Dear Colleagues,

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After Montreux, we reckon one of the ways forward for the Emerging voices and other voices from the South is to turn our somewhat sleepy IHP blog into a blog with Voices from the South on a regular basis. The idea is to select every week maximum two or three blog posts that discuss current global health policy issues, preferably from the perspective of people on the ground. We want to limit the number of posts to a few every week, as otherwise these posts might fail to attract enough readers. Hopefully these posts will spark a good discussion. You can comment on the points made in the “kick-off” blog post, as much as you want. We strongly encourage you to comment immediately on the blog, not through emails. When the discussion fades out, we will try to summarize the key points and refer to them in the newsletter.

 

This week we started with a discussion on a Global Fund for health. Another discussion we intend to initiate shortly, based on a request from an Emerging voice, is the one on ‘sustainability of extended Community Health Insurance – is this a long term solution?’ Stay tuned. If you have good ideas for another timely blog discussion, let us know. Obviously we also welcome French contributions on the blog.

 

Elsewhere, the world is gearing up for Cancun. Will the summit in < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Mexico be more successful than the one last year in Copenhagen, or even lead to a real Green Fund? Most pundits are pessimistic, but as the “new style” WHO would have it, the bets are on!

 

Enjoy your reading.

 

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


 

Health Financing

1. WHO annual report

http://www.who.int/whr/2010/en/index.html

WHO’s annual World health report gives governments practical guidance on ways to finance health care. Taking evidence from all over the world, it shows how all countries can modify their health financing so more people get the health care they need. The report was inspired by a number of background papers, three of which were written by colleagues.

 

A few weeks earlier, the International Labour Organization published – for the first time – a World Social Security report (PDF, 6,3 MB). The report included a section on social health protection coverage.

 

2. Plos Medicine –  Which Path to Universal Health Coverage? Perspectives on the World Health Report 2010

Sara Bennett, Sachiko Ozawa, Krishna D. Rao; http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001001

Sara Bennett et al. write that the World Health Report could have been more specific on the paths to take towards UHC.

3. Lancet – Striving for universal health coverage

The Lancet; http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)62148-4/fulltext

A Lancet editorial says the launch of the WHO annual report in Berlin means the beginning of a new push towards universal coverage in spite of the current economic downturn and the continuing rise of health-care expenditure. There are three barriers to progress. Nevertheless, the report is timely.

 

On the CGD website, Amanda Glassman is happy with the report’s focus on health system inefficiencies.

 

4. IPS – Funding Cuts on Horizon for Global Health, AIDS

Matthew O. Berger; http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53590

As a strong budget reduction seems likely in the near future, US foreign aid will most probably be reduced in spite of its already relatively low level. AIDS funding accounts for over 60% of the US aid budget, so it is almost certain that AIDS funding will be cut in the future. Needless to say, this is life threatening for the many people depending on US provided ARVs. Somebody should go to Alaska and tell Sarah Palin.

5. Aidsspan – The Global Fund Should Move Now to Expand the Non-CCM Window

David Garmaise , http://www.aidspan.org/index.php?issue=133&article=2

Ahead of the GF board, this article raises the issue of the non CCM window. It pleads for a revision of inclusion criteria that would allow more support for marginalised groups that are often left out of CCM proposals.

6.  BMC – Low coverage but few inclusion errors in Burkina Faso: a community-based targeting approach to exempt the indigent from user fees

Valéry Ridde et al.; http://www.medsp.umontreal.ca/vesa-tc/indigents/BMC_Burkina.pdf

In the quest for the best way to increase access to care, this study shows that community based targeting of indigents is feasible. It is part of a larger set of publications on access for indigents that can be found here (parts in English, parts in French)

Global Health

7. UNAIDS 2010 Report on the global AIDS epidemic

http://www.unaids.org/globalreport/

The UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic 2010 offers some encouraging news. According to Mead Over (CGD), part of the reason for this relatively optimistic outlook is due to the time horizon used.

8. Pope on condom use

http://globalhealth.kff.org/Daily-Reports/2010/November/22/GH-112210-Pope-Benedict.aspx

This papal news was all over the press earlier this week. Condoms are justified in some cases to prevent HIV infection. As for the other cases, they’ll have to use their imagination.

Aid effectiveness

9. Owen – COULD DONOR PROLIFERATION LEAD TO BETTER AID?

Owen Barder http://www.owen.org/blog

Another excellent blog post from Owen Barder on why donor proliferation does not lead to better aid, in spite of what one would expect.

10.    Guardian – It’s wrong to assume results-based aid will lead to a culture of quick wins

Andrew Mitchell; http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2010/nov/25/andrew-mitchell-aid-results

These days, the UK Secretary of State for International Development is perhaps one of the less beleaguered cabinet ministers in the Cameron/Clegg administration. Here he expresses why results-based aid does not necessarily amount to a culture of quick wins.

11.    Guardian – We’ve yet to kill off the Washington consensus

Rick Rowden; http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2010/nov/24/washington-consensus

The Washington consensus is alive and well and will continue to be so unless we lobby our governments to stop pushing the failed policies of the World Bank and the IMF, argues Rick Rowden. Somebody should tell the Irish.

12.    Guardian – EU aid for Africa ends up in tax havens, watchdog claims

David Hencke; http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/nov/25/european-investment-bank-criticised

Hundreds of millions of pounds of EU aid for Africa are being handed over to banks and private equity funds and then funnelled into tax havens, according to the watchdog Counter Balance. Apparently the European Investment Bank for African and the Caribbean has some dirty secrets. Well, it’s a bank.

Emerging Voices

13.    Lancet – Stronger national public health institutes for global health

 

Thomas R Frieden, Jeffrey P Koplan; http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)62007-7/fulltext#

In line with the message from the Emerging Voices in Montreux, Frieden & Koplan

reflect in the Lancet on the importance of improving national public health institutes (NPHIs) in developing countries.

Health and Climate change

14.    Lancet Comment in the series on Climate Change and Health

Ian Roberts, Robin Stott; http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)62106-X/fulltext

In the run-up to the UN Climate Change summit in Cancun, BMJ and the Lancet jointly published this comment. Responding to climate change could turn out to be the most important challenge that health professionals face.

 

There are several other climate change related articles in this week’s Lancet issue.

One Response to International Health Policies in the news 93

  1. Dr. Omesh Kumar Bharti, India says:

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