Dear Colleagues,


Stockmarket turmoil and rising tension between the US and China marked this week. In global health, the Obama budget for 2011 probably stood out, signaling strong commitment from the US Administration in spite of the domestic crisis.


We also make use of this newsletter to inform you of a symposium on health systems research in Montreux, Switzerland, scheduled for 16-19 November 2010. We think this is the first of its kind and a much needed event. Researchers, policy-makers, representatives of donor and multinational organizations and other stakeholders representing diverse constituencies will gather to share evidence, identify significant knowledge gaps, and set a research agenda aimed at accelerating universal health coverage. Do not hesitate to submit papers and try to attend if you can. Visit  for more information.


Enjoy your reading.


David Hercot, Kristof Decoster, Josefien Van Olmen, Wim Van Damme and invited editors Miti Katabaro and Peter S. Hill

Health System Strengthening

1.  Huffington Post  – GAVI: A time to celebrate… and reinvest

Orin Levine;

In this opinion piece, Levine celebrates the 10th anniversary of GAVI and recognizes that the partnership has been a catalyst for change in immunization financing. Levine also examines the opportunities and challenges looming on the horizon, and sees a role for donors, the private sector and developing country governments.

However, he forgets to mention the recent efforts of GAVI to support Health Systems through its Health Systems Strengthening (GAVI-HSS) funding window. The latter seems, according to Galichet’s article presented in our December issue #46-5, a promising way to tackle some weaknesses of health systems in a coordinated way.


More needs to be done at the national level to strengthen health systems, as suggested by this special issue of the global health magazine on health systems strengthening, focusing on the role of health care workers.

2.  AfGH – Civil Society Organisations’ Comments on the Proposed Joint Platform for Health Systems Strengthening


In a joint statement, Civil Society organizations comment on the possible platform of WB, GAVI and the FM to strengthen health systems. They focus on 5 issues.


On March 2nd, a AFGH Conference will take place on “Delivering the Right to health with the health MDGs” in the European Parliament, Brussels. The event will examine what the EU needs to do to ensure MDG progress and the realization of the right to health.

3. National Post – The unconscionable global toll of death during childbirth

Keith Martin ;

A parliamentarian writes on Canada’s intention to put child and maternal health on the agenda at the next G8 summit (included in issue #50-10 of our newsletter). He calls for the adoption of a comprehensive international action plan, emphasizing investments in access to primary care and capacity-building. He suggests last year’s pre-G8 International health plan could be used as a template.

US Global Health Policy

4. KFF – Obama’s FY 2011 Budget Gives Global Health Funding Boost

KFF gives an overview of some of the news reports on the Obama budget request for global health in 2011 and the targets to be achieved by 2014.

5. CGD – U.S. Global Health Initiative: An Opportunity to Provide Short (and Useful) Comments on a Tall Order

Nandini Oomman ; CGD global health

Oomman outlines the new global health funding commitment and targets of the Obama administration, and asks readers of the CGD blog to comment on the Global health Initiative’s draft strategy, released by the State Department earlier this week. We also encourage you to comment on the CGD blog by following the link provided.

6.  WSJ – War on AIDS Hangs in Balance as U.S. Curbs Help for Africa

The Wall Street Journal looks at the challenges associated with U.S. global strategy to fight HIV/AIDS. The article zooms in on the current situation in Uganda, once showing the way on how to fight the disease, but now seemingly losing the fight. The battle is reaching a turning point. In Uganda, providing life-saving ARV seems to have made it harder to deliver the prevention message, with tragic consequences.

Health Financing

7. IEG Do Health Sector-Wide Approaches Achieve Results?

Denise Vaillancourt ; World Bank Website (PDF 132 p 894 Kb)

This document from the independent evaluation group of the World Bank tries to analyze whether health swaps contribute effectively to development effectiveness. It suggests that the adoption of a SWAp is not a guarantee of success and that four key conditions have to be met.

Access to Medicine

8. Working group on Access to Medicine kicks off at European Parliament

David Hammerstein ;

The European Parliament now has a working group on access to medicine, made up of parliamentarians and representatives of NGOs. Labour MEP David Martin will be the chair.

Global E Health

9. An Agenda For Action On Global E-Health

Ticia Gerber, Veronica Olazabal, Karl Brown and Ariel Pablos-Mendez ;

Health Affairs just published a thematic issue on e-health in the developing world. E-health could be the next breakthrough in health systems improvement in developing nations, some suggest; others think it’s slightly overhyped. The issue features an article laying out the agenda for action on global e-health. For instance, we believe access to cellphones has indeed tremendously improved all over Africa and this is also an opportunity for progress in public health; however, those networks are private. So who is going to foot the bill?

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One Response to International Health Policies in the news today 51 05 Feb 2010

  1. This blog is so interesting. I felt inspired by reading it!
    I think this place will become my most talked about site!

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