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too small a cake to share? Venice part 2

Still writing from Venice. The very laudable conclusions of the Lancet report which recognise the strengths and limitations of Global Health Initiatives (GHIs)  are creating a bit of a stir… Understandably, many disease-specific activists fear that the resources allocated to HIV, Malaria or Tuberculosis for example, already insufficient, will be diverted away from these diseases towards too broad an agenda, that of health systems.

Of course if no new money is made available, what is a small cake will simply have to be cut in even smaller pieces, which could threaten the great gains achieved in HIV for example. So we have to push donors and developing countries’ governments to increase the resources they allocate towards health in general. Otherwise this debate may distract from the real and indisputable need for all those working on health to improve their approach.

What is at stake here is also who should be leading the health policy agenda? Should it be the World Bank, with its specific market-led reforms, or the World Health organisation (WHO) with its focus on the need to strengthen access to universal primary healthcare? This is a lengthy debate which will not be resolved today.

Save The Children has concerns about market-led reforms, concerns that focus on the need for equity and the limited protection afforded to the most vulnerable through these reforms.

More tomorrow


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