Global Health Policy Blog

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis on global health issues and how better policies can improve well-being for everyone. Also check out our Views from the Center blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

How to Make Fiscal Transfers Work for Better Health

India matters for global health. It accounts not only for about one-fifth of the global population, but also one-fifth of the global disease burden. Yet the Indian government spends only 1 percent of its GDP on public health—a paltry amount compared to what other large, federal countries like Brazil and China allocate (4.7 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively). This has a direct impact on Indian citizens who pay more out-of-pocket for health care than citizens in any other G20 country.

More on Cash Transfers to Reduce HIV among Adolescents

My recent blog on cash transfers as a tool for HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women left out results from a number of recent evaluations that illustrate the importance of program design and, in particular, targeting the transfers to the poorest households in getting results in wellbeing. Tia Palermo, a social policy specialist with the Transfer Project at UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti and UNC-Chapel Hill, wrote with an update, which I’m pleased to share with her permission.

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.

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