Dear Colleagues,

This week, with the upcoming G8 summit, numerous recommendations are being addressed to world economic leaders. We selected one analysis from Italian researchers on the history of Italian policy regarding health aid and the current paradoxical reduction in the budget for aid, a call to the G8 to support women’s health and a statement drafted by the participants to a meeting in Venice following the release of the positive synergies report from WHO that featured in issue #20 of our newsletter.

Health systems strengthening is also high on the international agenda. Our colleagues from the Public Health department here at ITM published an analysis of the reasons why maternal mortality remains high in spite of (or partly due to?) the actual global aid environment; Giorgio Cometto from Save The Children provided us with an informal report from the consultative meeting held in Washington to build on the health system strengthening component of the GFATM, GAVI and World Bank. In the newsletter from Economic Governance for Health (EG4H) we found (after a short summary of the report) a sharp criticism of the Taskforce on innovative financing for health’s report.

Further, in an editorial, the Lancet reports on a new UK launched initiative to strengthen research capacity in (East) Africa and in PLOS medicine an article is drawn from a report on spending on research in neglected diseases.

On Global Health Initiatives, we included a report from SIECU on the Zambian PEPFAR programme against HIV/AIDS, its shortfalls and recommendations to adapt it. We also present a comment from EG4H on the new programme funded by the Gates Foundation to support private equity funds in Africa.

Finally, for our Congolese colleagues, there is a small report from the UNOCHA published in the BMJ on the high mortality rates in Congo.

David Hercot & Wim Van Damme


G8 summit

1. Lancet – G8 Summit 2009: what approach will Italy take to health?

Eduardo Missoni, Fabrizio Tediosi, Guglielmo Pacileo, Elio Borgonovi

2. AFGH Call on G8 leaders to support women’s health

Parliamentarians Appeal Rome 23 June 2009 – Abstract.pdf

3. Lancet – Venice statement: global health initiatives and health systems


Health Systems Strengthening

4. International health policy and stagnating maternal mortality: is there a causal link?

Jean-Pierre Unger, Patrick Van Dessel, Kasturi Sen, Pierre De Paepe

5. Coming together for health systems

Save The Children UK; Giorgio Cometto

Comment on Washington meeting on Strengthening Health Systems, June 25-27 2009.

6. Can the ‘Taskforce’ pull the MDG rabbit out of the hat?: A high level taskforce reports on financing for health and the likelihood of meeting the MDGs



7. Lancet – Strengthening research capacity in Africa

The Lancet

8. Neglected Disease Research & Development: How Much Are We Really Spending?


Mary Moran, Javier Guzman, Anne-Laure Ropars, Alina McDonald, Nicole Jameson, Brenda Omune, Sam Ryan, Lindsey Wu

February 2009



9. Making Prevention Work: Lessons from Zambia on Reshaping: the U.S. Response to the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic

10. A Private Equity Fund for African health systems: The Gates Foundation and the dangers of their support for private sector involvement in healthcare


11. BMJ Some 45 000 people die each month in Congo as result of collapsed health service, says UN official

John Zarocostas

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