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Obesity and NCDs: Necessary but not Sufficient?

A study from the McKinsey Global Health Institute (MGI) got considerable press this week from the Economist, Wall Street Journal, and others. Using both WHO’s Read More

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All Technology Leapfrogging Is Not the Same (Why Phones ≠ Energy)

In the debates over how best to bring electricity to the billion-plus poor people who live every day without it, a common refrain is that we can replicate the telecommunications leapfrog with energy too. It’s an attractive notion. Instead of building telephone landlines, billions of poor people jumped right to mobile phones. Why not just do the same with electricity and, instead of building a grid and big dirty power plants, just go right to off-grid solar? Yet “the supposed analogy between cell phones and distributed solar is misplaced” argues UC Berkeley’s Catherine Wolfram because of (1) cost, (2) benefits of centralized networks, (3) actual development goals, and (4) quality.

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Strengthen healthcare systems while fighting Ebola, responders tell Congress

Ebola responders returning from West Africa told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday that strengthening healthcare systems in Ebola affected countries must be a priority in the global response to the outbreak, both as part of recovery and long-term strategy. “People are not just dying from Ebola, they’re dying from malaria and […](Read more…)

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The Right Knowledge Can Stop Ebola from Widening the Gap in HIV Care

A year ago, who would have thought that Ebola would be a hot topic on World AIDS Day 2014?Today, the Ebola outbreak has spread to over 15,000 people, and Ebola and HIV have become unlikely bedfellows. The Ebola epidemic is not only disrupting HIV treatment for people who need it, it’s also reminding the global health community of the many missteps and lessons we learned during the early response to HIV. “In the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like [this Ebola outbreak] has been AIDS,” said director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Frieden in October. “We have to work now so this is not the world’s next AIDS.”One virus is a marathoner, the other a sprinter. One virus is a marathoner, the other a sprinter. AIDS has claimed more than 39 million lives since the epidemic began in the early 1980s


Realizing the Vision of Swasth Bharat through Fiscal Federalism in India

This is a joint post with Anit Mukherjee. Related Research Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers for Health: Overview Framework and Lessons Learned Working Group on Fiscal Transfers for Health In his early days as India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi has shown remarkable leadership in all sectors, including health, for which he’s articulated his vision to create a Swasth Bharat, a Healthy India.


Obesity and NCDs: Necessary but not Sufficient?

Figure1

A study from the McKinsey Global Health Institute (MGI) got considerable press this week from the Economist, Wall Street Journal, and others. Using both WHO’s Read More


“I’m a Health Worker”: Dr. Arturo Carrillo

Dr. Arturo Carrillo wants to end discrimination and stigmatization of people living with HIV in his home country of El Salvador. “Very often people disrespect the basic human rights of this population,” he says.He’s an HIV expert for the National STI/HIV/AIDS Program for the Ministry of Health. As part of his job, he educates people on key issues, including sexual diversity.“Each and every one of us has to understand that while people may be different, under the law we are all equal,” Dr. Carrillo says. “And that is extremely important.”Like other countries in Central America, El Salvador’s HIV epidemic is concentrated in high-risk groups—HIV prevalence among sex workers is 5.7%, among men who have sex with men it’s 10.8% , and among transgender women it’s 25.8%.


All Technology Leapfrogging Is Not the Same (Why Phones ≠ Energy)

JfAkle8696HSchoolSanIldefonsoHBulacanfvf_17

In the debates over how best to bring electricity to the billion-plus poor people who live every day without it, a common refrain is that we can replicate the telecommunications leapfrog with energy too. It’s an attractive notion. Instead of building telephone landlines, billions of poor people jumped right to mobile phones. Why not just do the same with electricity and, instead of building a grid and big dirty power plants, just go right to off-grid solar? Yet “the supposed analogy between cell phones and distributed solar is misplaced” argues UC Berkeley’s Catherine Wolfram because of (1) cost, (2) benefits of centralized networks, (3) actual development goals, and (4) quality.


Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves Partners: Pledge $413M

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Media sources report on pledges made during the Cookstoves Future Summit that took place in New York last week. Devex: Partners pledge $413M for clean cookstoves “…[T]he Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves seeks to deliver clean cookstoves to 100 million people by 2020, and at the recent Cookstoves for Future Summit in New York the…More


House One Step Closer To Solidifying U.S. Commitment To Global Food Security

Oxfam America’s “Politics of Poverty”: What is the future of “Feed the Future”? Eric Muňoz, senior policy adviser for agriculture at Oxfam America, discusses the House Foreign Affairs committee’s passage of the Global Food Security Act, bipartisan legislation “that essentially codifies Feed the Future in law.” The bill is set to be voted on by…More


Focus on Private Sector: A rapid strike force for aid

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The Ebola response shows how firms can raise and deliver funding more quickly than other sectors, says Noshua Watson.


Ebola and the ethics of research design

A couple of recent articles stimulated my interest on the ethics of conducting ebola research, particularly with those conducted in low-resource settings and having a randomised controlled design. It interested me enough to write a letter to JAMA, where it got bounced. I thought about submitting to Lancet, but hip replacement surgery got in my way: just too much work. So it goes. Part of what is fascinating about the topic are the underlying issues regarding whether doing anything other than the ‘gold standard’ of clinical trials is justified


Strengthen healthcare systems while fighting Ebola, responders tell Congress

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Ebola responders returning from West Africa told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday that strengthening healthcare systems in Ebola affected countries must be a priority in the global response to the outbreak, both as part of recovery and long-term strategy. “People are not just dying from Ebola, they’re dying from malaria and […](Read more…)


Sideshow

I was so not going to enter the BandAid30 fray. In my opion, BandAid30 is little more than a tacky sideshow, noteworthy only for the fact that it may well overshadow the main circus. The Circus in this case is the international, interagency Ebola response. * The digital space is lit up right now with […]


After Ebola: Five Lessons for Outbreak Response

The Obama Administration has requested $6.18 billion in emergency funding to fight and contain Ebola. The ask is now in the hands of Congress, but given that Ebola incidence seems to be on the decline in many (not all) districts in West Africa, some leaders are losing steam on the response. But sustained support to fight the current Ebola outbreak is still essential


New Resource Centers Put Critical Information in the Hands of West Bank Health Workers

Like a busy intersection, the West Bank’s health system is experiencing a lot of traffic. Bottlenecks and congestion have become commonplace—and expensive—for both the population and the Ministry of Health that works to serve it.All this is due to an unsustainable increase in the flow of clients from primary care providers to specialists.Because while medical professionals in West Bank are well-educated and dedicated, they serve a population that suffers from the diseases and conditions of poverty, old age, stress, and conflict.Referrals for specialized treatment have increased from 8,000 annually to 62,000. Clients need complex, specialized care for cancer, heart disease, and other noncommunicable diseases.In thirteen years, the number of referrals for specialized treatment has increased from 8,000 cases annually to 62,000. And almost half of the referred clients are directed to service providers outside the West Bank, mostly in Israel.This is extremely expensive—the cost of referrals to Israeli hospitals doubled in the last year for which we have data (and which represents services performed before the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza).Referrals also raise significant hurdles for clients who live in a part of the world where crossing borders requires approvals and permits.Data and Information Can Clear the JamWhile the Ministry of Health employs 7,000 health professionals and administers 13 hospitals, it does not yet provide health workers with access to timely, scientific health information that could inform their medical decision-making.But if health workers had access to such information, the benefits to the health system would be long-lasting—over time, access to better information will allow health workers to learn more, gain experience, and develop skills in diagnosing and caring for more clients in the future.And more referrals could remain within the West Bank.That’s why IntraHealth International put its in-house knowledge management unit to work in the West Bank to help improve the referral process. Together with the Ministry of Health, we’ve invested in creating resource centers—or quick-access libraries of health information—in several West Bank hospitals and clinics.Last month I (Stephanie) traveled to the West Bank to train facilitators who will provide information services to hospital staff, helping physicians and nurses find the latest research, best practices, and emerging trends to inform the way they deliver specialized care.We led a training workshop for 19 Ministry of Health staff to help them develop the skills necessary to perform research services, engage with visitors, and promote and administer the resource centers.Now they’re armed with a new wealth of online information.


Ebola Fundamentally Alters the Doctor-Patient Relationship

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Phuoc Le, MD | MONROVIA — About a year ago I cared for Sharon, a 60-year-old woman who had traveled from California’s central valley to Read More


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