave the country to improve their outlook, including more than half of all physicians” (Hagopian et al., 8/6).

Summer 2009 Global Health Magazine Examines Swine Flu, Malaria, Other Topics 

 

The Global Health Council’s Summer 2009 Global Health magazine focuses on infectious diseases. Feature articles examine swine flu tracking, the global malaria situation, neglected disease funding and other topics.

 

Blog: Vacant USAID Administrator Position Could Hurt Malaria Targets

“Leaving the USAID Directorship post vacant for over 6 months contradicts the State Department’s intentions to continue to pursue strong leadership in health and development,” according to the “Malaria Matters” blog, in response to a recent Washington Post article. According to Brieger, Clinton’s current visit to Africa shows that “without strong leadership for USAID, the health and development agenda may get lost, and thereby, threaten the ability of the U.S. to contribute in a timely and meaningful manner to achieve the 2010 Roll Back Malaria targets” (Brieger, 8/5).

Blog: House Foreign Aid Reform Paper Does Not ‘Bode Well’ For Fight Against Infectious Diseases In Developing Countries

While “[a]ll the talk about revamping foreign aid could not come at a more crucial moment,” at least “one initial outline” of Congress’ plans to make-over U.S. foreign assistance “does not bode well for efforts to combat infectious diseases in the developing world,” according to the Infectious Diseases Center for Global Health Policy’s blog, “Science Speaks: HIV & TB News.” The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s paper does not include anything “about infectious diseases in general, or HIV and TB in particular,” according to the blog (8/5).