In his LA Times article on December 16, Charles Piller addresses the very real possibility that the extraordinary amount of funding now flowing to poor countries to combat individual diseases might undermine other health sector capabilities.
CGD Policy Blogs
If You Can't Do Everything, Should You Do Anything? LA Times Article Hits, and Misses, the Mark on Global Health Programs
Readers of this recent LA Times article were treated to a series of heart rending stories -- which taken together suggest serious program design flaws in, mainly Gates-funded, health programs in poor countries. The article is long, and raises many issues. I think it's worth examining some of them a bit more deeply.
Just in time for the Thanksgiving feast, a chance to share your views on international nutrition:
Yesterday in anticipation of World AIDS Day on December 1, UNAIDS released a dramatic update of the numbers they provide every year: the estimated number of people who are HIV infected in each country and in the world at large. As the Washington Post announced this morning, the surprise this time is that the numbers went down from last year, not up.
Readers of The Economist were treated to a tantalizing prospect this past week: the possibility of eradicating malaria in the developing world (also featured in The Lancet). The piece presents this hope based on the prospect of developing a malaria vaccine, and the recent proposal of the biggest health program funder in the world - Bill Gates.
Of all the Millennium Development Goals, progress on the maternal health goal may be the most disappointing. The target is to reduce by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015 the maternal mortality ratio - the number of deaths per 100,000 live births. A study published last week in The Lancet estimates 535,900 maternal deaths in 2005, only a slight decline since the launch twenty years ago of a Global Safe Motherhood Initiative.
It wouldn't be fall in downtown Washington, D.C. without the sudden swell of black suits emerging from shiny black limousines, road blockades and heightened security that herald the arrival of finance ministers and their entourages from 185 member countries off the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
When I saw the headlines earlier this week about the toll of drug-resistant staph infection - Staph Fatalities May Exceed AIDS Deaths - I started thinking about global warming. This wasn't some anxiety-inducing exercise to tote up all the possible things that might wipe us off the planet, but rather a musing on how a big problem that's on the minds of scientists finally makes it onto the public policy agenda - and how important it is to make sure that the "rich world" orientation of both the scientific and the policy communities doesn't obscure the important "poor world" issues.