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Global Health Policy Blog

CGD experts blog on global health issues such as health financing, drug resistance, clinical trials, vaccine development, HIV/AIDS, and health-related foreign assistance.


Hospitals Are Key to Reaching Universal Health Coverage

The global commitment to universal health coverage—target 3.8 of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development—is as ambitious as it is energizing. Ensuring everyone, everywhere around the world has access to quality health care without being forced into poverty will require stronger health systems that generate better patient services and improve people’s health. And, to that end, investments in hospitals and their performance will be key.

Right Idea on Ross Malaria Funding, Wrong Execution

The United Kingdom, in its new Aid Strategy out this week, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have jointly announced the creation of a £1 billion Ross Fund (named after a pioneering scientist) to fight malaria and neglected tropical diseases. But why not use the existing Global Fund for the new initiative instead of creating yet another health-related fund, of which the world is already lumbered with too many?

Family Planning Commitments: Much Achieved, But Short of Goal

Since the start of FP2020’s endeavor to mobilize increased global effort on family planning as a means to empower women and improve health, about 24 million more women with reported unmet need are using contraception. But much remains to be done; a comparison of commitments and baselines in 2012 to mid-2015 makes clear that the global effort must overcome several hurdles to meet its 2020 aspirations.

To Achieve Global Health “Convergence,” an Evolving Role for Health Aid

Imagine a world in which children in Zambia, Bolivia, and Laos have the same chance to survive, grow, and thrive as their peers in Canada or Europe. Such a world sounds nice, to be sure, but probably quite far out of reach. Yet according to the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health, that “grand convergence” between poor and rich countries is achievable within our lifetimes. This is a remarkable and unique opportunity, one unprecedented in human history.

Three Ways to Make Room for Mental Health

Globally, over a billion people are likely to experience a mental disorder in their lifetime, with the majority in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Mental illnesses are responsible for 7.4% of global disease burden, and frequently among the top causes of disability including in middle-income countries. These illnesses impose a severe economic burden not only on the individuals suffering from these illnesses but on their families, communities, healthcare systems, and governments.

The Importance of Global Health Investment

One of the things I am proudest of having done in Washington was having the idea as Chief Economist of the World Bank that the Bank should devote its annual World Development Report to making the case for improving both the quantity and quality of global health investment.