Dear Colleagues,

Despite very turbulent times for the Euro zone and the announcement of massive cuts in public budgets by Cleggeron and other European leaders, at the WHA a Thai expert still reckoned the EU should use more of its resources for global health. Now that’s the spirit!  ( and good for him he was in Geneva to make that statement).

A just released Oxfam report on 21st century aid brings more or less the same message. Oxfam attacks well-known critics of overseas aid, like Dambisa Moyo and Linda Polman, and warns that criticism of aid, although in some cases justified, could be used by governments as a cheap excuse for cutting overseas development programmes.

And in the run-up to the MDG+ summit, the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth released a paper on how MDG implementation should be measured: instead of ‘meeting targets’, the issue should be whether faster progress is made towards meeting the targets.

Enjoy your reading.

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

Global Health

1. Lancet – Tuberculosis—time to accelerate progress

Pamela Das, Richard Horton;

The Lancet has an impressive series on TB this week, with an update of the global situation. In a comment, Das & Horton say now is the time to gear up and tackle the disease as a wider development problem. A new initiative, the Lancet TB Observatory, is also being launched.

2. The East African – At last, Africa leaders are uniting to fight malaria

Ray Chambers;

Ray Chambers is the United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria. In this post, he sums up the recent initiatives taken by global leaders to control Malaria. He emphasizes the efforts by African leaders to take the lead and even fill the gaps to achieve the UN objective of universal coverage of bednets by the end of the year.

3. JHCommunication – Polio Eradication Is Just Over the Horizon: The Challenges of Global Resource Mobilization

Gregory Alonso Pirio and Judith Kaufmann;

Polio eradication has been “just over the horizon” for years now, but in some countries where the disease seemingly had been eliminated (like Tadjikistan), somehow it keeps popping up again. This article reviews the vital (and adapting) role of global advocacy over the years to mobilize funding. Scientific progress is only part of the story. Obviously, some of the polio lessons can be useful for other advocacy issues.

4.           Health Policy and Planning – Improving the long-term sustainability of health aid: are Global Health Partnerships leading the way?

Rebecca Dodd and Christopher Lane;

Dodd and Lane examine whether (7) Global Health Partnerships increasingly make long-term commitments of health aid. This seems to be the case. Yet, for all of them, there is scope for improvement. The main constraints are political.

5. CGD (essay) – The Global AIDS Transition: A Feasible Objective for AIDS Policy

Mead Over;

In these times of shaky AIDS funding, Mead Over proposes a new paradigm for the struggle with the AIDS epidemic, the so called “Aids transition”. In order to get there, new funding of AIDS treatment should be linked to dramatically improved and transparently measured prevention.

6. Plos Medicine (Debate) – Which New Approaches to Tackling Neglected Tropical Diseases Show Promise?

Jerry M. Spiegel et al.;

Plos has an interesting discussion on the priorities for global control of neglected tropical diseases. Do we put too much emphasis on drug development and administration at the expense of social development? Do we need more of the mass drug administration campaigns? Are mass administration campaigns contributing to health system strengthening? By the way, that would make a terrific theme for our essay competition.

World Health Assembly

7. KFF – Five-Day World Health Assembly Meeting

This week, the 63rd World Health Assembly took place in Geneva.  Margaret Chan made a trademark forceful speech at the beginning of the week. We had one ‘undercover’ reporter at the event, but so far he has remained undercover. So we rely on KFF to give an update on some of the issues, for instance: tackling counterfeit drugs, the code for recruitment of health staff, a PDP+ fund, the AIDS plus MDG agenda, which aims to position the AIDS movement as a force for accelerating progress towards the MDGs, …. The UN General Assembly also adopted a resolution on the prevention and control of non-communicable disease. And the EU presented its new global health policy framework  at a WHA side-event.

8. WHA IHP+Results Update 2010 – read it here!

Laura Thorogood; IHP+ results North South Observatory

And how are things going with IHP+ ? The IHP+Results 2010 Update has been released at the WHA, with an evaluation of developments until the end of 2009. A comprehensive annual progress report is only expected for the end of 2010. (The report in PDF, 1,3 MB)

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