Posts tagged under health ODA
You’ve probably seen a lot on here about the long term development needs of disaster afflicted areas. One key takeaway from our interviews in Aceh was that newly built infrastructure has significant operations and management costs, not to mention human resource requirements (e.g. knowledge of how to use new equipment), that donors can forget once they’ve completed projects and flown out of said area. As the previous post mentions, donors can’t please everyone – but the long term vision of some is somewhat lacking and its not just them. Building a school or hospital is great, but its not use if the teachers don’t show up or the doctors don’t have the technical expertise to operate equipment donated from a country that’s further along the medical tech spectrum. Nor if the running costs (electricity) or maintenance (where to source replacement parts?) do not factor in local circumstances (no, there are no replacement parts for defibrillators here and you will have to fly them in from elsewhere at considerable cost).
Last week I attended the EU development days in Brussels (6-7/12) – two days of debates, lectures, seminars and workshops on topics pertaining to the field of development worldwide. The over-arching topic of the 2010 EDDs was global health policy. I attended three conferences in particular: Making Global Health Deliver : Right to Health Right Now, Health as a Smart Investment, and Creating a Global Health Policy Worthy of the Name. Those three conferences gathered important and wide ranging speakers such as the Malawian and Ecuadorian Ministers of Health, EU commissioner for development Mr. Piebalgs, or the WHO Assistant Director-General Dr. Carissa Etienne.
The discussions were centered first and foremost on how to achieve a global health policy. Each discussion started off by highlighting the shortcomings of our global health system today:
- There remains 20 million premature deaths from avoidable causes per year in developing countries
- Low access to medicine: 4/5th of population accounts for just 10% of medicines used
- International health aid has quadrupled in 10 years but public funding for health remains stagnant