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Overthrowing the unsatisfactory data status quo depends on more than declarations and calls to coordinate and partner. As we and others have noted (here and here), more and better funding is what’s needed to deliver on a data revolution.
In July, countries will gather in Addis Ababa to adopt an agreement on Financing for Development (FFD). A recently issued “Zero Draft” for an Addis Ababa Accord lays out a framework that goes beyond looking at funding sources to reaffirm the goals, principles, challenges, and policies that are required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Rebuilding and strengthening Liberia’s health systems, investing in households with young children, and revitalizing the private sector must be made priorities for Liberia, according to experts gathered at CGD for an event on what the international community can do to help the country’s people and economy recover from the toll of Ebola.
With few new antibiotics in the pipeline and bacterial resistance to existing products spreading, the World Health Organization, the Obama administration, and other governments around the world are looking for ways to stem the tide. As the recent Ebola outbreak made clear, pathogens do not respect borders, so keeping antibiotics effective for as long as possible is a global issue requiring global cooperation.
On World AIDS Day in 2003, WHO and UNAIDS launched a campaign called the “3 by 5 initiative,” with the objective to “treat three million people with HIV by 2005.” At that time, AIDS treatment was still prohibitively expensive for poor countries, where only a few thousand people had access to treatment. Thanks to President Bush’s creation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program that same year, the number of people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) began to rise dramatically. While the total number of people on ART reached only one million in 2005, the objective to reach three million people was attained in 2007, and the numbers have continued to climb. The numbers have now surpassed 11 million in low- and middle-income countries and 13 million worldwide. (See bottom trend line in figure 1.)
Momentum seems to be building on Capitol Hill for some kind of West African travel ban as an anti-Ebola measure. It sounds like a simple solution. But here’s why a travel ban is pointless—or could even make us less safe.
The priority for policymakers concerned about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa should be to respond to the existing outbreak, treat the victims, and contain its spread. But the longer term lesson is that we need to be willing to spend more on global health.