Dear Colleagues,

The stock markets might not pay much attention, but today is World Food day. Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis" is the World Food Day 2009 theme. Hillary Clinton addresses this issue in an opinion piece in the Guardian.
Please find below our weekly selection. Enjoy your reading.

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

Global Health

EU – The EU role in Global Health

EU consultation webpage   AFGH announces the consultation on its website.

The European Commission has launched an online consultation on the EU role in Global Health that will be open for eight weeks. We encourage all of you to take part in the definition of a role for the EU by reading the draft issues paper and replying to it in the provided questionnaire. This consultation should feed the EU communication on Global Health that is to be approved next year around May by the EU council. As participants to the EU Global health policy forum we have been advocating for participation from experts from the South. Hence this call towards our readers. We are ready to support any of you who would like to contribute to the debate.

FT – Human rights are the wrong basis for healthcare and two replies

The original opinion piece by William Easterly and two replies by Eric A Friedman and Claudio Schuftan

In his opinion piece, the author argues that Human Rights activism tends to benefit the middle and upper classes in poor countries. This actually worsens the unequal health provision in those countries. A provocative opinion, to say the least. Two advocates of the Human Rights approach to health obviously do not agree.

Tropical Medicine and international Health (viewpoint) – Standardized interventions in international health: Procrustes, where are you now ?

Dermot Maher ;

Maher refers to the successes of a standardized approach to disease management (in scaling up access to tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment and access to ARV), and pleads also for standardized interventions to manage the emerging epidemic of non-communicable disease in developing countries.


The missing ingredient in medicine patent pools

E Richard Gold , Jean-Frédéric Morin ;

A short opinion piece on the competition between NGOs and the pharmaceutical industry about the patent pool initiative and the need to go further.

Infectious DiseaseS

The Lancet – Diarrhoea: why children are still dying and what can be done

Tessa Wardlaw, Peter Salama, Clarissa Brocklehurst, Mickey Chopra, Elizabeth Mason ;

The WHO and UNICEF have released a seven-point treatment and prevention plan to reduce the number of children around the world who die from diarrhoea.

MAternal Health

The Lancet – Unsafe abortions: eight maternal deaths every hour

Editorial ;

The editors of the Lancet present the launch of a recent report on unsafe abortion in New York by the Guttmacher Institute. The conclusion is that reaching the fifth UN Millennium Development Goal—a 75% reduction of maternal mortality worldwide by 2015—will be impossible without successfully addressing unsafe abortions.


OECD Can Low-Income Countries Afford Basic Social Security?

by Krzysztof Hagemejer and C. Behrendt  – Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), September 2009 ; 21 pp. 344 kB:

Hagemejer and Behrendt emphasize that basic social security in low-income countries is feasible in terms of cost. Political will, rationalization of current spending programmes and reallocation of domestic resources and donor aid should make it affordable.

US health care reform

NYT – Public Option Is Next Big Hurdle in Health Debate

The Economist – 'What a waste'

The health care bill is slowly making its way through Congress committees (in no less than five different versions so far). A New York Times article points out that the most controversial issue is still whether to establish a government-run competitor to the insurance industry: the by now notorious ‘public option’. The Economist is rather pessimistic on whether the health care reform, the way it is materializing, will be able to curb cost-inflation.

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