Dear Colleagues,







The Easter Bells alert us that the Global Symposium on Health Systems Research is rapidly approaching. 2012 is the Chinese year of the dragon and to celebrate that occasion we are happy to inform you that the Emerging Voices (EVs) Track 2012 will be organized together with our colleagues from the China Center for Health Development Studies at Peking University. They will host the Emerging Voices Training from 17 until 28 October 2012 and the preconference on 29 and 30 October – by the way, we invite all young health researchers and professionals (and so not just the EVs) to attend this preconference. And then of course it will be time for the Second Global Symposium on Health Systems Research from 31 October until 3 November 2012.

The funded places for Emerging Voices to Beijing are scarce, so wait no longer and upload your abstract, a motivation letter and resume through the Alliance website before 1 May!

Selected participants will be offered a content and writing and presentation skills training, have a close encounter with the Chinese health system, perform at the pre-conference and attend the Global Symposium.  Close interaction with a peer network and global health big shots, and facilitation of participation at international symposia (e.g. PMAC in Bangkok, Youth in Motion in Capetown) are only some of the doors that were opened for Emerging Voices 2010. Our aim is to do even better for the EVs 2012.

Do you need some more inspiration? Some background papers are already available at

For any questions, feel free to contact us but bear in mind that the deadline to submit abstracts is 1 May 2012.

Meanwhile add us to your facebook, linkedin and twitter networks:!/ev4gh.



Over to the usual IHP business then. Plenty of news again this week, the Easter Bells were quite active on the IHP front too, it seems. The guest editorial is written by two short course participants, Clément Meda (from Burkina Faso) and Guda Obse Amarech (from Ethiopia). Their piece is somewhat related to the theme of this year’s World Health Day (aging & health). The authors say it’s urgent to address the rising NCD epidemic in LMICs.  The National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center seem to agree.



Enjoy your reading.


David Hercot,Kristof Decoster,Josefien Van Olmen, Basile Keugoung &Wim Van Damme





Non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries: Scope of the challenge & the urgent need for action


Clément Meda & Guda Obse Amarech

(participants in the ITM short course on health policy & phd–students )


Strengthening of health care systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is still not sufficiently taking into account the Non-Communicable disease (NCD) challenge. Indeed, there are several countries which do not have programmes related to NCDs. Public health in sub-Saharan Africa has neglected non-communicable diseases; there is no emphasis on the control of the problems. Moreover, data on NCD are rare and tend to be hospital-based, if they exist at all. This reflection aims to highlight the increasing problem of NCDs in LMICs and the need for urgent and comprehensive action.

 Read the rest of the editorial



SHSOP series

1. Studies in Health Services Organisation & Policy (issue 29) – The difficult relationship between faith-based health care organisations and the public sector in sub-Saharan Africa: The case of contracting experiences in Cameroon, Tanzania, Chad and Uganda

Delphine Boulenger & Bart Criel;

This new issue in the ITM SHSOP series offers the revised version of a MMI study report on contracting between public health authorities and faith-based health organisations in 4 sub-Saharan African countries (Cameroun, Chad, Tanzania and Uganda). Enjoy the reading!

World health Day – Aging & health


2. Lancet (editorial) – Ageing well: a global priority

As we already mentioned in the introduction, April 7 is World Health Day – this year’s theme is ageing and health. Correspondence published in The Lancet shows that not only must old attitudes to ageing be transformed, but attention must be shifted to dealing with NCDs in the elderly, which represent by far the largest burden of disease in this age group. This Editorial says that 5 years from now, for the first time in history, the number of people aged 65 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years. So we better start paying attention to the issue, for example at the Rio+20 conference and in MDG+ goals…


3. Lancet (World Report) – Grey matter: ageing in developing countries

Priya Shetty;

The proportion of older people is increasing in almost every country of the world but, by 2050, most will live in developing nations. Are they prepared for the demographic shift? Priya Shetty reports.




4. GFO (new issue)

GFO issue 180 has articles on the restructuring going on at the GF, on a progress report by Jaramillo to the Board, in which he says the GF will simplify processes, and more.

