Dear Colleagues,

The big news of this week is obviously Obama’s Nobel Prize (an announcement that baffled us just like anybody else on the globe, we reckon). Let’s hope this will boost his Global Health initiative in the coming months. In the meantime, here is our international health policies newsletter of this week. We try another procedure, with a brief explanation for each selected document.

Enjoy your reading.

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

Global Health

Working through the issues of global governance for health

Michael Marmot ;

Michael Marmot reviews two recent books on Global health and presents some analysis on the concept of Global Health.

  • Making Sense of Global Health Governance: A Policy Perspective
    Buse Kent, Hein Wolfgang, Drager Nick
    Palgrave Macmillan, 2009
    Pp 392. £60·00. ISBN-0-23020-992-0
  • Innovation in Global Health Governance: Critical Cases
    Cooper Andrew F, Kirton John J
    Ashgate Publishing, 2009
    Pp 422. £60·00. ISBN-978-0-7546-4872-7

Global Health initiatives

Global health initiatives and country health systems

Jesper Sundewall et al.; David McCoy; Ruairí Brugha; Malcolm MacLachlan et al.;

After the release of the report on positive synergies, a review of the impact of global health initiatives on country health systems under the supervision of the WHO, the Lancet today publishes four comments


All for universal health coverage

Laurie Garrett, A Mushtaque R Chowdhury, Ariel Pablos-Méndez ; ; already in issue IHP#29

Access to care is considered a human right. However, how to finance access is a hot topic, both in developed and in developing countries.

KFF – MSF Calls On Drug Companies To Pool HIV Patents

highlights on and MSF press release

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) recently launched an e-mail campaign calling on nine of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to “release their patents on specific HIV drugs into a collective pool that will increase access and affordability to treatment in developing countries,”

Save the Children – The Next Revolution

Highlights on or website from

The executive summary in English (PDF, 110 KB) ; The report in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese. (PDF, >800 KB)

Save The Children launches a new report highlighting the need to do something to improve child survival and the political, technical and financial opportunities that exist to make it happen.

Social Medicine – Closing the Gap: Where are we one year later

Editorial ;

This editorial marks the first anniversary of the WHO social determinants of health report (Closing the Gap). It offers a brief reflection on where things stand with respect to health equity one year later.

Chronic Diseases

The Lancet (Comment) – Responding to China’s hypertensive crisis

Stephen MacMahon, Lijing Yan ;

The authors comment on new research that highlights the burden of high blood pressure in China. Causes and consequences are well known. The main challenge is how we can deliver safe, effective, and affordable primary health care to the millions that need it in the absence of the systems, workforce, and resources usually considered necessary to service even the highest risk subgroups? A new alliance called the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease is trying to tackle this issue with support of China and India.

Infectious diseases

Cost is killing patients: subsidising effective antimalarials

Ambrose Talisuna, Penny Grewal, John Bosco Rwakimari, Susan Mukasa, George Jagoe, Jaya Banerji ;

Authors explain in this comment how a massive subsidy to the anti-malarials provided to the private sector as proposed in the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm) could help reduce child mortality drastically .

An affordable cholera vaccine: an important step forward

Saranya Sridhar ;

The results of a phase 3 trial of a killed oral cholera vaccine are promising and could allow the replacement of the currently recommended and expensive vaccine (WC/rBS). Another interesting aspect of this vaccine is the story of its development that shows the potential of an international collaborative effort of public-private partnership and academic research organisations.

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