The global health world is not short on meetings, but some look more enticing than others. One of particular interest is a workshop in Kigali, Rwanda, May 2-4, 2007, to train teams of African implementers and researchers to develop performance-based incentive schemes within their own health systems.
CGD Policy Blogs
Supporters of the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for vaccines had much to toast this month as five countries--Britain, Canada, Italy, Norway and Russia--put forward $1.5 billion to support the first AMC for pneumococcal disease, the leading cause of childhood pneumonia deaths, and the second leading cause of childhood meningitis deaths worldwide.
Yesterday's New York Times included a story on the growing problem of counterfeit medicine in developing countries, with a particular focus on the market for anti-malarials in Asia. In many cases, the counterfeit products not only fail to cure individual patients but actually make the problem worse by contributing to drug resistance and damaging public confidence in treatment:
Awhile back, Christine Bowers over at the PSD blog commented on a trend in Mexico towards micro-insurance, noting that 2007 may be the Year of Micro-Insurance:
I think this could be the year that we wake up to the possibilities of microinsurance. Not only life insurance, but also health, crop, livestock and other insurance policies are a classic win-win for the poor and the companies who serve them. Microinsurance is every bit as powerful as microcredit.
*This post is co-authored by Michael Bernstein
Proponents of the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) were pleased to see the Washington Post editorial supporting U.S. involvement earlier this week. It is not too late for the U.S. to be a major force in making AMCs work. A U.S. financial commitment would ensure continuing analytic and policy engagement with an initiative shaped by optimism about the potential to make markets work for people.
The Economist has the right angle on the recent bird flu scare in the UK. Yes, they say, go ahead and worry if it motivates the right sort of action to mitigate the hard-to-imagine impact of an avian influenza pandemic. But that action should include larger financing commitments, and start with intensive efforts in countries where the problem is real and immediate. As they write:Even today's small sums are paid out in the wrong place. Diseases emerge in Africa and Asia, where people mingle with animals day in, day out. That is where the monitoring and the research needs to go on. Cross-border co-operation is never easy, but if rich-world governments want to protect their citizens, the place to start is in a foreign field.
What do you observe about mobile phones when you travel in Africa and Asia? It's not just that everybody is on their mobile phone; they are on their mobile phones all the time, messaging their way through their day. Capitalizing on this fast-spreading communication technology in the developing world, PEPFAR's latest foray into a private-public partnership to move information up and down the health service delivery chain is commendable.