To read the intro on the Eu Global Health Seminar you can go here

Global Health Policy

1.      Lancet – The assault on reproductive rights

A Lancet editorial ponders the ongoing assault on reproductive rights (as evidenced at the UN High-level on HIV/AIDS meeting last month).

2.      Lancet – Offline: What about the people?

Richard Horton;

Horton minces no words in this Offline contribution, a must-read for the health economists among us.

3.      Globalization and Health – Global Health Initiatives and aid effectiveness: insights from a Ugandan case study

Valeria Oliveira Cruz and Barbara McPake;

The authors of this article studied two GHIs in Uganda and their willingness to align. And guess what? They found some resistance in the willingness of GHIs to align. True, aid is more than just signing checks to governments, but doing everything on your own, is probably also not the way to go. In eloquent scientific jargon, this becomes: “Notwithstanding attempts to align and harmonize donor activities, the interests and motives of the various actors (GHIs and different parts of the government) undermine such efforts.”

4.      GFO – Germany again starts financing GF

Germany has released the first half of its promised €200 million 2011 contribution to the Global Fund. Earlier this year, Germany suspended payment of its 2011 contribution following media reports about the misuse of grant funds in a small number of countries. (it’s about time somebody writes an essay on the difference between the Global Fund’s transparency policy and Greece’s Eurostat figures of a few years ago, if you ask us; what took the Germans so long to redress their decision?)


You find the new GFO issue here.

5.      International journal of health services – Commercial influence and global nongovernmental public action in health and pharmaceutical policies

Meri Koivusalo & Maureen Mackintosh;

Authors ask what is at stake in public health and global governance of health, more in particular in the health policy content of nongovernmental action. They document two key aspects of the framing of global policy debates and global action in health.


6.      Reuters – India says EU deal won’t hit AIDS drugs supply: U.N.

India’s minister of Commerce has promised not to link a proposed trade deal with the EU with limiting its production of generic HIV/AIDS drugs, the UN said on Thursday. A welcome statement.

7.      Humanosphere – Gates Foundation’s new media relations man defends negative stories

Tom Paulson;

A BBC journalist, Jeremy Hillman, is about to join the Gates Foundation media team. Tom Paulson hopes this will change Gates’ media policy.

Chronic Diseases

8.      BMJ (Observation) – Seeming virtuous on chronic diseases

Iona Heath;

Iona Heath, president of the Royal College of the GPs, wonders whether the NCD Alliance tells the full truth. She has two major concerns.


9.      Globalization and Health – Framing International Trade and Chronic Disease

Ronald Labonte et al.;

There is an emerging evidence base that global trade is linked with the rise of chronic disease in many LMICs. This linkage is associated, in part, with the global diffusion of unhealthy lifestyles and health damaging products posing a particular challenge to countries still facing high burdens of communicable disease. The authors developed a generic framework which depicts the determinants and pathways connecting global trade with chronic disease, and applied this framework to three key risk factors for chronic disease: unhealthy diets, alcohol, and tobacco. They argue that an explicit recognition of the role of trade policies in the spread of NCD risk factors should be a minimum outcome of the September 2011 Summit, with a commitment to ensure that future trade treaties do not increase such risks.


This week, Globalization & Health also published another paper, “Understanding multinational companies in public health systems, using a comparative advantage framework.”


10.   BMJ – NCDs and the UN summit

Fiona Godlee;

BMJ’s Fiona Godlee dwells on the turmoil around the preparation of the UN summit on NCDs.


On his blog, Richard Smith gives the latest on the run-up to the UN meeting in September.

Vaccines and GAVI

11.   Global Health – Winners and losers in the global health aid money-go-round

Andrew Harmer;

Harmer stresses we should make more people understand that health is not a zero-sum game. We mustn’t have “winners” at the expense of “losers.”