5. UNAIDS  – UNAIDS and African Development Bank convene high-level meeting on AIDS financing

In a side event of the AU meeting, together with African Ministers of Finance, Michel Sidibé discussed ways for increasing sustainable financing of the HIV response by African countries in order to complement global solidarity efforts. He also encouraged African countries to join forces in the negotiation of more favourable prices for HIV drugs. The theme referred to a recent  publication of UNAIDS: “AIDS dependency crisis: sourcing African solutions”.


6. Advocates for Youth – PEPFAR’s Second Phase Progress Stunted for Youth-Specific Prevention and Treatment

This report offers a critique of the policy environment and country

Partnership Frameworks for youth in PEPFAR’s second phase, which began in 2009. This in-depth review finds that PEPFAR has made some important progress towards advancing young people’s sexual and reproductive health, but its policy environment

for youth is characterized by omissions and inadequacy. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for the policymakers governing PEPFAR to design and implement the bold policy needed to support youth sexual and reproductive health and rights. You can find a short blog post on this report here.

7. UNAIDS (feature story) – New initiative launched to deliver better, cheaper medicines to Africa

On 30 March, the East African Community (EAC) Medicines Registration Harmonization Project was launched in Arusha, Tanzania. The project is a high-level alliance bringing together the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), WHO, the Gates Foundation, the World Bank, DFID, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). The Arusha launch marks the starting point in the implementation of the broader African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Programme across the continent.

8. NEJM (Perspective) – HIV and Aging — Preparing for the Challenges Ahead

Edward J. Mills et al.;

In an aging world (see World Health Day), we also seem unprepared to deal with an aging population with HIV. Mills argues that, in order to effectively address the needs of aging HIV-infected populations, political will, strengthened health systems, a greater commitment of human resources, and improved clinical infrastructure and expertise will all be required.




9. BMJ (Feature) – How collaboration is providing new drugs for neglected diseases

Janice Hopkins Tanne;

Academia, industry, and non-profit bodies are partnering to find new ways of treating NTDs. Janice Hopkins Tanne reports


10.   BMJ (analysis) – Challenges of drug resistance in the developing world

Ramanan Laxminarayan et al.;

Laxminarayan & Heymann examine the factors that make drug resistance a more difficult problem in poorer countries.


11.   Intellectual property watch – WHO / EU “Bad Medicine” Plans: Flaws, Coordination Gaps

Daniele Dionisio;

The latest WHO / EU plans to counter the trade in counterfeit and substandard medicines aim to ensure that medicines in the developing world are safe. Although both plans appropriately address quality issues, they fall short of adequate coordination and collaboration with each other, and also present substantial flaws.


In a Sci-Dev op-ed, Dionisio also argued that trade deals are threatening generic drugs, so we need new ways and new funding models to incentivise affordable drug development.



12.   Lancet (online) – Loss of malarial susceptibility to artemisinin in Thailand

Anne-Catrin Uhlemann & David A Fidock ;

Worrying news on reduced susceptibility to artemisinin, now also in western Thailand. Uhlemann & Fidock comment on recent Lancet research.


In the Guardian, Sarah Boseley also already dedicated an article to the news.



Health policy & financing


13.   KFF – GAVI Announces HPV, Rubella Vaccines Will Be Available To Developing Countries

GAVI announced that it will include HPV and combined measles-rubella vaccines in its portfolio for the first time to help protect women from cervical cancer and children from disability or premature death.


14.   BMJ (Feature) – Polio eradication: a complex end game

Thomas Abraham;

The author examines the challenges of meeting the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s target of eliminating polio by the end of this year.


15.   MMI April newsletter (editorial) – we’re all family

Thomas Schwarz;

Thomas Schwarz argues boundaries between public and private interests are not blurred today; in fact, they just seem not to exist anymore. We’re all family, now…

16.   Plos Medicine (Policy Forum) – The Role of Public Health Institutions in Global Health System Strengthening Efforts: The US CDC’s Perspective

Peter Bloland et al.;

Peter Bloland and colleagues from the US CDC lay out the agency’s priorities for health systems strengthening efforts.


17.   New York Times (Op-ed) – Towards UHC

David de Ferranti & Julio Frenk;

The authors of this piece link the Supreme Court case and turmoil in the US with the world wide momentum towards UHC.


