Dear Colleagues,

 

After a welcome winter break, in which we managed to stay away from the word ‘innovative’, we are back in town with this weekly newsletter on international health policy issues. The Global Fund got some cheerful news from the Obama administration just before Christmas, further evidence of the renewed multilateral commitment of the US Administration.  But multilateralism has its limits, as Copenhagen sadly showed.

 

This week we had two guest editors, Miti Katabaro and Peter S. Hill whose input was much appreciated. They will assist us in the next few months.

 

Enjoy your reading.

 

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


Global Health

1. PLOS – The Global Health System: Actors, Norms, and Expectations in Transition

Nicole A. Szleza´k, Barry R. Bloom, Dean T. Jamison, Gerald T. Keusch, Catherine M. Michaud, Suerie Moon, William C. Clark ; http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000183

The first article in a series of four articles that highlight the changing nature of global health institutions, with focus on one dimension of the transition in particular: its changing institutional arrangements.

2. Lancet – Neglected tropical diseases—beyond the tipping point?

David H Molyneux ; http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61914-0/fulltext

 

Last week a series started in the Lancet on neglected tropical diseases in order to get these higher on the agenda as “These diseases and the billion people that they afflict are worthy of a fairer share of global health assistance than previously committed, and of increased attention from the research community in view of their prevalence and burden of disease“. We included last week’s comment.

3. AMEinfo – New upcoming donors in a conference: UAE Hosts Five-Day Global Health Conference

AMEinfo.com

As further evidence of the ever evolving Global health architecture, public health experts and researchers from around the world gathered on Monday for a five-day conference in the United Arab Emirates, to discuss the role of the Middle East in tackling global health issues.

4. KFF – Hillary Clinton speech: development central to US foreign policy

http://globalhealth.kff.org/Daily-Reports/2010/January/07/GH-010710-Clinton-Speech.aspx

Hillary Clinton stressed in a speech on Wednesday that development will be a central pillar of US foreign policy and that USAID will consequently get a higher profile than in recent decades. Easterly was quick to pick the speech apart in a Foreign Policy analysis.

Health Financing

5. New Vision – How long will we depend on the US for HIV money?

Dr. Freddie Ssengooba ; http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/459/706163

A lecturer at the Makerere University School of Public Health, one of our partners in the South, explores how PEPFAR influenced the relationship between NGOs and the Ugandan government and how these relationships are bound to change in the future. He wonders whether the Ugandan government will prove up to the task that lies ahead.

6. GFATM – PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS $1.05 BILLION CONTRIBUTION TO THE GLOBAL FUND FOR 2010

Press release ; http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/pressreleases/?pr=pr_091218

Just before Christmas, Obama signed a spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year which included a US$1.05 billion appropriation for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. An early Christmas present for the Fund, one could say, that is further evidence of the renewed multilateral commitment of the US administration.

7. American Journal of Public Health – Schools of Public Health and the Health of the Public: Enhancing the Capabilities of Faculty to Be Influential in Policymaking

Beaufort B. Longest Jr, PhD, and George A. Huber, JD ; http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/100/1/49

Using recent actions taken at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health as a template, the article outlines some of the key steps that public health schools can take to help their faculties be more influential in public health policy  (and the pitfalls to avoid).

Drugs

8. Malaria Journal – Drug procurement, the Global Fund and misguided competition policies

Richard Tren ; Kimberly Hess and Roger Bate ; http://www.malariajournal.com/content/pdf/1475-2875-8-305.pdf

An article in the Malaria Journal zooms in on the Global Fund request for competitive bidding processes for some drug purchases, and assesses how this has turned out in Kenya and Uganda.

9. Lancet – The Health Impact Fund: incentives for improving access to medicines

Amitava Banerjee, Aidan Hollis, Thomas Pogge ; Full Text

As a means to boost research for drugs to cure diseases with the largest burden at the global level, the authors “propose the creation of the Health Impact Fund (HIF) as an enduring reform that would give pharmaceutical innovators stable financial incentives to develop new medicines that have large effects on global health, and to sell them worldwide at no more than the lowest feasible cost of production and distribution.”

Health Promotion

10.    Lancet – Africa's struggle to be smoke free

Adele Baleta ; Full Text

South Africa intends to ban cigarettes from all stadiums during the next FIFA World Cup. This is a welcome initiative and African neighbours should follow South Africa’s example as so far only 10% of Africans are protected by smoke-free laws. Nevertheless, multinational tobacco companies constitute the greatest obstacle to smoke free air.

Close

Africa is set to see a big increase in tobacco use over the coming decades, as the tobacco industry continues unduly influenced anti-smoking policies in the region. Adele Baleta reports.Smokers watching teams slug it out on the field in pursuit of 2010 FIFA World Cup glory will have to think twice before lighting up. The South African Government has slapped an outright ban on smoking in all the stadiums where games are to be played.

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