12.   CGD – Driving Demand for Vaccinations

Amanda Glassman & Orin Levine;

In this blogpost, Glassman and Levine make the case for cash transfers to the poorest to increase their access to vaccination. Many don’t like cash transfers but many  would also like to find more equitable means of providing health services. If you are interested in this debate, the blogpost also includes a number of useful references.

13.   BMJ (news) – Provision of health information for all

Richard Smith, Tracey Pérez Koehlmoos;

The authors give an update on “Health Information for All 2015” (HIFA2015), founded in 2006 with the aim that “by 2015 every person worldwide will have access to an informed healthcare provider—lack of relevant, reliable healthcare information will no longer be a major contributor to avoidable death and suffering”.  It is unlikely that this ambitious goal will be achieved.

National Health Policies

14.   HP&P – Composition of pluralistic health systems: how much can we learn from household surveys? An exploration in Cambodia

Bruno Meessen et al.;

Health Policy & Planning just published a supplement on the role of the private sector in health care. This being an ITM newsletter, we would like to draw your attention to the article by our colleague Bruno Meessen, on pluralistic health systems and more particularly on what can be learnt from household surveys in this respect. Through pragmatic use of household surveys, one can get an overall view of the pluralistic health system. The context is Cambodia.

15.   JAIDS – Tackling Health Workforce Shortages During Antiretroviral Treatment Scale-up—Experiences From Ethiopia and Malawi

Rasschaert, Freya; Philips, Mit; Van Leemput, Luc; Assefa, Yibeltal; Schouten, Erik; Van Damme, Wim;

JAIDS also just put a supplement online,  “Addressing the Divide Between HIV Services and the Rest of Global Health”.  Colleagues of ours wrote this article, comparing ARV treatment scale-up experiences in Ethiopia and Malawi. Check it out. And the rest of the supplement, of course.

16.   Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health – Politics, primary healthcare and health: was Virchow right?

Barbare Starfield;

In a Commentary, Barbara Starfield reflects on a few new papers in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. “Authors from both the People’s Health Movement  and WHO agree that primary healthcare makes a considerable contribution to reducing the adverse impact of social inequalities on health. That is, primary healthcare is a ‘health equity-producing’ social policy. Both groups of authors agree that health systems do not exist in isolation from other social systems. Both provide examples of how the market orientation of neo-liberal globalisation has worked against improvements in general and equity in health specifically.”


Another recent article in this journal emphasizes that the revitalisation of PHC requires an equitable global economic system. Authors are David Sanders et al.

Development & Aid


  • The Australian Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness was released by Kevin Rudd, Minister of Foreign Affairs, earlier this week. Interesting read, as we don’t often hear from Down Under.


  • This week, the UN launched its “Millennium Development Goals report  2011” in Geneva. Ban Ki Moon said that “the work to meet the targets has already reduced numbers of maternal deaths, increased access to clean water, and freed many people from deadly and debilitating disease. He noted, however, that the report shows “that we still have a long way to go in empowering women and girls, promoting sustainable development, and protecting the most vulnerable from the devastating effects of multiple crises.”


On the Guardian ‘Global Development’ blog, there were articles on a new fund set up by a coalition of NGOs  (to boost civil society activism), and one on aid effectiveness and the run-up to Busan.  The OECD should invite newcomers to the table, Mark Twan insists.

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2 Responses to IHP News 125

  1. admin says:

    Dear Bart,

    Definitely we welcome comments on our selection and on the content of the articles we propose. Thanks for sharing your inputs. I will read the article by Freedman you propose.


  2. admin says:

    Hi IHP team

    Once more, I have enjoyed reading the IHP newsletter. Thanks a lot for this initiative.

    Not sure if you are looking for inputs, but in the context of tensions between DCP and HSS agendas, I have found this article very refreshing, as it has given a name to something I do struggle with over the past 10 or so years : the challenge to do more than “isomorphic mimicry” when trying to influence actual health service delivery with the umpteenth new best practice, evidence-based strategy or innovative technology.
    The article also refers to another somewhat older jewel on the science of implementation.
    Best wishes, met vriendelijke groet,


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