If you want more legal arguments on the Supreme Court case, check out the following NEJM perspective “A clash of two world views”.


Finally, some other IHP news issues:

–          WHO Bulletin has a new issue focusing on the flu

–          There’s also a new issue of the Health Diplomacy Monitor (April issue) with plenty of interesting contributions

–          Melinda Gates stressed family planning is now a top priority for the Gates foundation





18.   Global Public Health – The Global Fund and the re-configuration and re-emergence of ‘civil society’: Widening or closing the democratic deficit?

Anuj Kapilashrami et al.;

This article seeks to highlight the complex micropolitics of the GF’s interactions with civil society. It examines the nature of civil society actors involved in the Fund projects and the processes through which they gain credibility.


Global Public Health also published another article recently, on facilitative governance – transforming global health through complexity theory.


Some more recent articles or viewpoints you might want to read:

  • In Globalization and Health: an article on the politics behind the implementation of the WTO Paragraph 6 Decision in Canada to increase global drug access.
  • In TMIH: an editorial on the need to reform the remuneration system to initiate a system approach to the health sector in resource-poor countries.
  • A new WHO expert report says new sources of funding & new incentives are needed to stimulate health research specifically for diseases that affect people in developing countries.


Emerging Voices

19.    Global Health Action – The role of information communication technology (ICT) towards universal health coverage: the first steps of a telemedicine project in Ethiopia

Fassil Shiferaw & Maria Zolfo;

This paper analyzes the challenges, failures and successes encountered in setting-up and implementing a telemedicine program in Ethiopia and provides possible recommendations for developing telemedicine strategies in countries with limited resources.

Development & Aid


1. The main Development news this week: Major donors’ aid to developing countries fell by nearly 3% in 2011, breaking a long trend of annual increases.  Disregarding years of exceptional debt relief, this was the first drop since 1997.  Continuing tight budgets in OECD countries will put pressure on aid levels in coming years.


You find the data here, and a Guardian comment here.


2.  On a happier note, World Happiness got a fair amount of attention this week, in New York and elsewhere:


The World Happiness report was published by the Earth Institute of Columbia; Sarah Boseley wonders whether we would all be happier in Bhutan.  (is there anybody reading this newsletter who actually doubts this?)



3. The WB nomination saga continues, including a poll on the Guardian ‘Poverty Matters’ website (unfortunately, with plenty of technical problems, it appears)


Some more vital reads on this issue (although they probably won’t boost your happiness level) :

– Global Health Governance has a blog post by Joshua Bushby on Jim Kim

– Kevin Gallagher argues – in the Guardian – why Ocampo would make an excellent WB president

– Ocampo wrote an op-ed himself, listing what the WB should do in the future (on Project Syndicate)

– The Financial Times produced an analysis of the WB nomination debate

– Stiglitz had his say in the Guardian


… (to be continued) –


(By the way, we strongly encourage the people who have make the final decision to go to Bhutan and decide over there – the pristine environment will no doubt inspire them to come up with the best choice. No laptops, smartphones, email etc. allowed … )


Finally, some other noteworthy D&A news or articles :


–          In Foreign Policy, Charles Kenny comes back on the report “Building Support for International Development” – recent research done in 4 leading  donor countries & China on what interested people think about development and on how to engage key players in the development debate. Kenny is not a big fan; it’s time to get rid of the white man’s burden, he says. Africa doesn’t need white guilt anymore. Full stop.

–          The Millenium Development Villages got some ‘unwanted’ coverage   by Michael Clemens (CGD), after new evaluation research.

–          Jonathan Glennie dwells on recent WB thinking and what DFID can do to assist (or block) new trends at the WB

–          Does India still need foreign aid? You find a New Internationalist Magazine debate here.

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One Response to IHP news 163 – Emerging Voices fever

  1. maryam says:

    Imagine a world where global health efforts will be driven by betterment of a happiness index. We will witness the creation of a new development agency (BhutAid). Their country operations will be in France, Greece, UK, Spain. We will have Global Happiness Experts renting expensive houses in Paris, London and Athens; they will hire house staff and more Happiness consultants to assist all high income nations of the world with a National Strategic Happiness Plan, a Medium Term Happiness Framework and demand-driven happiness supply.

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